Everyone yearns for a productive team. It is easy to think that going Agile automatically makes a team productive. But, it is not always true. In this post, we talk about the CESH attributes that help an Agile team get and remain productive!
What is Productivity?
When an individual or a team makes the best use of available time and resources to deliver the best possible result, they are considered productive.
It is key that the results are more accurate than precise – which refers to closeness to the correct value rather than repeatability. An Agile Manager or a Scrum Master must ensure such accuracy while the team is busy being productive.
There are 4 characteristics that can help make an Agile team productive. We love acronyms and we choose to call them the CESH attributes!
C – Consistency
Consistency, in this context, refers to predictability. A Productive Agile team must enable the management to take key project decisions based on their predictable performance.
For example, if the team’s velocity fluctuate by +/- 50%, no key decisions are possible with this metric. The team may feel productive but it doesn’t deliver useful value to other stakeholders in the project.
Consistency also ensures that the team can trust themselves to deliver. If they are not sure to commit to something, chances are low to reach the target.
E – Efficiency
Efficiency is the ability to do things well and successfully, with the best utilization of inputs like time, money and other resources. In other words, waste is minimized or eliminated.
Waste minimization is a key indicator of Productive Agile team. Such a team is aware of every deliverable going out and also cognizant of their value. If it is deemed a waste, the team can self-organize and take steps to eliminate.Waste minimization is a key indicator of productive #agile team Click To Tweet
With more focus on leadership and less on management, policing is virtually absent in mature agile teams. It takes some effort from the members of the team to step up, zoom out and identify waste on a regular basis.
S – Sustainability
A team is made up of humans, not machines. Any attempt to be productive must be sustainable. Otherwise, it may choke the team to death.Any attempt to productivity in an #agile team must be sustainable Click To Tweet
Sustainability ensures the psychological wellness of a team. A team that continuously works overtime may produce efficient results but in the long term, they will lose track and motivation. It takes the prudence of a good leader to identify such problems and take corrective actions. Often the teams don’t realize these problems until the situation turns worse.
H – Happiness
Does happiness matter in a professional context? Yes, a lot.
The natural tendency of humans is to constantly strive for happiness. This holds good in both professional and personal contexts. Happiness feeds motivation and satisfaction. These are essential in a productive agile team.
The route to happiness in a team is often simple and without huge monetary burdens. Here are some ways to think about:
- Giving sufficient freedom to take their own decisions
- Offering flexible working hours
- Providing opportunities to perform a variety of roles
- Enabling occasions for team building and other fun activities
- Celebrating success and learning from failures
A Productive Agile team doesn’t come by magic. Such a team is characterized by a few attributes and we choose to call them CESH.
- Consistent with their results and performance
- Efficient in their process with waste minimization
- Sustainable pace to ensure motivation
- Happiness to drive commitment and satisfaction
Do you have a Productive Agile team? What have you done to sustain their productivity? We love to hear your thoughts. Please share them as comments to this post.