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7 Best Agile Practices for More Effective Teams

May 03, 2023



7 Best Agile Practices for More Effective Teams

15th State of Agile Report by Business Wire found that Agile practices have been employed by over 90% of organizations worldwide.

Agile is indeed a valuable tool for various operations, ranging from software development, research and development, and marketing to operations management.

This is because it is highly effective in addressing a wide range of tasks, particularly those that are complex.

However, adopting Agile won’t ensure the best results. There are several other things that businesses like yours should take care of to make that happen.

7 Best Agile Practices for Team Performance

Agile best practices are guidelines and principles that help organizations adopt and implement agile methodologies effectively. These practices are based on years of experience and observation of successful agile teams, and can be applied to various projects and industries. By following these best practices, organizations can improve team collaboration, increase customer satisfaction, and deliver high-quality products more efficiently.

Let’s talk about how you can make your Agile teams effective:

1. Adopt the Agile Methodology that Suits You

The Business Wire report claims that Scrum remains the leading Agile methodology, with 66% of respondents citing it as their preferred approach. Additionally, 15% of respondents reported following variations of Scrum, such as ScrumBan (9%) and Scrum/XP (6%).

Scrum, the most popular Agile methodology, can be a good fit for organizations looking for a framework emphasizing collaboration, transparency, and regular feedback. Its iterative approach to software development can help teams deliver value to customers quickly and adapt to changing requirements.
On the other hand, organizations with a larger scale of work and multiple teams may find the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe®) to be a better fit.

In fact, 40% of the respondents in the Business Wire report identify SAFe® as the framework they most closely adhere to.

SAFe provides a structured approach to scaling Agile practices across an organization and ensures alignment between teams, thereby improving efficiency and productivity.
Other Agile methodologies and frameworks such as Kanban, Lean, and Extreme Programming (XP) may also be suitable depending on an organization’s unique requirements.

2. Choose the Right Team Members

In Agile methodology, the team is at the heart of the development process. Each member is expected to contribute actively to achieve the common goal.

When selecting team members, it’s important to consider their skills, experience, and expertise. Their ability to communicate effectively, work collaboratively, and adapt to changing circumstances is equally important.

A diverse team with various skills and perspectives can bring new ideas and insights to the table, improving problem-solving and innovation.

It’s also essential to ensure team members are motivated and committed to the project, as Agile methodology relies heavily on self-organizing teams that take ownership of their work.

This means that team members must be willing to take responsibility for their tasks, be accountable for their deliverables, and work together to achieve the project’s goals.

A few of the characteristics of a high-performing agile team are:

  • Proficiency in self-organization
  • Result-Driven Approach
  • Clear communication within the team
  • Coordination with other departments
  • Accountability in their actions and work
  • Cross-functionality
  • Quick adaptability to a new environment
  • Collaboration
  • Quick conflict management
  • Remarkable leaders

3. Conduct Daily Meetings

Daily meetings, also known as Daily Stand-Ups or Daily Scrums, are a key component of Agile and are typically held at the beginning of each workday.

Here are some ways daily meetings can enhance team effectiveness:

  • Improved Communication: Daily meetings provide a regular forum for team members to communicate with one another, share progress updates, identify potential roadblocks, and collaborate on solutions. This helps to ensure that everyone is working towards a common goal.
  • Increased Accountability: Daily meetings encourage team members to take ownership of their tasks and hold themselves accountable for their progress. This helps to ensure that everyone is working towards completing their tasks on time and within scope.
  • Faster Issue Resolution: By identifying potential roadblocks early on, teams can collaborate on solutions and resolve issues quickly before they have a chance to escalate.
  • Enhanced Team Morale: Daily meetings can help build harmony and team spirit by allowing team members to connect and support one another.
  • Improved Productivity: By providing regular updates and identifying potential issues early on, daily meetings can keep the team focused and productive, leading to better outcomes.

4. Use the Right Set of Professional Agile Tools

If you want to ensure improved project management, increased team collaboration, better task tracking, and enhanced productivity, professional Agile tools are the best bet for you.

By using the right tools, Agile teams can structure their workflows and processes more efficiently, leading to better outcomes and increased team effectiveness.

There are several tools available that can support Agile methodology implementation and improve team collaboration.

The following are some of the best tools for Agile:

  • Jira: is a popular project management tool that allows teams to manage tasks, sprints, backlogs, and releases. It provides real-time visibility into project progress and enables collaboration across teams. Jira also allows teams to customize workflows and automate repetitive tasks, improving productivity and efficiency.
  • Trello: is a simple, visual project management tool that uses Kanban boards to track tasks and progress. It allows teams to collaborate on tasks and projects in real-time and provides a clear overview of project status. Trello also offers customizable workflows, task prioritization, and integrations with other tools.
  • Asana: is another project management tool that enables teams to manage tasks, projects, and deadlines in one place. It provides real-time updates on project progress and allows teams to collaborate on tasks, share files, and track progress.
  • Slack: is a team communication tool that infuses real-time collaboration and facilitates communication. It provides a central platform for team communication, including messaging, file sharing, and project updates. Slack also offers integrations with other business tools, such as Jira and Trello, allowing teams to streamline their workflows.
  • Confluence: is a collaboration tool that allows teams to create and share project documentation, meeting notes, and project plans. Confluence offers customizable workflows and integrations with other tools.

5. Form Clear Goals and Responsibilities

Setting clear goals and responsibilities is essential for making Agile teams more effective. Here are some reasons why:

  • Alignment: When everyone on the team knows the goals and objectives, they can work together in a coordinated and aligned manner. This helps ensure everyone is moving in the same direction and working towards the same outcomes.
  • Focus: Clear goals and responsibilities help Agile teams focus on what’s important. When everyone knows their role, and what they need to accomplish, they can prioritize their work and avoid distractions that could detract from achieving their objectives.
  • Accountability: When goals and responsibilities are clearly defined, it’s easier to hold team members accountable for their work. This ensures everyone is doing their part and contributing to the team’s success.
  • Motivation: Clear goals and responsibilities can also motivate team members by giving them a sense of purpose and direction.

To set clear goals and responsibilities for your Agile teams, consider the following steps:

  • Define the project’s objectives and desired outcomes.
  • Identify the key roles and responsibilities required to achieve those outcomes.
  • Clearly communicate those roles and responsibilities to the team.
  • Set specific and measurable goals that align with the project objectives.
  • Monitor progress towards those goals and adjust as needed.

6. Promote Transparency Among Team Members

Promoting transparency is an essential aspect of the Agile methodology. It can help Agile teams become more effective in several ways.

When transparent, teams openly share information about their work, progress, and challenges.

Here are a few ways that promoting transparency can benefit Agile teams:

  • Improved communication: Transparency promotes better communication among team members, leading to better collaboration and coordination. When everyone clearly understands what others are working on, they can provide support or feedback when needed, which can help prevent issues from spiraling out of control.
  • Increased trust: When teams are transparent, it helps build trust among team members. Everyone can see what is happening and how things are progressing.
  • Better decision-making: When teams can access all the relevant information, they can make better decisions. Transparency ensures everyone has the same level of information. This help prevents misunderstandings and reduces the risk of making decisions based on incomplete or inaccurate information.
  • Continuous improvement: Transparency can help Agile teams improve their processes and practices. By sharing information about what worked well and what didn’t, teams can learn from their mistakes and make adjustments to improve their efficiency and effectiveness.

Agile teams have unique features that distinguish them from traditional teams, such as their characteristics of self-organization and collaboration. Additionally, they are cross-functional, with team members possessing various skills and expertise that allow for effective teamwork and problem-solving.

7. Foster a Culture for Learning and Improvement

To ensure that Agile teams are performing at their best, it is important for them to seek out new knowledge and skills proactively. While some team members may possess a natural curiosity, others may require additional support to maintain their motivation.

It is your responsibility to create a culture of continuous learning by sparking the team’s interest, challenging them to step outside their comfort zones, and rewarding them for their efforts.

By fostering this mindset, your team can stay ahead of the curve and consistently achieve exceptional results.

Additionally, Agile teams must constantly seek ways to enhance their processes and increase efficiency in delivering value. Encouraging the team to refine and develop new skills is critical to this continuous improvement process.
It is equally important for team members to remember the fundamental Agile principle of regular self-reflection.

By regularly assessing their performance, the team can identify areas for self-improvement and adjust their approach accordingly. This iterative approach enables the team to optimize their performance and deliver exceptional results continuously.

Agile is the Present and the Future

Although the best practices for high-performing Agile teams may seem simple at first glance, they can be challenging to implement effectively.

While some may dismiss these principles as cliches, they are, in fact, the cornerstone of Agile methodology. These practices can prove useful to teams beyond the Agile framework.

Innovify specializes in providing agile software development solutions to businesses. We expertise in implementing best agile practices that help teams become more efficient and effective in their work.


1. What makes an effective agile team?

An effective agile team is one that values collaboration, communication, and flexibility. It is composed of members with diverse skill sets who are committed to working towards a common goal.

2. What is most important for an agile team?

The most important thing for an agile team is to have a clear understanding of the project goals and customer needs. This allows them to prioritize tasks, adapt to changes, and deliver value quickly.

3. What is the best practice agile team size?

The best practice agile team size is typically 5-9 members. This size allows for effective collaboration, communication, and decision-making while still maintaining a manageable workload for each team member.

4. How to measure team performance in agile?

Team performance in agile can be measured using metrics such as velocity, sprint burndown charts, and customer satisfaction. It is important to regularly evaluate these metrics and use them to identify areas for improvement.

5. What are agile Scrum best practices?

Agile Scrum best practices include having a clear product backlog, conducting daily stand-up meetings, using sprint planning and retrospective meetings, and regularly delivering working software. These practices help teams stay focused, collaborate effectively, and deliver value to the customer.

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