Team kick off for agile product development- 3 minutes read - 572 words
The last months have been busy with (re)starting teams somehow. This is a small note to self in order to keep a record of aspects that need to be addressed.
The kick off is the first step of a continuous mechanism to learn and deliver the best possible outcome for your audience.
Ensure your kick off allows to change everything, including the process.
Process, Content and Operations need to be part of the kick off.
And more important: you need a way to adapt all of them during the existence of the team.
The foundation for delivery is a clear process - it should be as simple as possible but not simpler - and allows for change. This means that you need to create your teams rules of the game. This includes the way you are able to change these rules.
It is helpful to stay alert on rule changes versus content changes - a lesson that has been a key element in the Holocracy structures.
When the rules of the game are clear, use these rules to create your process and use the process to deliver and support your content.
How do you do this as a team?
During kick off, start with the rules of the game. Answering the next questions will help you to get started:
- Is everyone allowed to touch everything ? Write down the things that you expect people to do (roles & accountabilities)
- In what way do you like outcomes to be created and operated ? (process)
- What are your starting points for decisions ? (For content, process and operations)
- In what way do you want to keep track of the work done ? (in git, code is the truth or in Jira - everything is a ticket)
- In what way do you handle progress ? Do you choose for scheduled meetings (like planning, retrospective and demo for instance) or do you prefer other means of communication ? (like automated messages via slack when functionality is pulled - or is available)
Note that it is not easy to answer these questions one by one, just start with one of them and swarm over them to create your own rules of the game. Next to that - there is no need to be complete. These rules are a starting point and you are able to change them.
Feel free to answer some of these elements with ‘Scrum’ or ‘Kanban’ but do explain what you will do according to the mentioned words. Both types of process are applied in many different ways.
And one small note on ‘progress’. Progress is part of all three parts, its about continuous improvement and the way this is shared inside and outside the team.
Outcomes for the kick off
Clarity for the team on the way of working and a way to iteratively improve are the main outcomes.
Process, Content and Operations
That all being said, the true value is hidden in the ‘Content’ and the way you organise the delivery process.
For instance: Flow based development gives a proposal on the setup of your development and delivery process. Many more is to be said on the details on when parts are ready to move to next step in the process.
Like to know more ?
If you like to have a conversation or need support on flow based development, you can always contact me.
Photo by Di Bella Coffee on Unsplash