When adopting agile teams can use (external) coaches and mentors. But teams can also develop themselves by having team members mentoring and coaching each other. Team members can learn skills and abilities from other team members in multidisciplinary teams, enabling the team to grow as a whole and become self-organized.
Several approaches exist to improve software development, among them are agile and lean. Managers have to decide which approaches to deploy in their organization. Approaches can also be combined depending on the problems that need to be solved. InfoQ interviewed Régis Medina about combining agile and lean, focusing on people and learning.
Agile coaches can coach in pairs instead of coaching individually. Each coach will focus on different aspects of coaching. As every coach has specific experience and skills they can complement each other. Two coaches can collaboratively help individuals or teams to learn and improve when adopting agile.
Regularly doing agile retrospectives helps teams to learn and improve themselves. You can make retrospectives more effective by adding purposes and by validating if your retrospective actions are leading to improvement with the usage of hypotheses.
Agile suggest that teams should fail-fast to enable quick learning from mistakes. Learning from failure is one approach, you can also learn early and fast from successes, by doing experimentation, or by using a plan for knowledge acquisition.
Organizations learn through their employees. To enable adoption of agile ways of working, organization have to support the personal development of their employees.
The build-measure-learn feedback loop in lean startup aims to help entrepreneurs to learn about the needs of their customers. Agile retrospectives are a way to reflect and learn and to agree on changes that are needed. Some examples describing how lean startup can be supported with agile retrospectives to learn and take actions.
A survey of recent commentary and presentations by Ken Schwaber and others on the merits of the multidisciplinary, T-shaped, team-member within an empowered cross-functional team.
Teams sometimes consider to skip a retrospective meeting, when they feel time pressure, or do not see direct benefits of doing one. Next they question themselves if they have to keep doing retrospectives? Agile retrospectives help teams to learn and improve continuously, and there are valid reasons to keep doing them also with mature teams.
The lean startup is about fast delivery of desired products to customers, and increasing your understanding about the needs of customers. With the lean startup, people can learn faster from failures and become better innovators. There are teachers that use a lean startup based approach in education, which helps their students to learn faster.
A recent study based on Stack Overflow’s data attempts to answer if programming knowledge is related to age, if older programmers are more knowledgeable and if they acquire new skills or not.
To become more flexible, durable and increase organizational effectiveness, retrospectives can be used in adopting agile. Some experiences stories and examples of how teams use retrospectives as a sustainable and adaptable solution for agile adoption, to implement continuous improvement with them.
The importance of feedback in Agile development is paramount. Feedback is built into every aspect of the methodology ranging from unit tests, continuous integration, daily standup, retrospectives to end of sprint demos. In-spite of all this, are there still some feedback loops which remain incomplete?
Microsoft has opened a free online virtual academy for students interested in learning and graduating in Microsoft Cloud Computing technologies.
Several members of the Agile community emphasize the importance of feedback loops in the effectiveness of Agile development processes.