Thursday, June 6, 2013

Are there any standards (Best practices) in Agile/scrum world? How important are they?

Standards help the people to work and communicate  in time tested manner. This helps to reduce the noise and chaos. Standards help  a newbie to learn the tips and tricks of trade.

But is it advisable to follow the standards always?

Change is the only  thing which is constant. Any standard or best practice which doesn't evolve with the changing environment doesn't help anyone. Such obsolete standards prevents the team from improving continuously. In many cases thy prevent new thinking and innovation.

A standard/ guideline made for one company/project/person may not work for another because they have unique requirement.  These guidelines will have to reviewed and adopted to the new project/person. Like everything ins scrum, even the standards will have to undergo the process of continuous improvement.

Some Thoughts 

  • It is advisable to put the good practices on the team wall so that everyone can view them. Any standard hidden in some SharePoint site or any other repository might not get enough views. If these are pasted on common areas team will get to see them every day and can suggest  any improvement.
  • If any automation can be made to verify the output against the standards then the necessary investment should be made .

Improvement process

  • Team identifies a problem and the necessary process/standard changes 
  • Team discusses the new process & make the necessary changes. Team publishes the process change within the team and stakeholders
  • After a specified duration team revisits the standards to check the effectiveness  
  • If the process/standard change has achieved the necessary outcome then it is circulated as a best practice guideline to other teams also. 

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