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Trusting Agility

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Trusting Agility

In this article, Vijay Joshi discusses the importance of trust within Agile organizations and how it can be effectively implemented.

· Agile Zone
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An interesting topic that's always debatable in almost all organizations is trust. Trust plays a key role in the modern world driven by agility.

Trust is a big word in itself. Its context and its outcome are the same whether we're talking about it in business or in a more personal way. Some bigger organizations refer to it as the foundation of any successful group or team.

I would agree. Trust is the foundation of any organization and leads to a solid team and solid management.

Within a team, trust plays a key role in terms of increased productivity of individuals. The relationship between each team member is an integral part in achieving the desired goal of the team. Trust provides the foundation for that relationship.

Is trust only limited within a team context? It depends on what you call a team. To me, a team is a group of individuals that isn't limited to certain areas or individuals. It expands both horizontally and vertically at the organizational level and involves both individuals in the team individuals and respective management.

According to statistics from various resources, trust between team individuals and management has been quite a fragile topic over the decades and it's not that simple to talk straightforwardly about it.

There are a few reasons that might explain this:

  • Inconsistency between actions of management and vision of the organization.

  • Ambiguity in management talks.

  • Unfulfilled promises.

I believe that by now you're sure how trust could be a game changer in any part of a deal. Let me now walk you through how it could be a key ingredient in a recipe for Agile software methodologies.

We know that in a typical Agile world, each organization has its own set of processes, methodologies, and toolsets. They invest efforts to make these components strong and concrete. However, one thing and that is a major aspect of any Agile team is its team players working behind monitors or in silos, such as developers, quality assurers, etc.

These are the people who are the pillar of consequences derived from each Sprint or Scrum planning, whether it's a failure or success. The reasons I just discussed could lead a strong Agile team supported by strong elements of toolsets, ball point processes, etc. to a failure because of broken trust issues within a team.

We are not demotivating the factors of using tested processes and well-suited tools for Agile. We are trying to motivate to establish a personal trustworthy relationship between members of a team.

On top of processes like retrospective meetings, team huddles, Sprint planning, or any other traditional Agile way of doing things, one should drive and practice building team activities as part of their Agile planning. This should focus on following areas:

  • Get a team of developers and testers closer with management and talk about the standard set of processes.

  • Introduce a platform where a group of developers or circle can share their personal experiences, thoughts. etc. I would call it an introspective. This will definitely help people working at ground-level during Sprint runs.

What can we achieve by introducing such processes? From a developer mindset, the following things should be addressed:

  • Increasing productivity by talking more and bringing trust within.

  • Getting rid of ego issues such as accountability within the team and its members.

  • An entire open culture where lots of professional risks can be mitigated using these personal practices.

To conclude this, there is a long list of such kind of reasons. Again, we do have a set of processes and standards in place to overcome deficit by ensuring the following key ideas at a higher level:

  • Transparency, honesty, and consistency in communication between employees and management.

  • Management should always adhere to promises (whether they are verbal or written).

  • Don’t blame an individual for accountability.

  • Always prefer one-on-ones with an individual.

  • Be a leader who leads by an example.

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Topics:
agile ,trust ,work life

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