Agile Software Development: A Collaborative Mindset

By: Margaret Wood 04/04/2023 11:217 PM

Agile’s popularity and acceptance for software development have increased exponentially due to its emphasis on how programmers collaborate. By applying their respective skill sets, team members can be flexible and define approaches before testing; the end product is deemed more robust and functional. Agile software development is most successful in those environments that foster cohesiveness.

Centered on iterative progression, software development teams often use the Agile framework and mindset to collaborate and develop project requirements. The Agile Software Development Manifesto describes the base values for Agile software development: Agile framework and mindset to collaborate.

  • Customer collaboration takes precedence over contract negotiation
  • Functioning software trumps comprehensive documentation
  • Interactions and individuals have precedent over processes and tools
  • Timely response to changes has precedent vs. following a plan

Agile Planning for Roadmaps and Backlogs

Software development positions require code writing for front-end, back-end, and mobile apps. Developers have a multitude of frameworks and libraries from which to choose.
The Agile software development process begins with discussions of goals, priorities, and requirements with the product owner, the development team, and other stakeholders. Several collaboration capabilities are built into Agile tools like Jira, Azure DevOps, and Asana that facilitate communication.

Innovative software solutions typically require multiple planning sprints. As part of the process, stakeholders need visibility into the roadmap and release plan to effectively plan digital transformation change activities, i.e., employee training and marketing for customer-facing applications.

If software development teams only have backlogs for one or two sprints, it becomes challenging to plan and organize planning meetings and is less productive for remote development teams.

Best Practices Develop Sound Solutions

One of the key elements for remote teams is not just learning but also sharing information.

Sharing with software development teams and applying what’s learned stimulates an organization’s growth. Encourage learning, experimenting, and knowledge sharing. Help your teams stay connected and reinforce an always-learning culture.

Groups that engage in these best practices develop architecturally sound solutions, have more time to engage stakeholders and work through dependencies.

Here are some ideas:

  • When teammates complete courses, encourage them to present a virtual update to the entire software development team on what was learned and how they can apply it.
  • Explore learning opportunities in Agile, data science, DevOps, or cloud certifications.
  • Choose one software development team to conduct an Agile POC (Proof of Concept) of their choice and share the findings with other software development teams once a month.
  • Review future features ordered by the product owner; create spikes on the backlog to test new technologies or validate implementation options.

Benefits of an Outside-in Culture

Software developers are problem solvers, innovators, and craftspeople. Different implementation options often lead to new capabilities; high-quality deployments are more important than speed.

Here are just three benefits when adopting an outside-in culture.

  • Maintain a health-first mindset (e.g., flexible schedules, good ergonomics, breaks, and create a culture that promotes digital sharing.
  • Avoid digital distractions and remain visible on collaboration tools.
  • Focus on the obstacles and allow “in the zone” developers to miss meetings if possible.

Development teams seeking outside advice and opinions gain insights into innovative brainstorming and solution-building that can be applied to broader challenges. They learn best practices and can take advantage of other people’s ideas and solutions to overcome remote working challenges. creating a healthier workplace culture and promoting collaboration and the importance of teamwork. 


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