I talk to a lot of people who struggle with getting the value out of their development teams that they expect, especially when they move to an Agile and Scrum-based approach. And I have four tips for you that might help.

The first thing is making sure that the business and the development team are speaking the same language, so everyone knows what we expect to deliver. And using something like user stories is a great way to do that. So, for example, as a shopper, I want to search for products so I can find something that I can buy and then include some additional details about what exactly that means.

The second one is making sure that everyone is focused on business value through the entire product backlog. And so, we want to focus our stories on, how are we going to deliver something to the customer? We want to avoid stories that talk about implementing the database or implementing the API or business layer. We always want it to be customer focused.

The third piece of advice is focus on priorities. Because we can’t get any time back, it’s critically important that we build the most important functionality first. I like to tell folks, “Don’t worry about the login page yet. Let’s build the piece of the product that everybody is going to use all day, every day. Let’s make sure we nail that down and then we can worry about the things such as the login page.”

The fourth point is making sure that you’re using some sort of estimating process so you can drive a schedule. It’s really important to know that if you want to ship something in six months that the team doesn’t have 12 months worth of work to do. So this ties into the prioritization as well but using something such as story points and velocity to figure out how fast the team is moving that you can then use to predict a schedule is super important.

If you’d like more help or advice, feel free to reach out to us. We’d be more than happy to spend some time with you in a free consultation.

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