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Why we must always work as teams, not as individuals

22 August 2016

Tamma Rajkumar Manda
Wells Fargo

We often preach that face-to-face communication is one of the primary values of Agile and that interaction is the key to success. However, we often fail to follow through on those values, and then we blame Agile for the failure that results. We must understand that Agile is not a quick medicine that cures all ailments. If we don't practice it in its truest sense, then we will get unexpected outcomes.

In real-life implementation, I have frequently seen this as a major challenge between DevOps and QA. QA can be unwilling to talk to Dev before raising defects; their opinion is that they may become convinced by the developers' reasoning and end up simply not raising the defects they find. Hang on — are we really working for quality here? For their part, I have seen developers say that QA is misunderstanding the problem and not raising a true defect at all. Everyone has a case to support their reaction, and everyone can complain.

All this can be sorted out by doing one simple thing: follow the process. Now, it is rightly said that Agile is easy to understand and difficult to implement. But we must watch out for the real tendency, at least among some, to want to prove they have the upper hand or in the right. We must remember that Agile is not about individuals; it's all about the team.

If we see these kinds of scenarios, we must act upon them immediately. Otherwise, they get out of hand and even constructive feedback is of no use, which defeats the purpose of inspecting and adapting.

I'm not trying to claim that all teams have this problem. But I do want to say that we must work to remember not to bring individual behavior in the execution pattern. If we truy follow Agile principles, that will do the job. Let’s practice Agile in the true sense to its fruits; there is no partial or half Agile. In my experience, I have witnessed that Agile never has failed; instead, we have made it a failure.

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