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Is your development team fragmented between development and management tasks?  Does your development team have predictable time each iteration dedicated to development and testing?  Does your development team have at least one developer committed to actual development?

Get your Development Team developing!

Enterprises that are accustomed to longer delivery cycles often find serious challenges evolving to an agile development practice.  Cultural habits are hard to break, yet these same habits are what limits an organization’s ability to produce true agile results. Many large organizations are accustomed to many meetings, a serious detriment to focusing on delivering value. A development team needs the ability to focus on the actual development tasks. Planning meetings after planning meetings delay this focus.  The quicker the developer can get to developing, the sooner the customer can see value and provide feedback!  A development team with one full time developer that’s committed to the project is more valuable than 2 developers who are committed part-time and are juggling multiple projects and multiple deadlines.  Fragmentation kills productivity.  So do meetings.  If you do not have at least one full-time developer that is solely focused on the backlog, find a way to make that happen.  To ensure your team is able to deliver value in a predictable manner, make sure that your team’s development time is consistent.  Protect the developers time, and make sure they can focus on producing value.

A development team is only as valuable as their productivity.  Consider refocusing your developer’s efforts by removing unproductive status meetings.  If you don’t have a full-time developer committed to full-time development efforts (greater than 85% utilization) find a way to make that happen.  An agile team’s primary focus is delivering value to a customer.  By assigning (and protecting) actual full-time resources to that goal you will be able to better deliver value as well as more effectively address feedback while also balancing a continual delivery of backlog items.

(Original article appeared in June 17th 2015 edition of The Tempo)

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