- Do you know who your customer(s) are and what job they are trying to get done?
- Is what you are doing right now helping them accomplish that job?
- Do you have the right people on your team and are they able to communicate frequently and effortlessly?
- Is the team able to do the work they need to without undue obstruction or influence from those outside the team?
- Are you able to frequently collect meaningful feedback and adjust your actions based on that feedback?
You can consider this a list of healthy behaviors that all teams should exhibit regardless of methodology, yet heavily influenced by agile and lean thinking. I chose to word them in the form of questions so that the list can be used as a quick diagnostic for the team to see if they are moving in the right direction or if something has gone off the rails.
The hardest part of putting this list together was keeping it to five items. There are of course many other good quick lists of things to remember, such as the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, the Principles behind the Agile Manifesto, Ron Jeffries’ list of key Agile Ideas, and the Seven Principles of Lean Software Development. These are all great lists of things to remember, and I encourage you to learn all of them and think about how they apply to your situation.
When I put this list together, I chose to focus on the key aspects I believe are important for a team of people to work together to deliver value. Most of the items on these other lists support, or follow as a result of doing the five items in this list well.
I should also note that these are five items I focus on right now when working with teams based on what I see teams struggle with. Ask me a year from now, and the list may be different, which makes me think I should add a sixth – Is the team continuously learning? But I was asked for five, so maybe next time around.
What do you think?