When it first emerged, the agile scrum methodology set a new vision for solving common people-software challenges. Agile teams turned the project management world upside down. The iterative process for building digital products used by agile development teams turned out so good that experts started using the agile methodology in 71 % of the cases. But soon after the initial enthusiasm, the agile scrum team structure started exposing its weaknesses.
Project managers were still heavily concentrated on delivering. They often forgot to factor in human behavior and the impact of the organizational ecosystem on rigid project structures.
It became obvious that, in the unpredictable digital world that’s growing in size and complexity, the simple linear, downfall work hierarchies simply didn’t work anymore. Along with showing the greatest potential, the reputation of agile scrum teams started chipping away.
Agile Scrum Team Structure: Project Goals and Product Delivery vs. Process
A common obstacle for agile development teams or for any other type of digital product is placing a heavy emphasis on the final product delivery.
No one can really blame you for that. After all, you want to make a piece of software, create excellent content, or build a mobile app that is set to compensate for the dedicated long hours.
The agile scrum team structure didn’t quite remove the equal sign between “product” and “project process”.
However, they did instill a new life into the product development lifecycle. The basic idea behind the agile team structure was to encourage:
- Dense team structure
- Work in close proximity
- Sharing the same physical space
Agile team structures brought everyone on board in very tight team connections.
Agile Team Structure Done Right
Everyone on the team, including business people and developers, actively interacts by:
- Implementing continuous feedback into the final goal
- Capitalizing on the solid team cohesion
- Reaping benefits from team mentoring, role clarity, and clean processes
- Exercising a constant trial and error process
- Immediate decision-making to keep the process moving forward
- Reliance on fruitful information flow to make decisions.
- There is heavy experimenting.
The agile scrum team structure is about what people bring into projects and products, and not the other way around.
What Buying Apples Has to Do with Agile Scrum Project Methodology
“This fluctuating decision-making process reminds me of a recent purchase I wanted to make, says Manuel Pistner, the CEO of Flash Hub.
“I was on my way to grab some coffee before an important meeting. There was a nice stand with organic apples that cost $2.34 per pound. I just realized I was hungry. Should I spend the $5 I had on me? Will I manage the meeting on time? I juggled between several unexpected decisions.
I wanted to do everything in less than a minute. Also, I wanted to get rid of the small change in my pockets and avoid carrying the apples with me. The point was to buy as many apples as I could eat at the moment. The reason was I had to walk a few more blocks.
If I asked the person seeling the apples to measure the right amount for $5, I would have turned into the pain-in-the-butt customer.
Therefore, I had to let go of some of my needs and expectations. I ended up with some coins in my pocket.
This tiny balancing act took only a few seconds. But it was a useful small-scale analogy to frequent dilemmas agile scrum teams face.”
Virtual Team Work: #1 Obstacle in the Agile Scrum Team Structure
Although agile teams self-organize, they still need to stick to some workflow.
As remote work became a growing factor of importance for digital products, agile scrum teams got face to face with new dilemmas, such as:
- Physical restrictions
- Process dynamics, and
- Too much accent on the “here and now” mentality.
All these factors started making problems.
They interfered with language barriers, organizational culture, and talent distance.
It’s almost impossible to maintain a typical agile scrum team structure when your best iOS developers located in Hyderabad do their best work at 10 am while you are dozing in a heavy sleep in the wee hours somewhere in Western Europe.
Agile development teams do motivate. They are dynamic, responsive, and create bite-sized digestible goals for team members.
But a common dilemma for agile teams is that they fail to respond to the quickened pace of today’s virtual work.
Today’s clients ask for fully-managed services from expert teams and they want them now.
6 Reasons Why Conventional Agile Team Structure on Remote Teams Fails
Most agile teams today work remotely. For remote teams, the following agile scrum team dilemmas show up:
1. Ineffective Synchronization
Team members lack the time to synchronize across the team as they are located in timezones that are hours apart.
2. Multiple Projects Handled by the Same Organization
Many digital organizations manage more than one, often several remote teams working on different products.
3. Too Much Attention on Workflows
Remote agile teams tend to lean toward workflows. This can disregard people’s impact.
4. Localization vs. Globalization Issues
Factors concerning geography that have been dormant while they worked locally creep up and affect the agile scrum team structure.
5. Scattered Goals
A developer working on a remote agile team constantly explores new ways of doing things by keeping the final goal in mind. Each member’s personal goals get scattered across multiple geographically-dispersed projects.
6. Lack of Common Goal and Drive
And when the individual steak is of low value, members tend to lose resolve and dedication.
Instead of providing healthy limits, the agile scrum team structures can become a burden for remote workers.
Agile Scrum Team Structure Statistics
This over-structuring is one of the main reasons why there is a clash of agile culture and business philosophies in modern organizations.
That is also a key reason why the U.S government lost over $32 billion on failed IT projects in 2017.
Nonetheless, agile projects are still 2 times more likely to succeed than waterfall projects. Improvements with flash teams are one way to do that.
Agile Team Dilemmas in Remote Companies
Large organizations get sluggish. They cannot manage agile teams easily. Becoming lethargic, they lack the resources to gather fully-managed teams in a short time in order to implement fast-track changes.
Prespecified plans and strict product roadmaps turn into obstacles for team members.
On the other hand, people are not without faults, too.
The 4 Most Common People Problems on Agile Development Teams
Here are the people-related problems you can face when working remotely on agile teams:
- People are irrational and often led by motives you cannot detect with computer algorithms. You cannot always assume their next step.
- Most people adjust their behavior depending on the interaction they have with the environment. They are opportunistic.
- People learn and grow. Your agile development team lead can grow their current role and look for something more challenging.
- Team members can unexpectedly leave a project and jump to a new one. You won’t have enough time to gather your forces and find a replacement.
You need to be constantly prepared to absorb the hit in order to stay on track.
Instead of building team cohesion, remote agile teams often fall apart. People make errors of judgment: they are fickle.
How to Address People Problems in the Agile Scrum Team Structure
Have you ever tried to post a job on a remote work platform? Have you used a freelance hub? Then you know how difficult it is to scale a high-performing on-demand agile team from the global crowd of experts.
There are just too many boxes that require your attention.
A workflow set in stone can never predict all risks, contingencies, and outcomes.
The remote work world flooded with human unpredictability requires flexible goals and adapting to processes as they happen.
An adaptable agile scrum team structure works more effectively than the one with rules and processes set in stone.
This is why we created flash teams.
Working Remotely with Fully-managed Remote Teams
Agile teams are adapting. They leave some of the rules of process and physical closeness requirements in the past to encompass global workforce resources and measure up to the expanding client requirements.
With flash teams, the importance of projects, products, and processes extends to people even further.
5 Benefits of Hiring a Flash Team for Your Agile Project
Here is why expert flash teams are the future of remote work. They help you create:
1. On-demand, on-screen agile team structure.
Flash teams are based on computational crowdsourcing. Instead of relying on closeness and face-to-face communication, team members share and get familiar with each other in the online space.
2. Redesigned workflows.
Strict workflows inhibit team members in finding new solutions. For example, a developer who doesn’t follow a strict workflow can implement a new feature idea into an application only because he is not bound by pre-specified workflow rules. In contrast, flash teams bring an adjustable organizational structure.
3. Urgent task prioritizing.
When time is running out, the specific agile structure allows remote teams to choose key tasks and collaborate until the work is done.
4. Fewer business process mistakes.
There is a lack of constraints from workflows, structure, and processes that must be followed to the letter. Hence, flash teams are capable to amend key deliverables before it is too late. They quickly notice mistakes and act upon them.
5. Fully-managed expert help.
- Are role-based and adaptable. They set informal deadlines and adjust them when needed without losing on opportunities only because they have to stick to a strict product roadmap.
- Solve the biggest crowdsourcing problem. Flash teams allow for members to revise previously set rules in light of new emergent opportunities.
- Evolve along with the environment. They don’t only survive but thrive and respond to the ever-changing circumstances of the product development lifecycle.
- Get things done faster. You can restructure your agile team under 48 hours.
Flash Hub’s can help you find obstacles in the agile team structure and build an amazing digital product with your own flash team.
There is no need to hire an HR professional to handpick members. We do it for you.
Are you ready to leave HR hassles in the past and get your vetted, fully-managed expert team? Flash Hub is waiting for you.
Further Reading about Agile Development Teams:
- How to Build a Kick-ass Agile Team
- Success Rates Rise: Transforming the High Cost of Low Performance
- Think Globally, Code Locally: The Secret to Remote Teams
- Business Agile and the Future of Project Management
- Agile Project Success and Failure (The Story of the FBI Sentinel Program)
- Expert Crowdsourcing with Flash Teams
- No Workflow Can Ever Be Enough: How Crowdsourcing Workflows Constrain Complex Work
- Unleashing the Power of Small, Independent Teams
- Get Things Done With Smaller Teams