Agile: Breaking old habits can prove more difficult than you think.

Teams can’t become agile overnight. Breaking old habits can prove more difficult than you think.

Teams making the transition to Agile for project management need a way to get more done using the same amount of people and resources. Transitioning teams from non-Agile to Agile can be tricky, especially if the team isn’t used to working in such a way. Although project managers need ways to improve the quality of their deliverables, breaking old habits can prove more difficult than you think.

Going Agile for a team usually entails at least some level of process adaptation. Taking a process from inside someone’s mind and building a visual project plan takes work, but once it is done, teams can begin catching on by seeing how the current process actually works and taking steps to adapt that process. Teams that regularly collaborate on how to improve the way they work are able to overcome the challenges of working within the confines of a process because they end up deciding how (and if) that process is working for their particular business need.

To build an effective team, Agile project managers must constantly practice and reinforce effective communication. Getting feedback early and often is a cornerstone of Agile project management, so being an effective communicator is important for management and individuals to ensure the customer is getting exactly what is needed – nothing more and nothing less. Getting a deliverable in front of a customer early helps teams learn more about purpose behind what they are developing so they can do it better.

It is easy to assume that others know what you know or that others will communicate it for you. It is even easier to assume that your communication was effective. Similarly, it is easy for others to assume you know what they meant to say, even though they never actually said it.