• People


It is the people who make the difference between success and failure. This is true for all work disciplines and all development methodologies but it is especially true for being successful in Agile.

Ownership and commitment
The first line of the Agile manifesto says: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Practice has shown that in organizations that highly depend on processes, individuals stop thinking and hide behind the process. Agile has recognized this and made people more important than the process. There is only very little process in Agile/scrum, instead ownership and commitment by the individuals in the team are important factors for success.

To be successful in Agile, people need to understand the rules of the game. The most important rule in Agile is: be flexible. The product needs to be flexible to follow the changing demands of the business. The team needs to be flexible to constantly adapt to the ever changing demands on the product. To be flexible, people require the right skills and attitude.

Team first
Scrum teams are small so every team member is important. There is no place for hiding. A good team is more valuable than the sum of the individuals. To achieve this, the individuals need to put aside their egos in favor of the team and be honest and open towards each other. Giving and receiving feedback in a professional and constructive way is an important skill.

Team effort
Traditionally organizations think in silo’s. This is especially the case when it concerns testing. When a bug is found in production, often the testers are blamed; ‘they missed it during testing’. In Agile the whole team is responsible for creating a high quality product. There is no place for ‘us and them’. This requires that everyone steps out of his silo and supports each other. To be able to do this, the people need to acquire knowledge outside their own field of expertise.

Levels and check points for people

The levels for People are typified as follows:

  • Forming: People are motivated
  • Norming: People embrace changes in the product
  • Performing: People initiate process changes

Please find the checkpoints below.

1. People are well trained and/or experienced in their functions
2. People are willing to put in extra effort when needed (commitment)
3. People can explain their value in the project context
4. People take full responsibility for their work
1. People understand project (management) terminology and know the purpose of the different meetings
2. Scrum master keeps track of the process
3. Scrum master removes roadblocks outside the team
4. People have a positive attitude towards change
1. People proactively provide feedback
2. People know how to handle feedback and use the feedback to improve
3. People are able to help with tasks outside their main area of expertise (T-shaping)