One of the primary concerns of project leads and management is the dynamics of the team itself. It stand as a priority higher than process, higher than tools, and above technology too. You could give a strong team stone tablets and they could get more done than a team with bad dynamics with the latest, greatest, fastest computers and technology.
Not to rule out the process, I'll cover that a bit further in this entry also. Right on the heels of the team dynamic, is the priority for a good tight, understood and effective process. A team with a good process can bring in new members with a minimal amount of down time, can integrate new features and changes in direction without excess interuption, and can produce in a smooth, consistent, confident manner.
With these two topics mentioned, I'll break them down now and dilineate the specifics of each. I might launch into a little bragging about my current team too, so brace for my regular dose of brash reality.
Process, Yeah, Agile
I have to mention up front, we don't really do real Agile in the sense the originators intended. There are still deadlines, features, and other things that are strictly associated to more traditional processes like Waterfall. However we're still in the process of becoming manueverable in the face of Agile Adoption. To be able to get ahead, behind, and make the appropriate changes the scheduling of projects is absolutely necessary for Agile Adoption AND for the full advantages of Agile to be realized.
This is where I have to start bragging. I've been around to several major companies that have started Agile Adoption, which I'll leave unnamed, that aren't making good headway. Us at WebTrends however are making good strides of progress. Each team has been able to even push ahead with their adoption further if they feel comfortable doing so. This is where point 2 of bragging comes in. I'm really digging the team I'm with as we are definitely pushing ahead with Agile Processes, we have room to improve of course, but we're working hard to lead the process initiative as best we can.
Adopting Agile is by no means an easy task even for teams that work well together and have the aforementioned team dynamics.