The Agile Team is a group of individuals that take part in the Agile software development process. The positions vary depending on which type of Agile methodology is being used, but I will describe some of the more common team positions. One of these necessary positions is the Product Owner. This individual is usually the manager of the requirements backlog(discussed later in this post). He or she is responsible for interpreting and delineating the product requirements in the backlog. The Product owner decides what needs to be done in each sprint, and instructs the teams. In Scrum, one of the more popular Agile methods, there is the Scrum Master. This individual is the facilitator, he or she enforces what few rules there are in the Agile methodology , and works to keep the development process smooth and progressive. Then there are the team members, a group that consists of a variety of professionals that are necessary to the development process. These individuals are collocated, which means they are ideally working together with face-to-face contact. The developers, testers, and other team members collaborate during each sprint, instead of working in separate locations and never truly discussing the development process while it is happening. This is one of the important differences between traditional development methods and the Agile development methodology (Williams, 2012).
The backlog is one of the most important aspects of the Agile software development methodology. It is a list that contains all features and changes that need to be made to the product. The one characteristic that is shared among all the items is that they all need to add value for the customer. These items can be user stories, or actual features that need to be coded. The list is written with the highest priority items on the top, and can be updated and modified throughout the development process. Next to each item, is the estimate of how much time that item will take to complete. The backlog can also contain tasks that are indirectly related to the product development but are still necessary. An example is the updating of software on the machines used to create the product. The product owner is responsible for grooming the backlog, so the team can always trust that the backlog contains simply what needs to be done. The product owner does this by changing the priority of the tasks, adding new tasks that are discovered, and even deleting tasks that are no longer deemed necessary (Meso et al., 2006).
Here is an illustration of Agile team roles compared to traditional team roles.
This is an example of a Scrum Product Backlog.
Williams, L.(2012). What Agile Teams Think of Agile Principles. Communications of the ACM, 55(4), 71-76. doi:10.1145/2133806.2133823
Meso, P., & Jain, R. (2006). Agile Software Development: Adaptive Systems Principles and Best Practices. Information Systems Management, 23(3), 19-30
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