Back to all articles

March 6, 2024 - 6 minutes

Mastering Agile Development: Best Practices for Collaborative and Efficient Projects

If you’re looking for the best way to make your next project reach success, you’ve come to the right place.

Ironhack - Changing The Future of Tech Education

As you probably already know, a key part of being a tech professional is the ability to work on a team with many different roles doing their part to help the project get off the ground as quickly as possible with few problems. For example, the back end needs to develop the necessary code structure as the front end comes up with the frameworks for the website; as they move forward, however, they’ll need to be in close communication to ensure that both sides are working towards the same goal. 

This is just one small part of the collaboration required for tech projects; once we add in UX/UI designers, cybersecurity professionals, data specialists, project managers, and even more roles, the need for a succinct and efficient project plan becomes even more apparent. And as tech teams have become increasingly collaborative in recent years, more and more time has been spent on developing the best practices for this kind of teamwork, resulting in, among others, Agile development. 

If you don’t yet know about Agile development, we’re sure it’ll come up soon and that’s why we’ve prepared this article: to help you understand the importance of prioritizing the best practices in group collaboration and how Agile specifically can help transform your team.  

What is Agile Development? 

To properly dive into the best practices in Agile development, we must first understand what Agile development is, how it came to be, and why it plays such a crucial role in the tech atmosphere. A clear way to define Agile practices is to explain how it came to be; as tech companies started seeing their teams growing significantly, it was clear that a better way to organize each individual and their responsibilities and contributions to the project was needed. 

With so many people working on the same project, it was tough to detect and fix errors early on, creating bigger problems later on when problems were identified after the project was almost completed and un-doing the issue required many different professionals to re-do their part. This is exactly why Agile development was introduced. 

If you’re thinking that Agile development slows down the project’s progress, you’d be wrong: the beauty of Agile development is its ability to encourage frequent check-ins through small steps and strong collaboration to solve problems as they arise, instead of waiting until it’s too late. 

You’ve probably heard of ‘sprints’ in the tech world and that’s exactly what Agile development uses to check in on each task before moving deeper into the project. Sprints are short cycles where team members have very specific tasks and before moving on to the next sprint, the team meets to flag any issues and the project is reviewed. 

The benefits of using the Agile methodology are numerous: 

  • You bring quality to the forefront of your product: quality testing is no longer something that’s only present once the product is completed; by testing and evaluating the quality of the product after every sprint, you’ll be working on a superior product that brings more value to the user. 

  • You benefit from increased flexibility: as your team advances throughout the project, new ideas may spring up or a client may request a change. As you’ve working in sprints and having frequent check-ins, you’ll be more flexible with the design and able to incorporate these changes easily. 

  • You will deliver a superior product: the beauty of the Agile methodology is the ability to fix problems as you go and check on the quality during production, helping you deliver an altogether superior product at the end. 

Now that you understand why so many teams and companies are opting for Agile development for their projects, let’s discuss some of the best practices in Agile development for maximum collaboration and efficiency. 

Best Practices in Agile Development

There are a lot of different methods within the umbrella of Agile development and your team will have to meet and decide which works best for your specific task and team members, but take a look at our tips for reaching peak collaboration and efficiency in your upcoming project and find the ones that work best for you. 

Encourage your team to take a leadership role 

Agile development will require a clearly defined action plan and someone to take charge, but you want to encourage individual leadership from your employees, letting them volunteer for certain tasks and taking the initiative to work together to maximize efficiency. Make sure you listen to every member of the team during check-ins and at the end of sprints to see where they’ve run into problems, what solutions they’ve proposed, and where you can be of assistance.

Hold retrospective meetings to discuss what went well--and not so well

It may seem repetitive, but retrospective meetings after each sprint can help everyone come together to understand what the others are working on, what went well, and what areas could use a bit of a tweak in the following sprint. Retrospective meetings also give your team members a chance to suggest changes or handle any conflicts or problems that have arisen without getting in the way of the project’s progress.

Include your client in the majority of discussions 

Your client doesn’t need to know the nitty-gritty of absolutely everything your team is working on, but they should be closely involved with all sprints and planning to both ensure you have the same vision and embrace any changes that they may see fit. Allowing the client to have a more involved role in the project will also help limit the amount of changes they request once the product is already finished. 

Support team members who want to learn new skills 

One of the most incredible aspects of using the Agile methodology is the ability for your team members to gain new and valuable skills that may fall outside of their current role; since it’s so crucial for everyone to work together anyways, encourage team members to explore other areas and obtain new skills that will make them both better tech professionals and more of an asset to your team in the future. 

Be ambitious yet practical with your planning 

Even if you have the world’s best team, you’ll still want to be realistic with your project trajectory; carefully lay out your intended timeline but leave room for unforeseen events such as blockers, client changes, or slower progress than you imagined. It’s easy to shoot for the stars when you have a great methodology like Agile behind you, but it’s best to instead think about preparing for possible road bumps and giving your team the time they need to create truly awesome work. 

Favor in-person or video meetings over chats

Shooting someone a quick message might be the best way to resolve a quick doubt, but in the Agile methodology, it’s best to speak together and give everyone the chance to contribute instead of relying too heavily on messages. Even if your team is remote, try to schedule weekly or even daily meetings over video to ensure everyone’s on the same page and receiving the same information. 

A successful future in Agile development is at your fingertips and if you’re looking to perfect the art of collaboration in tech, our newest bootcamp in DevOps & Cloud Computing is exactly what you need. 

Ready to take the tech world by storm? We’re waiting for you. 

Related Articles

Recommended for you

Ready to join?

More than 10,000 career changers and entrepreneurs launched their careers in the tech industry with Ironhack's bootcamps. Start your new career journey, and join the tech revolution!