If you are an Agile Development Manager your role has probably changed a good bit from the more traditional Waterfall methodology. It certainly requires a bit adjustment, but if you are able to make the transition, it will certainly help ensure your organization develops and delivers high quality software. Chances are your involvement will change and it will require a different mindset and approach. Here are a few items that will make an Agile Development Manager successful:
- Documentation: Certainly this is a huge change from waterfall. In typical waterfall the documentation is a lot heavier and that includes requirements, test plans, and design documents. Documentation is important and contrary to what you might hear, it is still an important aspect of Agile. I still encourage my team to create a small requirement document for each story and that really helps the developers. As an Agile Development Manager, I encourage you to keep things simple and lean especially around the documentation.
- Collaboration: Collaboration within Agile is extremely important and it is one of the most important elements of developing a high quality product. It is important for the developers to work hand in hand with the BA and QA resources. Collaboration helps to get the best information and gain a solid understanding of the product requirements in order to be able to develop the application more effectively. Where possible, I encourage the developers to sit with the other members of the Agile team.
- Automated Unit Tests: It is important for automated unit tests to occur, but it needs to be done efficiently. Maintaining automated unit tests is expensive so it is important for the Agile Development Manager to take a very close look at the amount of automated unit testing that is developed.
- Level of Involvement: It is important to know what the developers are doing and what is being developed however sometimes it is important to take a back seat not necessary get involved in the nuts and bolts of the daily activities. Chances are high that you will get involved when there are escalations and issues.
- Champion of High Quality Development: It is important that you encourage your team to develop high quality software. This will allow your developers to be more effective and reduce the amount of time they spend on resolving production issues. Sure, it takes more time, but it will save you so much time later on.
I hope this information has been helpful and I encourage you to closely take a look at all of these items so you can become a more effective Agile Development Manager.