Agile is known for speeding up product deliverables by grouping and prioritization. However, quick deliverables may introduce variations and issues, which may not be resolvable due to time constraints. This is a common issue in many organizations.

Here is how scrum agile gets around it.

Retros

Retrospectives are an excellent platform for team members to voice constructive feedback. There are different ways of doing this, but the main themes should be: what went well; what didn't go well; what to add and what to remove. This step allows the team members to participate, think about solutions and most importantly, implement it as well - very empowering.

Retro space

A section on the scrum wall, allocated to improvements. Encourage team members to post ideas as and when they come or incidents happen. This enables you to capture fresh ideas in action. While scheduled retros are good, you don't want to miss ideas when they happen.

Sprint planning and estimation

When you fail to plan, you plan to fail. The planning session is to walk through the upcoming stories in the next sprint and provide an opportunity to foresee any issues, as a team. When done regularly and with active participation, the team will become adept at identifying dependencies, missing requirements and other items that may not have been obvious before.

Sprint grooming

This session is to take a deep dive into each story planned for the sprint and peel all the layers before developing it. This platform allows the team members to uncover all the requirements to a stage where they should be ready to start coding once they pick up the story, cause they have identified all the tasks they need to do. Again, when done right, this adds another dimension to the planning, minimizing the unforeseen issues later.

Daily stand-ups

While generic meetings have gathered notoriety for not accomplishing anything, stand-ups have a very specific format that is targeted towards understanding status and blockers of each individual. "What I did yesterday, what I will do today, what blockers do I have". Interactions are regarding tickets or requirements on the scrum board. Any topic not on the scrum board, is discussed as an offline conversation, or at the discretion of the entire team. Generally, if it is not on the board, you shouldn't be working on it.

Regardless of the ceremonies, the key is to communicate and create an environment that encourages communication. Knowing the problems that exist and identifying the ones that can and cannot be resolved, saves time from re-inventing the wheel. Whilst it is hard to tell if all problems will have a solution, acknowledging and supporting the team through rough times, will give the team the passion to work well.

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