What Can Business People Learn from Developers That Work in Agile Teams?

Part 2: Quality of Teamwork

Daily stand-up meetings

Daily stand-up meetings are essential for our collaboration, specifically for shared dependencies among team members or between teams. They keep teams connected and everyone well informed. However, we want to avoid unnecessary meeting marathons. In our development teams, three key questions are answered within our daily stand-up meetings: (i) what did I do yesterday? (ii) what am I doing today? (iii) and where am I blocked and where do I need support? In this way, we create transparency and synchronize each other as good as possible. Continuous exchange with your team on a day-to-day level prevents blockages and promotes problem-solving, which makes us faster in consequence. So where is a daily stand up beneficial? The goal is to minimize meeting time and to maximize productive time, meaning that we meet where the highest complexity is in place.

Backlog & Sprint Board: Creating transparency

Instead of everyone managing their own issues according to their own methodology, the key is to have a single source of truth. Team project management software like Jira shows dependencies and facilitates communication. It helps us to create transparency across teams and several stakeholders and lets us know in which stage (doing, testing, done etc.) a ticket is and who is responsible for it.

Create a common understanding of requirements and goals

Goals need to be specifically defined to achieve them. That is why our product development teams have committed to two very important definitions, building the “Yin” and “Yang” of agile requirements engineering: Definition of Ready and Definition of Done. The Definition of Ready determines when a user story is sufficiently formulated and can be scheduled into our iteration. Later in the process, the Definition of Done defines when a task is completed and can be closed. Both, Definition of Done and Definition of Ready, are specified individually and maintained regularly by each team.

Clear role and team structure

There are clear structures, roles and responsibilities in our software engineering teams. In addition to that, we have learned that small teams with up to eight members are the most productive and communication is best ensured. As a rule of thumb, we use Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’ two-pizza rule: a team should only have as many members as can be satisfied by two pizzas.

“Hire for attitude, train for skills”

In addition to that, we work according to the Inspect & Adapt principle: in regular cadences, we openly challenge the status quo and adjust as needed. Porsche Digital shares a mindset of mutual learning and improvement, empowering teams to follow their passion. We hire new team members based on our guiding principles to make sure they fit culturally into our organization. This is also reflected in our motto “Hire for attitude, train for skills”.

Sarah Ouis
Robert Wegele

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Next Level German Engineering: Where innovation meets tradition. The Porsche technology hub to create tomorrow.

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