The best practices to increase resilience

We already know how agile teams need to be capable to find a solution when a problem comes up. Lately, with all that chaos outside, one term that has been increasingly used is: the adoption of resilience. This term can be very similar to the agile culture. Resilience is defined as the capability of recovery from difficulties. Operational resilience is defined by Forbes as part of a company culture that has to do with your ability to recover quickly from events that would seek to disrupt your day-to-day operations.

As agilistas, we are looking to find the best ways to make our job and take our team to the top. Some people think -and it is ok - that finding solutions to the problems is just about resolving them. But what we have to learn is about practices. Or even more specifically: finding habits that will help us during all the situations and not just for a specific problem.

I want to share with you some incredible practices that will help you and your team to be more resilient.

Finding the bottlenecks.

One of the most obvious practices we have to implement in our day-to-day operation is to discover what is impeding our team from fast deliveries, and from improvement. You need to find the bottlenecks. But how you will do it? Toggl track defines the next points as awareness points to detect bottlenecks:

  • People waiting on others
  • Work piling up on anyone’s desk
  • Missing project deadlines
  • Inaccurate estimates
  • Errors in communication

Sometimes we think that solving a superficial problem will end all our problems without noticing that all the problems come from another bigger one. Find those bottlenecks will not just increase your efficiency, this will help you to stop the problem from the root.

The best solution is to always keep a record of what you find out while solving problems. These problems will always come back in one way or another. But if we are aware of them it will decrease the way it affects our work. You can track them during your daily scrum or discuss them during retrospectives.

Bottleneck signals

Sometimes the biggest mistake we can incur is not to share the information. But remember that all the team needs to know what is going on. If the team knows the goal, the goal becomes the expectation for all the team. This will increase your engagement because everyone will feel committed, every team will make their best to achieve that goal. Even better this will generate a sense of belonging that you are looking for your team.

One of the best ways to maintain the team informed about the team progress is by keeping that information on the same platform. For instance, Atlassian created a central page of information to maintain the team informed about the current COVID situation. You can do the same with all the information that your team needs to keep in mind. This for sure will help you to increase transparency and will save you a lot of time because it wouldn’t be necessary that a person answer the same question constantly.

Avoid micromanagement

Micromanagement can be perceived by the team as weak leadership. Micromanagement can be the result of a leader that is trying to control all the team and wants to see every detail of the progress. Keeping in mind the last point, we need to remove Micromanagement from our team. The micromanagement can create delays for the team when the same person takes the decision. And it has the same solution. Keep the team informed about the follow-up of the project. You can make a very specific ticket on Confluence that will maintain the team on the same channel and the current tasks, avoiding that some member keeps control of the entire process.

Take breaks

The disruption of work is very important. Keep the team working all-day will conclude in a waste of time and money. The lack of recovery is costing $63.2 billion a year to the companies. For teleworkers, it can be very difficult to separate work from their personal life if we also include long periods of work we are creating a bad environment where our members can become workaholic which is totally opposite to resilience. On HBR article, they talk about how to overwhelm a person with work will incur the loss of productivity. Why? Because our members will be thinking about work all time and even if he doesn’t have to work all day. Provoking lees efficiency on their tasks because of mental fatigue. Rest is part of resilience.

Be sure to establish a schedule and be aware to follow it. Respect the free time of employees and even you can encourage them to have free time with the team to increase communication and engagement.

Stability - priority works

As an agile team we need a backlog to work, but sometimes have an accurate backlog is hardest. You need to learn to define the task based on what you know about the progress of your team. But furthermore, you need to keep stability on those tasks. If the teams are constantly changing their goals, you are causing not just a waste of time but members working more than they have to. As human beings, we can't make more than one task at the same time because we lose focus on one of them. So if you are trying that your teamwork in the backlog but you are constantly changing, the number of problems that will appear will be endless.

With Scrum Poker you can make accurate estimates and define your tasks with more efficiency. Check [here] for more information.

Psychological Safety

This one is to implement on your team feedback and encourage communication. If the team feels comfortable working with the team all the other problems can decrease. Talk with your team about what is going wrong with their work, make videoconference to be aware of the progress, talk about the problems with the deliveries, and find a solution is just a few ideas about how you can make the team feel physiologically safe.

Resilience is an ability very important for agile teams. I can say that is very close to the agile methodologies concepts and implement it will encourage an improvement culture. Resilience also can help us to be aware of the wellbeing of our team that after all is our most important responsibility.

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