What Do I Do When My Team Goes Agile?

Agile methods are pretty clear about what ScrumMasters, developers, testers, UX designers do on a team, but a lot of other people start to worry when the Agile train arrives in town!

The people who tend to get nervous are:

  • Project Managers
  • Technical Architects
  • Database Admins / Experts

and other people who are not 100% committed to the team full time. These people start to worry a little about how they are going to fit in to the new order. My top tips are:

  • Get involved
  • Teach

Get Involved

You should push hard to be involved. This usually entails going to stand-ups, planning sessions, retrospectives, reviews etc. If you are committed to multiple teams then get to as many of these events as you can. It will benefit you in several ways:

  • You will know what is going on
  • You will know who is doing what
  • You will build relationships
  • You will feel part of the team
  • The team will feel that you are part of the team!

Possibly more important than attending any of the above ceremonies is thinking about where you sit. If you are a DBA physically sitting in a DBA team, it will be difficult for another team to think of you as one of their own. Take the opportunity to spend time sitting with the team you want to build a relationship with. That might mean you need more than one desk. Desks are cheap.

Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory have written a great book on Agile Testing which focusses heavily on getting involved!


If you supply a niche expert skill to a team (project management, architecture, security consultancy, DBA etc), then you should consider teaching and coaching others in your skill. Generally technical experts are over-worked and over-burdened with requests and decisions that could be dealt with by others if they had a little bit more knowledge. Teams tend to make good decisions and know the limits of their decision making capabilities. Teach them to fish! In addition to reducing your workload you will gain increased respect and kudos from the rest of your organisation as a guru in your field!

Nick is the CEO of McKenna Consultants Ltd, based in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, UK. Nick is 1 of only 7 Certified Scrum Coaches in the UK. McKenna Consultants are a professional team of computer programmers delivering the highest quality software specialising in a broad range of technologies for windows, web-based and mobile applications, including apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android and Windows Mobile. McKenna Consultants also deliver Agile coaching, consultancy and training to organisations of all sizes. For more information on the services that Nick and McKenna Consultants provide, please visit: https://www.mckennaconsultants.com/


Further Reading: