All you need to know for building a successful agile software development team

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The secret of building agile software development team is all about teamwork, but how to turn management philosophy into practice? We will show you some tips.

Obviously, every business nowadays works around projects. In which, project management tends to be one of the dilemmas, that confuses many firms’ leaders. In particular, software development company requires comprehensive collaboration among team members, which consists of massive integrated parts that need to follow up synchronously.

Especially with software outsourcing projects, while development teams and clients might stand on different pages, the appropriate methodology will be the first priority. In fact, only 54% of practiced projects were favorable in leverage the knowledge, skills, techniques, and tools to gratify clients.

In the modern art of project management, Agile methodology tends to be one of the most popular methods that promise more flexibility and efficiency to the software development company. In 2016, 94% of companies across several industries had applied agile into their projects, which claimed to double the possibility of a successful project. This article tries to access the way of forming a successful agile IT team in the context of software outsourcing development.

An intro to agile software development team: What is agile development methodology?

In the IT industry, two popular project management methods indicate the distinction in contemplation between two generations. While the Waterfall model represents the brains of the 20th century, Agile is the current and future of software development teams.

Waterfall software development

Traditional project management methodology is commonly known as the Waterfall model, developed in the 1970s. Waterfall model proposes a linear approach to managing progression, including collecting requirements specification, design, implementation, verification, and maintenance.

  • Collecting requirements specification: The initial stage covers the requirements to a design stage. In which, the software development team will spend time to clearly define the input and output of the final software.
  • Design: At the end of this step, the system requirement specification (SRS) has effectively created based on the requirements collected in the previous stage.
  • Implementation: in this stage, each system will be divided into small programs or units. Each unit is developed and tested to make sure users do not suffer any problem.
  • Verification: When testing is done, the final software version will be released into the market. 
  • Maintenance: After installation, parts or the whole system can be modified in this stage. The software development company will provide maintenance services as client requirements.

The basic principle of this model focus on a planning stage, which requires roundly half of the project’s capacity. Development company applying Waterfall method will invest 40% of budget and effort on planning and specification development. Additionally, they will not start any other stage until the previous stage done.

In fact, the methodology followed Waterfall model refers to clear but simple. Critical judgment claimed that this model incurs additional cost and time due to inflexibility in timely product adjustment follow current market trends.

Agile software development

On the contrary with Waterfall software development, Agile has several dominances that is believed to generate more benefit for the software outsourcing company in both reduce cost and operation time. The modern approach of Agile was officially supported in a conference of a group of software development professionals in 2001. This idea emphasized the flexibility and collaboration efficiency, which takes the harmonious relationship among development team members into account.

While an agile software development team shares the same value and principle, there is no absolute recipe for the agile process. Agile implies an iterative approach, generated various mini-project, which can be done simultaneously. Commonly, projects follow agile methodology practices four fundamental stages in forming a software development team:


Project managers take the heart position in this stage, who expected to provide mentoring and guidance in preventing potential confusion. Whereas, responsibilities corresponding with each role will be well-defined.


This phase allows team members to comprehend each other and select the appropriate communication method in collaboration. The teams need to be regularly training to build trust and understanding among team members.


The Agile software development team moves into the Normalizing phase when each member comprehensively understands other teammates’ works. In which, the stable relationship has already set up in the team, helping members working in an optimized way.


The stable relationship has already set up in the team that minimizes conflicts and boost the overall performance. This phase can be said as the development team gets mature. in which, they optimize efficiency to reduce working time and operational cost.


Different frameworks on agile methodology

Agile refers to a fundamental term for modern project management frameworks. Obviously, each methodology consists of its own advantage, which might be suitable for a particular style of the project. We gathered here with the “big 4” frameworks, which have commonly used in the software development team.

Scrum project management

The most popular agile methodology tends to be Scrum, applied by roundly 60% of software development companies worldwide. The principal purpose of the scrum framework links to the construction of a sustainable relationship among teammates by encouraging healthy collaboration. Following scrum, the core value emphasizes the interaction between three principal roles, which are the Scrum master, product owner, and development team. In which, the scrum master plays a central role in assuring stable cooperation in the team.

  • Product Backlog contains a core feature list, which needs to appear in the final software. The product backlog is not fixed materials; it can be modified to follow clients’ requirements
  • Sprint Backlog defined the development tasks which force to be done before starting the next sprint.
  • Sprint Burndown is the visualization of remaining works on progress. By which, the development team will not neglect any tasks.

In practice, Scrum project management work well on a complex and long-term project. When the project requirements change more frequently, the software development team got easier using the Scrum framework. Following this, a meeting tends to be the daily task in Scrum, which allows team members to arrange their tasks for one working day and report tasks of the previous day. As a result, it provides evidence and materials to manage the project progress and eliminate the obstacles.

Kanban project management

Kanban Framework is another agile methodology, which takes visualization workflow as the core value. Comparing with Scrum, Kanban is claimed to bring more flexible since it does not have any standard procedures. The development team can add or remove tasks via a Kanban work board that members can add comments, media files, documents on it.

Trello and Asana can be the representative of supported software follow the Kanban method.

Hybrid project management

The hybrid methodology is a sufficient combination of Agile and Waterfall project management. This framework commonly used for projects covering both software development and hardware development. Alternatively, when clients do not satisfy with the timeline plan and budget, they will have an incentive to combine traditional project management methods to make sure that the development team respects clients’ priorities.

Extreme Programming (XP) project management

While the above frameworks rely on management, XP focus on taking advantage of tools to optimizing the technical aspect. Using XP, software development companiesprevent the risk of creating a new system in a limited time. In practice, XP frameworks have more value with small teams with up to 12 members. However, XP rarely works independently that most of software development services mix it with Scrum to generate more efficiency.

Project management follow Agile Development

The Agile Development teams:As mention above, the Agile development team works to respect the roles of each participant. So, what are they?

Users: Each software has its identified audience, who will decide the features contained in this software. Targeted users have clearly characterized attributes that the software needs to pursue.

Product owner: In practice, product owners can be commonly known as clients of software development companies, who expect the business expansion via launching the mobile app development, for example. Furthermore, the product owners deeply understand users and the core value that mobile apps needs to cover. They are responsible for setting up goals and provide feedback to keep the development progress on track.

Project management follow Agile Software Development Team

Software development team checklist

Based on the nature of software, the scale of the development team will differ.

  1. Team Lead
  2. Back-end 
  3. Front-end
  1. Quality assurance 
  2. Project manager 
  3. Designer 

Highline fundamental of successful agile software development team

  1. Efficient collaboration: successful agile development teams indicate the strong relationship between members, which comprehensive both their own roles as well as the other roles. Whereas, times and efforts will save through close collaboration.
  2. Feedback and communication: the basis of successful agile teams refer to welcome feedback from clients and even teammates. Testing will be more valuable in encountering problems and bugs to be fixed.
  3. Adaptability and Flexibility: The specialty of the Agile development framework is flexibility. In which, every contributed element, including requirements, objectives, task, etc., can be modified during the development period. It means team members need to introduce a high level of adaptability in dealing with uncertainties.
  4. Engagement: culture and activities will feed the team members, which enhances their attitude at work.
  5. Trust among team members: trust is the only key to unlock the motivation.

Final words, as a leading Vietnam software development company, Adamo currently experiences several management methodologies. The information above generated from our authentic practice. Generally, companies should not apply only one framework. Different project management methodologies promise to add more value to the firms’ internal power.


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