How knowledgable is your team? Are you consistently challenging yourself to learn more about the technologies you’re using? Does your team spend time educating each other on new discoveries?
Agility isn’t just about shortening your delivery cycles. It’s about developing the skills and abilities to deliver software better. Part of that process is learning from ‘safe-to-fail experiments’ and sharing what you learned with the team so you can all grow from the experience. Developing a culture of continuous learning is essential to instilling an attitude of quality in your development. A culture that encourages continuous learning encourages a collective attitude to find and use the best available techniques. And it results in a view that these techniques will need to be improved or replaced, the epitome of continuous improvement.
On a weekly basis, encourage your team to have a 1 hour lunch-and-learn where you can share a new technology you’ve discovered or a better way to code. Share a practice that simplifies your delivery, or discuss how you’re applying that knowledge to improve what you are delivering. Getting continuous about learning means that you are constantly challenging yourself to grow beyond your current capabilities with the end goal of delivering better quality products in a quicker, more agile way.
(Original article appeared in May 13th 2015 edition of The Tempo)