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What are two ways to describe a cross-functional Agile Team? (Choose two.)

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Bharath Kumar
Bharath Kumar is a seasoned professional with 10 years' expertise in Quality Management, Project Management, and DevOps. He has a proven track record of driving excellence and efficiency through integrated strategies.

A. They release customer products to production continuously

B. They deliver value every six weeks

C. They can define, build, and test an increment of value

D. They are optimized for communication and delivery of value

E. They are made up of members, each of whom can define, develop, test, and deploy the system

The Correct Answer is

C. They can define, build, and test an increment of value:

D. They are optimized for communication and delivery of value

Explanation

Two ways to describe a cross-functional Agile Team include:

  • They can define, build, and test an increment of value: This statement captures the essence of a cross-functional Agile Team’s capability to take a piece of work from concept through to a potentially shippable product increment within a single iteration. The team has all the necessary skills and roles needed to complete these tasks without needing to depend on external teams for additional skills or resources.

  • They are optimized for communication and delivery of value: Cross-functional teams are structured in such a way that they minimize barriers to communication and collaboration. This structure enables them to focus on delivering value efficiently. The team’s diverse skill set allows for quick decision-making and problem-solving, leading to faster delivery of value to the customer.

These descriptions emphasize the comprehensive capabilities and structural advantages of cross-functional Agile Teams, highlighting their role in efficient and effective value delivery within the Agile framework.

Cross-functional Agile Teams are fundamental to Agile methodologies and the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), designed to optimize efficiency, flexibility, and the continuous delivery of value. These teams embody specific characteristics and operational philosophies that distinguish them from traditional project teams. Let’s dive deeper into the aspects that make them unique:

1. They can define, build, and test an increment of value

  • Comprehensive Skill Sets: Cross-functional teams are composed of members with a variety of skills necessary to complete the project lifecycle. This includes but is not limited to, analysis, design, development, testing, and deployment capabilities.

  • End-to-End Responsibility: These teams take full responsibility for their work products, from the initial idea or requirement through to the delivery of a potentially shippable increment. This minimizes dependencies on external teams, which can delay progress.

  • Increased Autonomy: The autonomy granted to cross-functional teams empowers them to make decisions quickly and independently. This autonomy is critical for maintaining the flow of work and adapting to changes or challenges as they arise.

2. They are optimized for communication and delivery of value

  • Enhanced Collaboration: By having all the necessary skills within the team, members can collaborate more effectively. This internal cohesion fosters a high level of communication, enabling the team to identify and resolve issues swiftly.

  • Lean Principles: Cross-functional teams embody Lean principles, such as eliminating waste and focusing on value delivery. By streamlining processes and removing unnecessary steps, these teams can deliver value more quickly and efficiently.

  • Customer-Centric Approach: The structure of cross-functional teams facilitates a closer alignment with customer needs and feedback. This direct line to the customer allows the team to better understand requirements and adapt their work to deliver higher-value outcomes.

Additional Insights

  • Continuous Improvement: Agile teams are committed to continuous improvement through regular retrospectives. This commitment allows them to constantly refine their processes, improve efficiency, and enhance the quality of the delivered product.

  • Cultural Shift: The success of cross-functional teams requires a cultural shift within the organization. This shift emphasizes trust, collaboration, and empowerment over traditional hierarchical decision-making processes.

Practical Implications

  • Flexibility and Speed: Cross-functional teams can pivot quickly in response to feedback or changes in the market. This agility is a competitive advantage, enabling faster delivery of features and products that meet customer needs.

  • Innovation: The diverse skill sets and perspectives within these teams foster an environment conducive to innovation. Team members can pool their knowledge and creativity to solve problems in novel ways.

In conclusion, cross-functional Agile Teams are pivotal in the Agile and SAFe ecosystems, enabling organizations to respond swiftly and effectively to market demands, customer needs, and technological advancements. By embodying principles of collaboration, autonomy, and continuous improvement, these teams drive the successful delivery of value in a dynamic and competitive environment.

Other Leading SAFe 6.0 Question – Which two types of decisions should remain centralized even in a decentralized decision-making environment? (Choose two.)

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