Earlier blogs describe the foundational steps that enable agile data warehouse development.\u00a0\nThe next focus for setting yourself up for a best in class agile data warehouse environment is to develop and support self-managing teams.\nWhy are self-managing teams so important?\nThe word agile conveys a number of meanings. Its simple definition as an adjective is \u201cquick and well-coordinated."\u00a0 From a project methodology perspective, agile is focused on consistently delivering high value to the customer quickly, and, at the same time, adapting to emerging situations and continuously improving performance. \u00a0Giving the development team the ability to self-manage their agile development approach, incorporating continuous improvement, leads to greater success.\nBeing agile is more of a philosophy than a process. \u00a0In order for agile to be successful, everyone on the team must buy into the philosophy \u2013 and be engaged.\u00a0 One way to encourage engagement is through team ownership and accountability.\u00a0 Gallup research shows that a team that is highly engaged has double the chance of job performance and success. \u00a0Engaged workers are more productive, profitable, loyal, and customer focused. \u00a0They are the teams that will be successful with agile development.\nHow do you create a self-managing team?\nSelf-managing teams are best formed with individuals who have different perspectives and backgrounds. \u00a0Of course, the goal is to hire \u201cA-players.\u201d\u00a0 Each individual offers value to the team. \u00a0Through daily standups and code reviews, team members constantly collaborate with one another.\u00a0 Productivity increases, and they become successful (or not) as a team.\u00a0 As a leader, you will need to learn how to step back and trust that the team will make the appropriate decisions.\u00a0 This is not an easy thing to do, but it can be very rewarding for you and your team in the long run.\nThis type of approach also encourages innovation.\u00a0 In an agile approach, continuous improvement and innovation are important.\u00a0 Every team is unique, and every data environment is unique.\u00a0 As a result, the team should define what works for them, and not be afraid to experiment.\u00a0 One thing I heard myself saying repeatedly the first time I was involved in leading agile development teams was:\u00a0 BE AGILE WITH AGILE.\n\nAs my teams became comfortable with this approach, they flourished.\u00a0 Every time I walked by the team area, individuals were collaborating - asking questions, reviewing approaches, and generally helping each other to develop the best possible solutions.\u00a0 They started experimenting with different ways to approach their sprints.\u00a0\n\u00a0Some examples of approaches they tried were:\n\n\u00a04 people (the business architect, data architect, developer, and QA engineer) gathered in a war room and focused on one major effort with daily visits from the business stakeholder for 8 weeks.\u00a0 This effort was dubbed the \u201csuper sprint\u201d.\nFor one solution, the data architect met daily with the business stakeholder, and together they developed a prototype that quickly became the solution, needing only QA and scheduling to finalize.\nThe team started stressing about getting all of the user stories they committed to done in 2 week periods.\u00a0 One team member expressed this by saying that it felt like they were in a vicious cycle that never ended.\u00a0 During a retrospective, they decided to cut back on what they accepted in a sprint, and they added a \u201cgrab bag\u201d of user stories that a developer could pull from if he finished his accepted user stories before the end of the sprint.\u00a0 This ended up creating some fun competition \u2013 who was fast enough to be able to take from the \u201cgrab bag\u201d in a sprint.\u00a0\n\nThese are just a few examples of what a self-managing team can come up with, if left to make decisions on their approach.\u00a0 Some of their experiments failed, and they would revert to their previous approach, but most of them resulted in continuous improvements \u2013 one of the key benefits of an agile approach!\n\nThis ends the series on building the foundation for agile data warehouse development. You can find the previous posts in this series here.