The agile team must be self-organized and self-directed. This means that the team members are empowered to determine how best to perform their jobs based upon their experience and skill levels. Agile methods are based on the belief that individuals are the ones who actually perform the work and are therefore best suited to determine the order and manner in which the work should be performed. When people are given the opportunity to self-organize and plan their own work, the end result is an invested team that functions under a servant-leader ship methodology as we discussed in Chapter 11. The project manager’s role (or leader ship role such as a ScrumMaster, e.g.) protects the team from disruptions, removes obstacles, provides support, and reiterates the vision on a regular basis. In addition, as teams become more experienced, they become self-directing, developing their own rules and making their own technical decisions.*
The agile team is also referred to as the “Define/ Build/ Test Team.”† This definition is based on the agile team’s responsibilities:
• Define. • Elicit and prioritize the requirements. • Design the product.