Participate in rituals
Agile rituals (aka ceremonies) are recurring meetings throughout delivery that help the team stay aligned, eliminate roadblocks, and introduce microimprovements to day-to-day operations. As the name implies, a ritual is meant to be observed even under time constraints—one can’t start an American football game without first singing the national anthem (I’m clueless about sports, but I’ve observed that to be an important rule).
The main rituals we practice are backlog refinement, sprint planning, sprint demo, sprint retrospective, and a daily standup. There are other activities we observe outside a sprint, such as release planning, but they’re not frequent enough to be called rituals.
The best practice is not to skip a ritual, even when it seems superfluous. A very minor annoyance that is escalated during a retrospective may improve the health of the team significantly when compounded over twelve sprints of work. Let’s take a look at best practices of rituals we practice.