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Being Agile is quickly responding to changes, being flexible, and delivering high-quality solutions in an incremental way. Agile Swarming helps in enhancing agility.

When there is a high-priority task that needs to be completed quickly and is not achievable by a single resource, the whole team or a bunch of resources gets involved in completing the particular task. This process when a group of team members is involved in achieving a single goal(Usually Stories) is known as Agile Swarming.

This method is highly suitable for Fast moving projects. Swarming helps in ensuring the workflows are continuous and WIP(Work In Progress) limits are maintained. 

Agile Swarming has been inspired by the Bee Swarming process.
Peter Miller outlines valuable business lessons from nature in his book ‘The Smart Swarm’:

“From honeybee swarms, we’ve learned that groups can reliably make good decisions in a timely matter as long as they seek diversity of knowledge. By studying termite mounds we’ve seen how even small contributions to a shared project can create something useful. Finally, flocks of starlings have shown us how, without direction from a single leader, members of a group can coordinate their behavior with amazing precision simply by paying attention to their nearest neighbor.”

Agile swarming resembles the behavior of bees in that a group of individuals collaborate on a particular work. Members of an agile swarming initiative need to be able to commit the necessary amount of time and have the required skill set. It enables one to expedite task completion, improve the efficacy of activities, and transition without difficulty to the next target.

A team is beginning to swarm whenever multiple team members continue to work on the same.

How is Agile Swarming carried out?

Scrum teams discuss the Sprint backlog and based on the priority assigned to each of the items, high-priority stories/tasks are chosen for Swarming.
Swarming is also helpful in addressing high-priority / severity issues reported by the customer. The issues which are severely impacting the business/revenue generation of the Customer need to be considered for fixing on high priority.
All the team members with the required skill are gathered together and start working on fixing the issue. The team works together on the same issue until it is fixed. 

agile swarm

Roles in Agile Swarming:

The agile Swarming process typically has the following roles : 

Swarmer: – A team member who can take the responsibility of transitioning from one story to the other, and also extends his Technical Expertise support where required.

Coordinator: One who owns the story to be swarmed.

TeamLet:  Group of team members who are working on the User story chosen to be swarmed.
The Swarming Team usually gets disbanded once the goal is achieved as a collaborative task. Then each of the team members picks up different User stories/tasks and starts working on those items.
Pair Programming and Mob Programming also go in alignment with Swarming with a few changes.

Pair Programming: A technical practice where two developers work together to complete a User Story or task. Both developers sit together and use a single device to write code, review, and test. When one developer is writing the code, the other developer gives his input and reviews. And the process repeats with the other developer.

Mob Programming: Group of people, usually the whole team involves in building a single item. Unlike, Swarming, the team does not get disbanded after the completion of the story. The same mob picks up another story and starts working on it.
At times, some of the teams may use this technique to build a couple of user stories, out of a bunch of stories to be completed in a sprint.

Advantages of Agile Swarming:

  1. Enhances Productivity
  2. Reduces the time spent on reviews and subsequent fixes
    Since the team is working together, constant reviews take place and thus reducing the additional time spent on reviews and defect fixes.
  3. Reduces the Context switching thus increasing the efficiency – As the whole team is working on the single item until it is completed, there is no situation of context switching. Their entire focus is on one item. This also emphasizes – ‘Stop Starting and Start Finishing’. 
  4. Enhanced Quality as a group of people involved in the entire process of completing the User Story / Task, Multiple reviews keep happening throughout the Development during the Sprints.
  5. The enhanced Skill set of the team members
    Working together helps team members in improving skills by observing the practices / new techniques followed by others in the team.
  6. Enhanced Collaboration between the team members
    Teams support each other while working on Complex items, share their previous experience and try innovating new possibilities. 


Agile swarming is all about contributing to assist, and it’s a sure sign that the team is the collaborative, agile type. An agile coach can foster the conditions necessary for productive swarming by encouraging cross-training and fostering an atmosphere of trust.
In numerous ways, swarms help the team and the customer. It fosters effective teamwork, generates inventive and creative solutions to issues, and accelerates project completion. So, the agile team should enthusiastically embrace swarming.
If you’re an Agile Coach looking to broaden your role and career choices, getting your ICP-ACC certification is an excellent place to start. ICP-ACC training gives a comprehension of the skills required to foster a collaborative and problem-solving environment within Agile. As a result, people with agile coach certification can move up in an organization faster than non-certified employees.