Thursday, November 21, 2013

The Big Roadblocks for Agile Adoption

Agile is Philosophy, Principle, Practice and more.

Though Agile has been adopted by mainstream and has been proven with advantage for iterative communication, incremental improvement and faster delivery, still, there’re many roadblocks on the way, what are those top problems when you adopt Agile?

  • Leadership thinks tactically and not strategically. Leadership has not adopted a value-based approach to their overall way of doing business. The belief that agile is a set of practices rather than values and principles. Fail to question and change process (retrospectives). Fail to work effectively with rest of the organization. Continuous drive for the maximizing/ optimizing productivity of the team at the expense of other areas of risk/concern for the long term.   
  • Misunderstanding Agile Principle or lack of Agile Discipline, with the misconception that agile means no planning; with the misconception, that agile means no scope and no change management. Different influential people have their own conflicting ideas about what agile is. Scrum Masters lack understanding for leadership and the discipline required to adhere to agile/scrum practices. Wishful thinking sprint planning only applies to the next sprint, so you don't have to plan multiple sprints to release a shippable product.   
  • Steadfast insistence on measuring progress by effort and cost,  projects is measured by only two things: is it on time? is it on the budget? What about 'is it delivering value’. And managing stakeholders who don’t want to know day to day progress but just want to know when the entire product backlog will be finished. Skip product backlog relative size estimation and jump to sprint backlog with large pieces of the iceberg. Or teams take on too much into a sprint and not take the time to break into tasks and measure the business result accordingly. 
  • Mis-communication within the Agile team and cross-teams due to managing agile in distributed teams with different work cycles.Geographically different team stretching across a twelve-hour time zone leads to miscommunication and at most times lack any communication. Not enough reasons for PMs to change the way they work. Agile is seen as introducing a lack of control to them. 

  • Mindset, Culture: Agile means change. You can't change other people, you can only change yourself. Too much fear of change causes project failure. Also organizational culture plays crucial role in Agile, developers must become true doers and testers must be more flexible. In addition, when you are the only team running agile and the rest of the organization are on a form of waterfall, or maybe just 'less agile' than you team is. When you need interfaces to those systems they cannot keep up
As any other emerging trend, Agile is the right way for either managing software or running business, but it is not just a practice, but a philosophy and principle in guiding you overcoming the roadblocks and climbing through the high mature business journey


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