Friday, January 2, 2015

Agile’s RoadBlocks

There are many roadblocks on the Agile way: from mindset to culture of mediocre; from misunderstanding to lack of focus.

Agile becomes the mainstream software management methodology, even turns to be the corporate management philosophy, however, going Agile is not an easy journey, what are the biggest problems for people or companies when they decide to go Agile.What is the hardest thing when you choose that road? What are your biggest pains?

Doing Agile is just a first step; being agile needs to have a totally different mindset. Move out of your regular communication patterns since you should work close together with people in all positions: management, testers, requirement engineers, developers, etc. You should also see changes in scope as something evolving and embrace it. Another word which shouldn't be forgotten is flexibility and how to quickly adapt to new conditions on every level. There are of course a lot more, moving to agile is nothing that you just do, it is something that takes time and there are needs of open minds throughout the organization and the right conditions.

One of the biggest challenges is to adjust the balance between utter the randomness of "Wrong agility": Translating agile=faster/easier is not accurate, agile perhaps means to be faster to adapt to changes, but not necessarily means to be easier for implementation. There is no magical agile ingredient, other than smaller planned iteration. So waterfall lovers should be less scared of agile, and agile lovers, be less arrogant of your disliking Waterfall - it’s the same thing implemented differently. The question is, why do people stay with these beliefs? For whom is it really a problem to admit that you have to prioritize what is most important, to empower the teams and so on. For any agile transformation to succeed, enough people in management position need to be aware of and able to adapt the organization itself so that wasteful processes are removed. In the end, this can lead to that individuals will have to change their job. Maybe this is the true root cause of resistance towards Agile.

Prioritization - having the business prioritize their backlog without creating multiple, competing backlogs. The roadblocks of Agile are caused by different factors:
Product Owners - identifying and making available real Product Owners rather than proxy Product Owners or product ownership by committee.
Roles & Responsibility - Reluctance of individuals to give up their individual roles for a role in a team
HR - insistence on individual performance measurement over team performance
Empowerment - technical executives that are reluctant to empower teams for fear of undermining their own status in the organization
Planning - insistence on long range planning and deadlines, even when they provide little benefit
Working Practices - a belief that working long hours solves problems and th3 teams that don't work long hours are by definition under performing
Blame - the blaming of individuals as scapegoats for poor process and management

From tuning the agile mind to cultivating the culture of agility, from setting the right priority to building the right business processes, Agile is all about the iterative communication & iteration, and continuous delivery and improvement.


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