Agile Software Development

Four Principles for Avoiding ‘Faux Agile’

Whether or not we actually use the term, we all know what faux agile is. It is when you drop the ball with gathering requirements, or skip regression testing after the last bug fix to hit a deadline. Jennifer Lent writes for TechTarget with four principles for keeping true to the spirit of agile, so that nobody calls you out for being a big fat phony.

No-Phony Four

  1. Be incremental, not sequential.
  2. Avoid nonessential overhead.
  3. Stay collaborative.
  4. Speak the truth.

Agile is all about completing work. The deadline is not king; the working product is king. That means you work in predefined increments to get specific work done. Does that negate the relevance of a deadline? Of course not, but Lent writes that applying the incremental approach to a deadline is all part of the challenge of running good agile.

About the second point, Lent states:

If your practice remains true to the spirit of Agile, the team is committed to minimizing as many project plans and documents as possible. Instead of talking about what you are going to do and then writing it down, just do it. Otherwise, you’re wasting time on what I call work about work. The spirit of Agile favors real work — delivering working software — over work about work. And it also values face-to-face communication over email and other written documents.

Speaking of communication, collaboration can be a very empowering concept to an agile team. Teams that communicate well are self-organizing, practical in delegation, and good at pushing toward a deliverable product together. This level of collaboration will help to push through the final principle, the importance of telling the truth. Honesty allows you to acknowledge gaps in available expertise, and it helps to create a realistic picture of how much work can get done in a given period.

Combine these four principles and you can ensure that, even over time, your agile software development will stay true to what was originally intended. You can read the original article here:

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