Nowadays, agile product development is the new normal. It is true that it improves team efficiency, work quality, and IT-business alignment and reduces time-to-market. However, people are believing in several rumors too. In this article at Mountain Goat Software, Mike Cohn shares 6 agile product development rumors that you should not fall for.
Demystifying Myths About Agile Product Development
Since Agile is flexible, teams can interpret and mold it as per the needs during agile product development. Nevertheless, you must know the truth about the processes before believing in the myths. Following are the 6 convincing agile product development rumors you must not believe in:
- Suitable Only for Software Projects: Scrum is the oldest among all the agile product development approaches. It came from projects involved in physical product creation. Examples are photocopies, Honda cars, and cameras. Agile is also used for marketing campaigns, legal case management, organizational transformation, enterprise management, family time management, wedding plans, etc. Change terms like ‘products’ and ‘working software’ in the Agile Manifesto and you can utilize it in multiple sectors.
- No Role for Managers: As the Scrum Master assign tasks in Agile, managers think they have no role to play. You forget that they also are responsible for creating a stable work environment and maintaining team morale. The famous
20 th centurymanagement theorist Peter Drucker suggests that managers have SMART jobs—Specific, Measurable, Acceptable, Realistic and Time-bound.
- Stakeholders Request Changes Whenever: This is a rumor that stakeholders themselves believe in. Making change requests at the eleventh hour is costly but you cannot say no to a stakeholder request. So, you can cushion the blow with shorter iterations, smaller product backlog items, and speedy completion process. Assess the cost of the change request before proceeding.
- Everyone Knows Everything in the Team: While they imbibe each other’s skills, team members cannot replace each other during agile product development. Agile teams prefer resources with multiple skills to maintain balance but that is optional and not mandatory.
- No Planning, Just Doing: There is no dedicated planning phase for agile product development like you have for the traditional ones. They perform recurring activities to plan for their iterations or sprints through analyzing and adapting to tasks at hand. Agile teams do not plan for things that are not their immediate concern but have a high-level view of the entire project.
- Creating Products Sans Design Plan: During agile product development, agile teams design their products and enhance the model incrementally. There is no phase dedicated to designing only. Based on the working model, they would address challenges and risks first and develop later. So, the architecture for agile product development is more ‘intentional’ and it becomes a reality as the project progresses.
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