Agile Organization

Why Agile Goes Wrong?

In the spirit of becoming more adaptive, many organizations have implemented agile software development. But many have done so in a way that makes them less agile. These companies implement agile in such a way that it ends up hurting engineering motivation and productivity. In this article at The Enterprisers Project, Steve Berez explains why agile goes wrong, how to avoid common missteps, and foster innovation and customer focus.

Common Problems and How to Avoid Them

Introducing Agile in Pilot Team Only

If there is no plan for roll-out, then the agile team gradually becomes isolated. This sets up unnecessary barriers within the process. On the contrary, if the whole organization is more agile, with greater involvement from stakeholders, individual projects, and portfolio, it performs better.

Running Two Parallel Processes

Agile is, by nature, flexible, and focuses on the predictability and speed, rather than certainty. Companies that overlay traditional project management control of budget and schedule simply end up causing waste. The best project management approach must focus on managing external dependencies.

Lack of Customer Involvement

“Many business leaders think of agile software development as something that can live solely within the four walls of the IT department – they don’t understand that the business system must be built around the critical roles played by other parts of the company,” says Steve. Agile depends on frequent interaction with customers. There is no substitute for broader engagement with business stakeholders, real customers, or end-users.

Failing to Select Best Team Leaders

Many organizations struggle with agile implementation because they do not pay attention to the leadership skills needed for agile. Organizations select project managers or developers with little experience in agile rather than investing in skill development. Without leaders who understand the business value of the agile, successful implementation of agile is highly unlikely.

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