agile

There’s an ongoing debate on whether Agile really is the best methodology to follow to maximize product development.

The use of Agile is constantly increasing. At the beginning of 2013, we took a look at the 2012 CHAOS report and observed that the number of organizations that planned to implement agile development in future projects had increased from 59% in 2011 to 83% in 2012.

While many organizations seem to embrace the transition, we are often asked about why it doesn’t work for some. There is no right answer to this, but we thought we would list some of the most common reasons why Agile adoption may not fully take off.

Reasons Why Agile May Fail

More focus on process change than on mindset
When companies decide to try their hand at Agile, most don’t realize that adopting Agile is more of a mindset change than a process change. The key to successfully transitioning from a traditional waterfall method to Agile one is to first recognize its core values. Agile is about emphasizing teamwork, collaboration, communication, organization, and maximizing customer loyalty through high-quality delivery. Instead of aiming to tackle every single story, Agile forces teams to work together to determine which ones are really worth working on, hence maximizing productivity and customer demand.

Fear of change
People are generally resistant to change, especially if they think it will require a lot of getting used to. When it comes to transforming to Agile, most companies will focus on what they think is process change and try to see it as a “cure” to existing problems. This keeps the initial fear in mind, and hence, proper Agile adoption is not reached.

Lack of support from management
Just like every other business procedure, teams need to feel encouraged and assured that the transition is going well and that they are performing as expected.

No “Agility”
Many tend to forget that Agile processes are not set in stone. Following the “process” too strictly, or even being too laid-back about it will affect the transition. By being too strict with Agile, companies fall into the danger of reverting to traditional methods. For example, if people start ordering tasks during a sprint planning meeting, it defies the purpose of using a new mindset as they will simply go through a list of things to do, rather than ask themselves what they can do better.

Not enough effort
Many companies transition to Agile thinking that it will magically solve all their issues. In order for Agile to work, all team members must an effort to improve things. The adoption of Agile methodologies often appears to make organizations think they are failing in some areas. If looked at closely, Agile highlights the areas which need improvement – it is up to the team to collaboratively work on improving them.

Thoughts? Share them with us!

Related blog posts:
Waterfall vs. Agile
Agile Adoption Statistics 2012
SDLC Methodologies: Agile or Waterfall?

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