Are we still looking for reasons not to go Agile?

on Oct 15, 15 • by Christine Bottagaro • with No Comments

Based on a recent review of our popular blogs, apparently you are. And we have a few theories on why ...

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As we unearthed a few Throwback Thursday blog posts from days of yore, I stumbled across this one, “Top reasons not to go Scrum/Agile.” Interestingly, it’s a perennial top 10 blog post – even today. As most development these days applies Agile methodology, why are people still searching for reasons not to go Agile?

After consulting a few of our internal ScrumMasters here, we have a few theories.

We really don’t like Agile.
Agile changes are dramatic, throughout process, people, and technology. And, as is always the case, the people part is the hardest. Both what we’re asked to do and how we do it is very different. Standups, backlog grooming, and retrospectives take the place of status meetings or other team communication. Ownership shifts from singular to plural, with additional voices weighing in on what used to be unilateral decisions. Collaboration and consensus drive actions and even the design of the physical environment. Feeling their contributions diminished, people begin to look for reasons to go back to the way things were.

No one understands us.
Even if teams embrace the new way of working, there are outside challenges to the new order. External teams, used to the old ways, demand the same or similar reports and meetings.

Teams can respond in one of three ways:
– Educate on what should be measured
– Spend time retrofitting systems to gather this information as requested
– Adapt Agile to meet the requirements.

But all of these introduce stress into the system – slowing velocity. If these demands cannot be reframed, is it easier to go back to the old ways?

Flavor of the month?
These days Agile is the norm, but only a few short years ago the struggle was real. If Agile is a passing fad, should I wait this out? If the reasons not to go Agile are compelling enough, perhaps it’s not right for us.

Avoid the pitfalls.
As a marketer, I know the value of a good provocative headline. Google searches are filled with why’s as well as the why not’s. Putting a positive spin on this, sometimes examining the reasons not to do something helps you better understand why you should. And how you can make it better.

The fact is Agile is a pervasive software development methodology, moving teams into the realm of shared responsibilities and faster cycles. Better understanding the tools that accelerate development, embracing OSS, and guiding secure coding may make the search for “why not to go Agile” a relic of the past.

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