To Agile or not to Agile

 

We are past midway 2018 and we are still asking ourselves the question: to Agile or not to Agile?
For some of you the answer to this question may be obvious but reality is that there are lot of organisations out there that are still not doing it. So much that I started asking myself the question why?
Obviously, Agile is not the answer to everything (we all know is 42) but in a lot of cases Agile fits very well and it would help a lot in the delivery of the right software.

So far I have identified a couple of factors that lead to why organisations still not following this approach:

  • Lack of knowledge

Some organisations are still not aware of the benefits of working agile. There are also organisations who have tried the agile way but they failed for some reasons (most likely listed in this post) and now they blame the methodology for it. Another contributing factor is that it may not be clear how to apply the Agile principles into the organisation.
So, you shouldn’t give up but rather get the appropriate training and knowledge!

  • Chaos and lack of professional developers

In order for this methodology to work, everybody needs to do their job and know how to act and when. Since there are a lot of interactions along the way, it is important that the team is well organized and responsible. Doing it the other way can lead to disaster rather quickly, leave everyone frustrated and abandoning the transition.

  • Resisting to change

Probably this is the toughest one. It’s no longer a mystery that “comfort zone” is a thing for people and it’s a natural instinct to do what you know, and resist the new. We all have been through that, however we always have to keep an open mind, especially in this industry,  which is rapidly changing.
Changing mindsets is one of the hardest thing that I have encountered in the IT industry and often requires lots of energy and doesn’t yield great results but one must not give up. Teams should be trained, educated and taught to be more productive.

  • Company politics

Sometimes, it happens that certain companies decide to adopt Agile methodology but they don’t know exactly what that means or how it should work, somebody just throws it out there. Agile transition is not something that can be done overnight and it’s certainly not an easy process so don’t be surprised that the organisation doesn’t succeed.
Some other times the company only partially applies agile methodologies, leaving parts of the organisation out of it, which can cause lots of problems if there are dependencies across the organisation
Teams need guidance and support on the path to Agile and any responsible company should provide that, otherwise chaos and frustration installs.

 

I don’t generally believe in a by the book approach but rather applying the Agile principles into the organisation you are in. There might be particularities to the culture, business, domain in which your organisation is situated that do not allow you a by the book approach however there are ways to implement the Agile methodology.

Don’t give up on Agile!

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