AVOIDING COMMON AGILE PITFALLS
Does the sentence “We don’t plan, because we’re agile” sound familiar? Sometimes new agile teams use the framework as an excuse for avoiding work they don’t like.
AGILE DOES INCLUDE PLANNING
Agile does include planning. It’s just a different type of planning than the one used in traditional project management. Agile projects don’t create a single big plan at the beginning. They plan repeatedly, in small chunks. Agile’s incremental planning approach allows projects to adapt rapidly to changes as the projects progress.
AGILE PROJECTS PRODUCE ENOUGH DOCUMENTATION
Another common agile pitfall is documenting too little. Focusing on working software doesn’t mean producing no documentation. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that agile means no documentation. Instead, agile projects should produce just enough documentation. Producing acceptable documentation, so that people outside of the project can understand the team’s work, is important to keep the product maintainable and enable future changes.
BUILD A DEDICATED TEAM
Make sure you have a dedicated team. Agile is all about daily collaboration and communication. Most companies miss the point here, and assign their best coders or project managers to different, simultaneous projects. If your team members are multi-tasking between different projects, they’ll lose efficiency and that your product will suffer. Dedicating your core team results in better focus, higher efficiency and faster delivery.
Same applies to scrum masters and product owners. I have noticed that there’re some organizations that still don’t see the value in these roles. Having a dedicated Product Owner and Scrum master for our team is not a waste of a money. It’s an investment of time and effort in building efficiently a product that has value. And isn’t value what really matters?!