6 Common Drawbacks in Agile Delivery Process (and How to Fix Them)
Agile has been used worldwide to optimise delivery processes and improve quality by creating highly-skilled and empowered teams. Many companies focus mostly on the final product but it’s important to remember that how you deliver is just as important as what you deliver.
If you want to optimise your delivery and make it smooth and cost effective, it’s time to take a closer look at how you deliver, what common mistakes you may be making and what you can do to eliminate them.
1. Your team size is too large
It often happens that Agile teams have 20 developers to 1 product owner, 1 designer and 1 test engineer. As a result, you either have hundreds of users stories each iteration to keep your developers busy (and they eventually burn out and lose out on quality). Or you end up having too many developers who are under-utilised and just idle around.
If you can’t reduce the number of people, then try to create a team where every member can perform additional roles: e.g. developers can assist the product owner in user story writing, researching or help with product testing.
2. Inadequate training
If you have to work with individuals with Waterfall background, you will probably have to spend half of your time educating and patronising your “old-school” colleagues. And this can seriously slow down the delivery process.
Your company needs to make sure that the team undergoes a constant training, even if it’s as simple as having an informal discussion with agile champions who can share their experience and give useful advice.
3. Prioritising volume over value
Always remember that the measure of success for your team should be value driven (not volume driven). Focus on outcomes related to customer satisfaction and engagement – not the number of user stories delivered. This helps to ensure that the team always knows what user stories are a priority and that the final product will be of high quality and high value.
4. Lack of process uniformity
The lack of process uniformity leads to inefficiency. Some examples may include:
- The format of sprint planning and retrospectives is poorly defined and people don’t know what to expect and come unprepared.
- One-half of your developers uses one development environment, and the other half – another.
- Your team members can’t identify the key stakeholders for different products and have problems communicating with them.
To foster your delivery process, make sure all your processes are well defined and uniformed.
5. Poor data analytics
The development and delivery of your product are to a certain degree driven by big data and statistical analysis. This is what helps product owners make informed decisions. The problem may occur when the source of data is poor and misleading . Or when the product owner and e.g. engineers use different data sources and have different results.
To avoid confusion, establish a single data source for all your analytical needs and if necessary, create a single report and distribute it to your team. Make sure you and your team use the same data.
6. Spending most of the time fixing minor issues
There are always some production issues or defects that can cause an inconvenience for the users. And it often happens that the team spends a huge amount of time and wastes several iterations fixing minor defects and bugs. In other words, they spend precious time improving the product that is already great for 90% of users.
Don’t waste your time solving defects that seem inconvenient for the minority of users (e.g. 90% vs 10% of users). Focus on features that are the next highest priority and will help your product stand out and keep ahead of the competition.