7 Agile Misconceptions that May Be Holding You Back
Agile has been highly popularized since 2001: the traditional Waterfall development was considered slow and dysfunctional while Agile promised a quick response to changing business requirements and client needs.
Even though the Agile methodology is extremely popular nowadays, there are still common misconceptions among IT and business leaders that may impede a successful implementation of Agile in a company.
#1. Agile = no planning
No matter what approach you follow – Agile or Waterfall, planning is essential. The only difference is timing: in Waterfall, you have to plan in the first turn (project outset), in Agile planning is an ongoing process. The team has a planning meeting at the beginning of each sprint which allows to adapt rapidly to changes but still keep up with the budget.
#2. Agile = no documentation
Even though you are Agile, you still need documentation that serves as a roadmap. This is how the team knows what their business objectives are, what the system should contain and how it should work. It also helps stakeholders to have a better understanding of what’s being created and whether the project is on schedule and on budget.
#3. Agile is only for small projects
Agile has proven to be effective for small and complex projects. In facts, the Agile approach is particularly beneficial for large complex projects- the principle ‘divide and conquer’ works really well to minimize redundancy during development.
#4. Agile requires a single location for the team and stakeholders
Indeed, Agile means high stakeholder engagement and having one location for the whole team is beneficial for the project. However, thanks to modern technologies it’s no longer a problem – no matter where and how communication occurs if it’s real-time communication.
#5. Agile is less disciplined than Waterfall
Agile is a more process-driven approach, however, it’s very disciplined and well coordinated as the project’s scope is actively managed from planning to launch, and stakeholders review and provide feedback at every stage.
#6. Agile = Scrum
While some people may think Agile and Scrum are synonyms, though in reality, they look very similar but still have some differences. When we talk about Agile, the first thing we refer to is the Agile Manifesto – any methodology that agrees with it can be called ‘Agile’. The most well-known methodologies include Scrum and Extreme Programming.
In other words, Scrum is one of Agile software development frameworks, and its basics are defined in the Scrum Guide.
#7. Agile is a solution to every development problem
Many companies tend to believe that Agile can be effective in every situation. But whether your project will be successful or not depends not only on the approach itself – you need to have a professional team, a high level of stakeholder engagement, etc. Agile is not a silver bullet but if it’s implemented in the right way, it’s already a step to success.