Top 6 Agile Myths – Busted
Myth #1: Agile = Scrum
When people are asked about Agile, the first thing that comes to their mind is a sprint. Or maybe it’s creating a backlog or having a standup meeting. And all these things are in fact elements of Scrum, a project management methodology that is used by many agile teams (especially by cross-functional teams that work on one project at a time).
Many people believe that Scrum equals Agile. But Scrum is only a framework for managing a project, while Agile is a term that unites approaches based on a certain set of principles. And Scrum is only one of many methodologies built on agile principles as well as Kanban, Lean, Extreme Programming, etc.
Agile is much broader that Scrum. Simply “doing Scrum” doesn’t mean that you’re practising agile management.
Myth #2: Agile lacks planning
One of the most common myths is that Agile lacks planning. Of course, Agile is oriented towards a more adaptive, iterative process, however, planning is an essential part of it. But instead of making “one big plan” once a year and hoping that it will be relevant 6 months later, you divide planning into small chunks and take some time to review and correct it regularly.
Myth #3: Agile doesn’t need project managers
This myth comes from misunderstanding of roles in agile teams. Agile needs project managers but unlike in non-agile teams, they don’t tell people what to do and when to do it. Agile relies on self-managing which means that the success of a project comes from team communication, collaboration, localised decision-making and sharing work in progress.
Myth #4: Agile doesn’t need documentation
The Agile Manifesto values “working software over comprehensive documentation.” But it doesn’t mean that agile doesn’t need documentation at all. Indeed, it is not necessary to prepare tons of pages, but you will still need to take time and write down the minimum viable information that is important and should be shared with people you collaborate with.
Myth #5: Agile is only for software development
Indeed, Agile was born in the world of technology, but as the time passed by, it evolved and is now used by a very large audience. Manufacturing, healthcare, finance (and the list goes on and on) use agile approaches to improve their delivery, customer experience and drive innovation.
Myth #6: Agile can solve any problem
There is nothing in the world that can fix all problems. Though many people believe Agile is a magical methodology and often get disappointed. The fact that you’ve purchased an agile tool and that you have regular standup meetings doesn’t make you truly agile. You need to adopt the agile mindset and gradually integrate agile practices in your company. Agile is not the Holy Grail, but if it’s implemented in the right way, it will help you come up with innovative solutions.