Any revolution in the technology industry tends to bring its adherents as well as its naysayers. The Agile software development methodology is no exception to this rule. Even as it has grown in popularity over the past decade or longer, for whatever reason, some tech professionals simply don't like Agile.
Below are some of the causes of this negativity and backlash when it comes to Agile. Do these opinions carry any weight, or are they simply because a few IT professionals remain attached to an older way of thinking?
Adopting Agile Too Quickly Leads to Problems
Some software development pundits feel companies that switch to Agile too quickly are a leading reason for the backlash against the methodology in the industry. The hope for faster application delivery and lower costs causes them to rush into Agile without the proper planning and knowledge base. Doing Agile the right way takes effort – it isn't just an easy alternative compared to older methodologies like the Waterfall.
In addition to little to no planning, many companies don't offer their employees enough Agile training before their first project. This leads to frustration, sometimes causing those team members to lash out at the process.
Failure to Get Buy-in From the Executive Team
Starting an Agile initiative without first getting acceptance from the executive staff or others on the business side of the shop bodes poorly for a successful project. A failure to communicate or a lack of cooperation between the software development team and other parts of the company is another likely result. Bad feelings abound and ultimately Agile gets a bad word at the company and beyond.
In fact, one of the original signers of the Agile Manifesto, Jon Kern, feels inexperienced managers are likely the leading cause of any backlash against Agile in the software engineering community.
"Misinformation or, let's say, misinterpretation of information often happens when CIOs and others hear a talk or read an article that's not so good, or rather brash and harsh about waterfall or keeping to rigid Agile practices. When that's taken out of context, it can cause big problems,” said Kern.
Ultimately, ensuring a move to Agile happens in a deliberate fashion, with the proper training – from executives to managers to developers – gives your team the best chance at a successful Agile implementation, with all the resultant benefits.
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