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8 things Agile is not
There are so many misconceptions about Agile - here are 8 of them
Everybody wants to be “agile” now. This is the way things are built nowadays, right? Agile seems to be quick, there seem to be little rules, we can change course everytime we need to… Not everything people say is true. This is a list of common and uncommon misconceptions about Agile that can hinder its effectiveness. In this blog post, you may find some new insights for software product managers and agile coaches.
Without further ado:
Agile is quicker: May people believe that agile working makes development quicker. This is not true. It has never been intended to move quicker into a direction, however, it has been intended to be able to check and correct direction during development.
Agile means no planning: One of the most common misconceptions about agile is that it means no planning. Agile is not a lack of planning; instead, it is about flexible planning. Agile teams do plan, but they plan in short cycles, and the plans are subject to change based on feedback and iteration.
Agile is a silver bullet: Another common misconception is that agile is a silver bullet that can solve all problems. Agile is not a magic solution to all software development problems. It is a methodology that requires hard work, dedication, and continuous improvement.
Agile is chaotic: Some people believe that agile is chaotic, with no structure or discipline. However, Agile is structured, and depending on the framwork used, there are clear roles, processes, and ceremonies. Agile requires discipline and focus on delivering value to the customer. For example, in the Scrum framework, there is a Scrum Master whose main job is to help that all processes are applied correctly.
Agile means no documentation: Another misconception is that agile means no documentation. Agile does not mean no documentation, but it means that documentation should be lean. Documentation is still an essential part of the software development process, and agile teams should aim to create enough documentation to support the project.
Agile means no deadlines: Some people believe that agile means no deadlines. However, Agile does have deadlines, but they are not set in stone. Agile teams work in short cycles and deliver small pieces of value, and deadlines are set for each cycle. Deadlines are flexible and can be adjusted based on the team's feedback and iteration. Mostly, when in conflict, teams reduce feature scope instead of shifting deadlines.
Agile means no testing: Another uncommon misconception is that agile means no testing. Agile emphasizes testing and quality assurance. Agile teams perform testing throughout the development cycle to ensure that the software is of high quality. Even further, agile development involving continuous integration and continuous deployment (CI/CD) require a very high amount of automated testing.
Agile means you can change course easily: While you can theoretically change course easily, agile does not replace a product or tech strategy. So while agile allows you to change course easily, doing so very often could mean that your strategy is unclear or weak.
Agile means no project management: Another uncommon misconception is that agile means no project management. Agile teams do project management, but they use different techniques than traditional project management. Agile project management is about empowering the team, promoting collaboration, and delivering value to the customer.
Agile software development is a methodology that requires discipline, focus, and continuous improvement. By understanding the misconceptions mentioned in this article, software product managers and agile coaches can help their teams to adopt agile more effectively.
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