Agile methodology has been a boon for the extremely fast-paced software development industry. It allows the delivery of innovative, cutting-edge products on-demand as per customer needs. However, while many organizations delivering software development services have successfully adopted the agile methodology, many have failed. What did they do wrong (or right)? What if you are not doing it the right way?
First of all, there is no ‘doing agile.’ ‘Being agile’ is the key to achieving agility. There is no universally accepted right or wrong way to implement agile. It requires a significant change in the mindset and attitude across the teams and management. It’s a cultural change that doesn’t happen overnight but takes time and is different for every organization, team, or project.
You’ll find many instances in books and articles about principles or rules on how to use Agile. But today, let’s talk about how not to use Agile.
How not to use Agile?
When Writing User Stories
- User stories must not be written as tasks. It makes the development process task-focused instead of delivery-focused and doesn’t create value.
- Writing large or complex user stories by decomposing them into smaller ones again results in task-oriented stories. Instead, you can stick to an extensive story and play it multiple times. It does not necessarily have to be done in one iteration.
Stretched Stand-up Meetings
- Daily stand-ups can quickly turn into extended meetings, discussions, or reports. It is best to keep them short, simple, and sharp. Stand-ups are aimed to help you stay informed, synchronized, and focused on hitting the sprint goals.
- User feedback, new ideas, and features make up your product backlog before adding them to a sprint. Huge backlogs will build up if not regularly updated and groomed. The key is to have large queues that prevent your backlog from getting cluttered. Large stories called epics can then be split into smaller pieces when closer to the top of your backlog.
When Building Teams
- Build project teams of motivated individuals and give them the environment, support, training, and mentoring they need. The purpose of Agile is to give developers the freedom and trust them to get the job done.
- Form self-organizing teams that can choose how they will execute the work and who will do what. Teams learn, adapt, and improve when they share responsibility, accountability and resolve issues together.
- Agile principles favor colocated teams and face-to-face communication, which may not be possible today as remote work culture gains traction. It can demotivate the team or a member. Agreeing on a collaboration platform can remove communication barriers and streamline the process of organizing the work. It is also vital that everyone across the organization use common terminologies when using agile.
Regardless of standard practices, rules, or techniques, companies using the agile methodology in the right way have seen fruitful results. Compared to non-agile companies, they have generated more revenue and achieved higher productivity, speed and flexibility. No wonder more and more organizations are switching to agile software development.
Author Bio: Hardik Shah is a Tech Consultant at Simform, a firm which provides custom software development services. He leads large-scale mobility programs that cover platforms, solutions, governance, standardization, and best practices.