6 “Facts” About Agile That May Not Be True

Every career has their myths and issues which can be accepted as true, and the Agile and undertaking administration world is pervasive with all kinds of them. Here we’ll take a look at a couple of issues in Agile that could be accepted by some to be a longtime reality inside Agile, however in actuality they could be myths and definitely debatable.

1. You should dwell in an Agile world so as to follow Agile

Pedro: We are each followers of Agile, however to say that one should dwell in an agile world and follow Agile are two various things and the primary appears to be related to the adjustments and peoples interpretation. It could appear to be Agile takes over all the things. Practicing Agile could be very advanced, however it isn’t at all times relevant to your whole work.

In my case particularly, there is a matter of the enterprise tradition and training that mislead you in sure instances with the truth that they’ve an excessive amount of stress positioned on each day work. Decisions pressed on fast judgement lead one to disregard a number of completely different strategies as a result of they’re thought of time wasted. In this manner, typically an Agile method is chosen swiftly and with out thought.

Joshua: Saying that one should dwell in an Agile world so as to follow Agile could not at all times take advantage of sense. While it’s true that it’s best to undertake this mindset of change, collaboration, and steady enchancment to be efficient at Agile, you must additionally acknowledge when to use the instruments you will have. Going all in on a course of as a result of “that’s what the principles of Scrum are” (utilizing Scrum for example), instantly makes you much less Agile.

From my very own expertise working in Robotic Processing Automation (RPA), the overwhelming majority of my initiatives wouldn’t match into what one would usually label Agile. There is sweet motive for that, RPA tends to be a number of smaller and low complexity initiatives. It’s extra of a complete program with individuals working in varied phases of various bots as they undergo the bot growth lifecycle. Agile is made to scale back complexity of a undertaking, however going full Agile in my expertise really will increase the complexity on the subject of many RPA initiatives.

We can nonetheless herald issues from Agile that will not usually be utilized throughout the conventional waterfall method. This thought of placing in suggestions loops to make sure our undertaking is heading in the right direction, for instance. We make makes an attempt as we transfer via the bot growth lifecycle to collaborate with the enterprise items by displaying them what now we have achieved and making it some extent to ask them if issues are going as they anticipated. This can, and has, saved me a number of time wasted via misinterpretation of their objectives with automating a course of.

The level is, failing to look outdoors of the Agile field could make you much less Agile. Every follow inside an Agile method isn’t at all times the very best method for each given scenario that you could be encounter. There is usually a profit to adhering to a framework in some conditions, in others you might discover issues work higher outdoors of what’s historically regarded as Agile.

2. Agile isn’t a undertaking administration technique

Pedro: It isn’t unusual to listen to corporations say that they don’t want undertaking administration as a result of they work on Agile. Then we simply ask… “So what would you classify Agile as? What is the aim of making use of Agile?”

And once more ceaselessly the reply we get is “It’s make it less complicated”, “it’s relevant to make corporations working sooner as a substitute of going deep on paperwork” or “it’s ample for builders to prepare in to groups, and we don’t want any administration to work on initiatives aside from some providers and outcomes”.

The fact is that Agile is an incremental iterative growth life cycle of undertaking administration! Believe it or not, it’s a department, not another. It signifies that when deciding via a undertaking which form of growth technique ought to the group use, Agile is an choice which is usually used when the group doesn’t have a lot data on what their undertaking can turn into.

Joshua: Many individuals in Agile don’t just like the time period “administration.” I can’t declare to know their full rationale behind the detest of the phrase, nevertheless it appears to be associated to this concept that now we have a boss dictating to us what we have to do and the way we should do it. That fashion of administration doesn’t need to exist, even in a standard waterfall method. That would fall in keeping with a extra authoritarian sort of management fashion.

Showing where Agile and waterfall exist under the umbrella of Project Management
Just as Scrum matches underneath the Agile umbrella, Agile matches underneath the Project Management umbrella

The reality is, somebody, someplace, must handle the undertaking and Agile is definitely one technique that can be utilized to handle a undertaking. There are duties that should happen for a undertaking to maneuver ahead, and these duties fall underneath the administration umbrella. You could solely have a imprecise sense of what you need to accomplish and the way you need to get there, however you continue to have to information the group to get there. That could not essentially be a perform of only one individual, however these “administration” capabilities nonetheless have to happen.

I explored this concept some time in the past with Scrum (Who is the Project Manager in Scrum? ). My conclusion is that everybody on a Scrum group is performing some responsibility that results in the undertaking being managed. You very a lot want undertaking administration with Agile, you simply don’t want that authoritarian fashion of management. You don’t actually need that fashion of management wherever.

3. Agile can’t work along with different undertaking administration instruments

Pedro: Agile works with nearly all undertaking administration strategies and instruments I can consider. We might say, perhaps, that some instruments could be extra used then others besides, not any particularly.

Let’s make a selected instance. Agile or another growth cycle, extra predictive or extra adaptive, want to observe progress. Therefore time administration, schedule administration, and/or price administration are as vital as another.

Joshua: Yes. No. Maybe. It depends upon the instrument and the present scenario.

I might say that many generally used Agile instruments borrow closely from conventional undertaking approaches. Some instruments work higher than others inside Agile, and lots of want modified. As Pedro mentions, we will deliver over time administration instruments, schedule administration, and price administration – however I believe most find yourself modified when used inside Agile.

As an instance, time is usually managed otherwise in Agile, nevertheless it isn’t so completely different that we will’t borrow concepts that labored in a standard method. We could modify it some. We often aren’t planning out each step for a full 12 months, and as such a standard Gantt chart could not work (to not say I haven’t seen individuals get pissed off attempting to make use of one). What we will do is herald different instruments to assist us deal with this, or we will modify how the Gantt chart works. In the tip we could find yourself borrowing issues from conventional undertaking administration, it simply could not at all times give you the option perform the very same.

4. Agile is less complicated and sooner than conventional undertaking administration 

Pedro: This one is kind of enjoyable as a result of, as metaphor, we might suppose that Agile is sort of a Ferrari and undertaking administration is the outdated conventional Cadillac. When we predict like that, it sounds form of hilarious and that is in reality the sensation after we hear feedback like this.

Agile can turn into advanced as “hell.” Additionally, what some individuals name as conventional, they imply predictive, and all the things that it’s predictive is for certain extra perceptible, due to this fact less complicated. The simplicity that we will perceive in Agile comes typically from some frameworks that cut back some of the instruments, however that occurs with or with none framework by the hand of the undertaking supervisor. Any undertaking supervisor has to decide on the technique in response to the corporate tradition or the undertaking dimension and at all times independently of which growth technique we’re utilizing

Joshua: Simpler? No. It’s objective is to scale back complexity of the work it’s essential carry out, however doing that isn’t a easy “one and accomplished” sort of course of. This could make the complexity of the work less complicated, however the strategies to take action extra advanced. The complexity that it reduces is in our understanding of the work, not in our method to the work. Calling Agile “Simpler” I simply don’t imagine is an correct description of Agile.

Faster? That isn’t its intent and it very nicely will not be – and that’s not a nasty factor. Although, in extremely advanced initiatives it might cut back the necessity for rework, thus making it sooner in the long term. But I wouldn’t undertake Agile in case your objective is pace. I might undertake it in case your objective is accuracy of your output throughout uncertainty and complexity. The finish end result COULD be sooner, however not essentially.

5. Project administration instruments are useless, lengthy dwell agile

Pedro: A number of years in the past I heard about an organization selling a undertaking administration software program by saying “undertaking administration instruments are useless.” This is form of contradictory, and that may be the rationale they even modified the model title later. After all they offered a beautiful interface nevertheless it was not one thing to interchange undertaking administration instruments. The attention-grabbing factor although, they stored a number of great traction for that concept of undertaking administration instruments being useless. About that point, I acquired some criticism saying that I ought to take into consideration new instruments like them. However, the answer isn’t about having new instruments, it’s about creating new methods which can be simpler to grasp and less complicated to comply with. These instruments existed earlier than, they exist now, and they’re going to exist sooner or later.

Agile requires mainly the identical instruments as another undertaking administration growth course of, they may by no means die and definitely not due to the expansion of Agile group.

Joshua: Whether you’re a co-located group utilizing sticky notes on a white board with a digital camera to protect the standing, or you’re utilizing a chunk software program in a distributed group – Project Management instruments will at all times have a spot in Agile. The objective ought to be to scale back the training curve on these instruments and never have them take over the undertaking.

*Personally, I believe taking an image of the Scrum board on a regular basis and storing these pictures results in that instrument taking on the undertaking (I’ve seen this accomplished). I discover it Ironic that Agile adherents typically search automated methods to deploy to manufacturing or check the advanced software program they’re constructing to assist streamline their course of – however tout this Scrum board technique as the very best technique. I’ve at all times disliked this method as it’s much more concerned than a properly designed piece of software program that may do a greater job. I can simply seek for the data I would like, you possibly can kind via your pictures for hours looking for what you need.

6. Agile reduces the necessity for strategies and instruments

Pedro: If Agile diminished strategies and instruments, it wouldn’t be known as “agile” however extra like irresponsible. The solely means the strategies and instruments are diminished will rely upon undertaking dimension and firm tradition. Agile could be extraordinarily advanced after we go to a number of different frameworks, making this tremendous hybrid strategies stuffed with high quality procedures for planning, testing or validation like typical DevOps methods.

Joshua: As I said in #5, the instruments will at all times be there. Agile received’t magically do away with them, or magically cut back their want. You need to actively attempt to cut back that want, and that will even be outdoors of your energy. Sometimes, the instruments you utilize are extra dictated by the corporate you’re working for. Sometimes these instruments have gaps, and you must cobble an Excel file collectively to fill these gaps. You can complain about it or take care of it – ultimately you’re going to need to do it both means until you possibly can persuade somebody to take pity in your wants.


So, perhaps on the finish, many of the readers would merely ask “In what methods is Agile completely different and why is everyone a fan of it?”

We undoubtedly can’t communicate for everyone, however Agile is in reality an method that can be utilized for initiatives which intends to scale back failure when the undertaking is filled with unknowns. Therefore, as a easy instance, we will simply start first with a small prototype, we examined and validated, then we transfer to a different model extra full. It should still be a prototype, however we might check it once more. Since there’s in some initiatives a number of unknowns, Agile may be the very best technique to deal with these unknowns.

Agile isn’t a magic wand that can do away with instruments or the necessity to handle your organization’s initiatives. If these are your objectives, then by all means make them your objectives – however don’t anticipate strict adherence to an Agile framework to robotically obtain that. You need to actively work in direction of your objectives.

Be “undertaking” oriented, be nicely, and underneath scope


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