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Learning From Others’ Mistakes In Agile Development

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December 17, 2014 | Topic: Agile   Software Product Development  
Learning From Others’ Mistakes In Agile Development

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Implementing Agile is tough. While many organizations will finally experience the benefits of Agile methodologies, implementing and transitioning to Agile can be particularly challenging. This is even more likely to be the case with offshore Agile or “distributed Agile”, where teams do not sit together. To ensure a seamless transition, it is critical to learn from others´mistakes. So here at Belatrix Software we spoke with our leading experts, who have experience with more than 300 Agile development projects, to see where Agile projects typically go astray.

The number one issue which came out of these conversations was the importance of  communication. Simply put, communication is critical if Agile will have any chance of success. For example, we once had a client where their architect wanted to be in a permanent phone call with the developers on the team. However this had a significant negative impact on productivity. Meanwhile we’ve also experienced challenges with the variety of communication tools on offer- from email, to phone calls, to instant messaging, to Google Hangout. In our experience, teams typically need guidance on which tool to use and when.

Some of the other mistakes that we have experienced include:

  • Not agreeing on the exact Scrum processes. Not all companies use Scrum processes exactly as they are outlined in the Agile Manifesto. It is critical therefore during the ramp up period of the engagement that these processes are clearly outlined and agreed upon.
  • Not ensuring a clear escalation path in both the client and supplier organizations. Once we had a client with a team of 5 developers, but instead of us being in contact with a variety of different roles on the client side (product owner, architect, meta Scrum Master etc.), just one person at the client wanted to manage everything. It was necessary to develop a clear escalation path to help the client transition to a more effective approach.
  • Not sharing project expectations and goals. Some clients, particularly those with limited experience of working with a third party, can be reluctant to share their long-term product roadmaps. Rather, they share details on a short-term (weekly) basis. Unfortunately not being able to see the whole picture limits the provider´s ability to take into account considerations which could save time and effort later on.

Later this week, on December 18, Belatrix Software will host a webinar where we will discuss these and other common mistakes that we found during our research on Agile. We’ll also of course identify the key lessons learnt. So make sure to join us – just click here for more details!

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