12 Oct 2014 Are Agile Practices worth?

Scrum and XP Practices are designed for incremental software deliverables when

  • scope is not clear or very frequently changes in requirements
  • difficult to identify activities to perform
  • technical or project risks are high
  • visualize an idea

Traditional Project Management Practices will work very well when

  • scope of work seems to be clear :-) and ability to identify activities and their order of execution
  • less technical or project risks

Both approaches are great based on the context and nature of work.

But I experienced something different during recent assignments.

For one of the recent assignments in product development, I strongly believe Scrum and XP Practices will fit it correctly due to building the concept and understand the technical constraints

we proposed software development practices based on XP and Scrum and build Continous Integration system and shared with the team

we executed four sprints, but it ended up with

  • Sprint items are not ready and too many bugs
  • Basic integration of components is not made.
  • Process owners are team are not happy the process of work.

I think that this situation occurred due to

  • Process owners, Scrum Master are unable to influence the team about agile practices though organization is ready to adapt Agile Practices. Here are a couple of observations
    • delay or overtime for planned meetings like standup,planned and review meetings
    • insufficient information in sprint items with acceptable user stories
    • fail to arrange retrospective meetings
    • lack of mentoring teams and unable to handle anti-patterns development practices
  • Team is unable to accept or adapt practices due to team internal interaction. Here are a couple of observations
    • coming late for the meetings
    • passive in planning and review meetings
    • ineffective standup meetings
    • no interaction with scrum master or process owners to bring sprint results
  • Team members are not ready for the challenge themselves for delivery best from them.Here are a couple of observations
    • consistently missing their sprint items and sharing silly reasons in review meeting
    • ineffective planning their planned works
    • ignore their mistakes that learned from previous sprints
  • Skilled Team Members are not identified for the project(may be)
  • Team size(~12) make slow in decision making

Now, Process Owners don't see other options to meet project schedule back to traditional project management like assign tasks to members and follow up the work with mixing of some agile practices

In summary, People and time are one of the critical factors to choose and adapt right development practice.

Are you facing similar situations then refer of excellent book Succeeding with Agile: Software Development Using Scrum which covers transition and challenges in agile adaptation

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Posted with : Scrum, Agile, Agile