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#InsightThursday: What Are The 10 Biggest Myths About Agile?

21-May-2015 10:00:00 Agile
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Radtac recently hosted an agile meetup in London, where Tom Sedge presented ‘Cutting to the Heart of Agile’. During his presentation, Tom spoke about what he perceived were the 10 biggest misconceptions of Agile.

This generated much discussion within the team and got us thinking, what better topic to inspire our next #InsightThursday post.

Whether you’re a newcomer, discovering for the first time the many misconceptions of Agile, or a long standing Agile adapter who wants to encourage others not to fall into these beliefs, we want to hear from you. This week we are challenging you - What are your top 10 misconceptions of agile?

 We’d like you to share the top 10 biggest myths you’ve found in the Agile world and why you justify them to be a misconception. Like some members of our team, you may already have a list compiled and be able to roll this off easily, but if you need some inspiration, below you’ll find a selection of articles dispelling the myths associated with Agile.

Let’s start with the thoughts of Tom Sedge. If you missed his presentation you can view the video here here and slides here

  1. Agile is just about code
  2. Agile is just an IT thing
  3. Wagile will cut it
  4. Agile means no rules
  5. Agile is unpredictable
  6. Agile means no documentation
  7. Agile is high risk
  8. Agile teams don’t need leadership
  9. Agile motivation is about money
  10. Agile is new

Deloitte published an article via the Wall Street Journal as to what they saw as the biggest myths about agile, which were as follows:

  • Agile means “no planning.
  • With Agile, there won’t be any project documentation.
  • Agile only works with small projects.
  • Agile requires that stakeholders and developers work in a single location.
  • With Agile, the final product remains unknown until development is complete.
  • Agile processes are less disciplined and structured than those of waterfall.
  • Agile = Scrum.
  • Agile is incompatible with development requirements for federal software.
  • Agile is a cure-all for software development challenges.

Visual Studio Magazine featured an article written by Joel Semeniuk, who punctured holes in these 7 agile myths:

  • Agile Means 'No Commitment
  • Agile Development Is Not Predictable
  • Agile Is a Silver Bullet
  • Agility Helps in Every Case
  • There's Only One Way to Do Agile
  • Agile Doesn't Need Up-Front Design
  • Agility Is Pain-Free

What are your thoughts on Stephen Haunts Common Agile Misconceptions:

  • Agile is ad-hoc, with no process control
  • Agile is faster and/or cheaper
  • Agile teams do not plan their work or write documentation
  • An Agile project never ends
  • Agile only works for small organisations
  • Without upfront planning, Agile is wasteful
  • Agile is the solution to all your problems?

Finally, we finish this week with an article from Ron Quoartel who writes about the 6 Common Misconceptions and Anti-Patterns of the Sprint Review Meeting for SoultionsIQ:

  • The review meeting is where the product owner gets to see the stories demoed for the first time and signs off on them
  • The only stories demoed are the ones that are done
  • The demo is for the team to see what work has been done
  • All stories must be demoed
  • The whole team must attend the review meeting always
  • The overall project progress is not discussed

Now it’s over to you. Would any of the ideas above make your top 10? Do you disagree that they are misconceptions? Has your organisation struggled to overcome any of these issues? Let us know your experience - join the debate and leave your top myths in the comment box below. Don’t forget to engage on Twitter under #InsightThursday to let us hear your thoughts.

Did you miss last weeks #InsightThursday? Read it here.


Jo Sharp

Jo Sharp

With a determination to succeed and great enthusiasm, Jo’s dynamic approach fits perfectly with her role as Training Manager in our busy Training Team. Jo joined the Team in 2013 when she began her own Agile journey learning, understanding and applying Agile principles and practises developing and adopting the company's Agile mindset. If you're new to Agile or considering undertaking additional training Jo would be happy to share her own experiences and support you in your Agile transformation. Read more