Friday, November 24, 2017

Top Agile Myths & Misconceptions | Supreme Agile

Agile software development is probably the most common methodology used by organizations today, as such; many people have started to ask more and more questionד about this methodology that sometimes based on wrong assumptions.

In this article, I will review the most common Myths and Misconceptions that I encounter during agile training courses, hopefully, to help people to divide the truth from the assumptions. 
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Myth 1 - Agile is a New Force in the Software Industry

If we compare Agile to the traditional methodologies like waterfall, we can say Agile is new J. But the truth is Agile Manifesto was created in 2001 and therefore it is certainly not new in the software industry.

Myth 2 -  Agile is better than Traditional Methodologies

Although more and more companies are using Agile as the preferred methodology, this assumption is wrong! The type development methodology used should be determined per project and based on the environmental variables. 

For example, we can use the Waterfall methodology if we have clear and informative requirements from day one of the projects. In addition, we have a stable environment that increases the predictability of the project with respect to the work that needs to be completed.

Myth 3 – There is No Documentation in Agile

This misconception is most likely related to the misunderstanding of the Agile manifesto, where it describes the four principals:
  1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
  2. Working software over comprehensive documentation.
  3. Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
  4. Responding to change over following a plan.
Now, as you can see there is NO indication that Agile means no documentation or that documentation is not needed, what it says is that the FOCUS should be on delivering a working product instead of investing major time in creating a detailed documentation that may reduce the % of success to deliver the working product. 

There is some basic type of documentation that is very common during each iteration (STD’s, HLD Etc.), the only difference is the number of details and effort put by the team to create them

Myth 4 – Agile Projects are not limited by Deadlines

Similar to traditional methodologies, Agile is not a free ticket to abuse the project timelines, remember that in the end, there is a customer that pays for the software (And a company that needs to earn money…), there is no chance that this customer will agree to work with the company once he been told that there is no expected time for the project completion. 

The main thing in agile is that we can deliver incremental releases of the product in a way that will allow the customer to review the project progress and to use a basic set of functionalities that should be increased per iteration. 

Myth 5 – Agile Revoking the Need for Planning  

In agile, planning is everything! There is no a single project that does not involve a significant planning, the planning is started in the project roadmap, managing the work Prioritization and continues until the team chooses their commitments for the upcoming iteration.

The main difference between Agile and Traditional methodologies is that there is a less upfront planning in agile compared to traditional models that the entire planning is determined at the beginning of the project. In addition, in agile, the planning process performed per iteration (Usually two weeks of work) continually until the end of the project.

Myth 6 – Agile is only suitable for Software projects

The software development community first uses Agile techniques and the Agile manifesto describes Agile in the context of software development. That’s the truth, but Agile is not restricted to software development projects. Think about Agile as a framework that we can use to improve the quality and results of a project. The project may be related to software development, Marketing and for almost any project that is based on unpredictable environment. 

Myth 7 – Agile is the Cure for all Problems

Agile will not cure all problems in the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC), but it will help the organization to leverage a few major benefits that will increase the % of project success::
  1. Reduce the Risks.
  2. Increase Visibility.
  3. Better tracking of the project progress.
  4. Better collaboration.
  5. Efficient communication.

Myth 8 – Agile is not suitable to handle large projects

Managing large projects is hard as it is, no matter what methodology used to manage it. The main difference between Agile and Traditional methodologies is that in Agile we take a large project and break it down into small manageable parts, delivered in very short iterations.  

Myth 9 – Agile means No design

The main difference between Agile and other traditional models is that in Agile we perform design per iteration (Planning meeting) and not in one centralized phase like the one we have in the waterfall model.  

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