Five Guaranteed Ways To Wreak Havoc On Your Agile Project

Failing with Agile

There are two kinds of people- One who follow Agile and the other who do not. The former look at Agile as a sunshine to their dark cloudy days while the latter look at Agile as the giant three-headed blood sucking monster.

People who understand Agile and its nuances believe in its effectiveness while those who are not so enamored of its potential take it up as a challenge to show that they are ‘open-to-change’, but only until they fail miserably.

However, they are unaware of the fact that the success or failure of any process depends upon its implementation. Every success looks shiny on the outside but inside the potion for success was mixed with great planning around underlying principles, discipline and perseverance.

Shalvika Sood from Quovantis hits the nail on the head with her clear vision about Agile. According to her “Agile is not a license for ad-hoc or unplanned development. It requires great discipline to work with what you have, and then pivot quickly as you grow.”

Agile with its docile nature has become a very common methodology of practice for software development. However, as it happens, people often tend to take advantage of its ‘agility’.

It is to these visionaries- those who believe in the waterfall but have to follow agile– that we would love to elaborate upon a few methods so that you ensure your agile failure.

So follow these simple methods to cause mayhem in your agile project-

1. Blame agile for everything that goes wrong.

Missed deadline? Blame agile.
Lack of commitment among team members? Blame agile, again.
Slow productivity? Agile is just a passing fad.

All you have to do is believe, with all your heart, that agile is the wife you are trying to please and all your efforts will end up in vain. Start with sending off frequent curses to the agile methodologies and hampering your team’s efforts by undermining their potential. Your team will automatically start ignoring all agile practices and there you go! Mission accomplished.

2. Fail to deliver what you promised to deliver, CONSISTENTLY.

This one is a classic and it always works. Work casually towards achieving what you promised to deliver in the sprint and if you fail to SHIP it in the current iteration, carry it in the next sprint with the same cavalierly.

Don’t worry, there is plenty of room for you to relax and you can always over-commit targets if you lagged in the previous iteration.

Grab every opportunity to procrastinate. Keep stacking product backlog and you will surely succeed in your valiant effort to fail.

 3. Micromanagement is a boon.

If your team is new to the agile practices, they will need you to steer the project with your leadership skills. So as a Scrum Master it’s your duty to put a check on every single step and slay employee creativity. Discourage your team members from doing work outside their experience. Evaluate their work on an hourly basis. Constantly monitor them. Undermine your team’s capability.

Play the ‘boss’ card and crush your team’s aspirations. All these actions will lead to a miserable failure of your agile dream.

4. Avoid creating cross-functional teams.

Do not -I repeat- do not ever create cross functional teams. Always put all developers and all testers in different teams. They all are gossip-mongers and they need to be separated. Spend at least half a day in stand ups, interacting with different teams and bridging their communication gap. Do not listen to the agile guideline which says each team should have a tester and developer to keep delivering a working software at the end of each iteration.

It’s a hoax. A blasphemy!

 5. Customize the important Agile practices without any understanding.

Don’t go by the book. You can always look for alternatives and customize the practices at your own free will. Create your own comfort zone. Cut corners wherever you can. For instance: merge the two roles- Scrum master and Product owner should be one person. If you succeed to pull off this hybrid-role, then this will add another feather in your cap.

Likewise, do not retrospect at the end of Sprint if everything has been going fine in the project. Everyone needs to breathe and you can always fix things ‘later’.

As you can see, it’s as easy as baking a cake. You just have to add all the ingredients one after another, in no particular order and without measuring quantity. So just follow this quick guide to fail with agile.

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