17 October 2021

Agile failure modes and alternatives

Agile failure modes and alternatives

  • Agile practices don’t fail—rather the variations on Agile adoption fail”.
    • You must know what not to do while following certain practices in agile.
    • There is no term like 99% agile.
      • You are 100% agile or you are not.

Some Agile failure modes and alternatives

  • Check book commitment doesn’t support organizational change management.
    • CEOs create within the company their own personal family dysfunction.
    • Culture doesn’t support change.
    • Reward plan, and a static and prescriptive standard of work.
    • Try to keep cross-organizational uniformity and use PMO as enforcers.
  • Do not have Retrospective, or they are bad.
    • Actions which come out get ignored or written off.
  • In a race to finish features, the infrastructure gets worse and architecture becomes unstable.
    • Distributed teams make this worse.
  • Lack of collaboration in planning.
    • Like having the whole team for release planning.
  • None or too many Product Owners.
    • Both cases look the same.Agile is yet another hat to wear and the person is already too busy.
    • They check out and ask the team to just do Agile.
    • Can’t get past the ‘this sucks’ phase of adoption if the business is not bought in.
  • Bad Scrum Master which uses a command and control style with the team to look faster, yet in reality slows things down.
  • Low morale lowers IQ (Intelligence Quotient).
    • Take decisions away and it actually makes people stupider!
  • No on-site evangelist.
    • If the teams are distributed, need one at every site.
    • Can’t reap the benefits of Agile or offshore without an on-site coach at each location.
    • No solid team.
    • Actually missed this one, inferred.
    • Empowered teams amplify learning.
  • Tsunami of Technical Debt if don’t pull tests forward.
  • Traditional performance appraisals.
    • Individual heroics rewarded, glad you’re not a team player!
  • Revert to traditional.
    • Change is hard.
    • Hit the threshold where this sucks.
    • Revert back to old ways of doing business.

Agile failure modes and alternatives

  • The top 12 causes of agile failure (failure modes) according to Aaron Sanders:
    • 1. A checkbook commitment doesn’t automatically cause organizational change or support.
    • 2. Culture doesn’t support change.
    • 3. Culture does not have retrospectives or performs them poorly.
    • 4. Standards and quality are lost in a race to project closing.
    • 5.Lack of collaboration in planning.
    • 6.None or too many Product Owners.
    • 7. Poor project leadership or Scrum Master that doesn’t place trust in the team and allow it to be Self-Organizing and self-disciplined.
    • 8.No on-site agile promoter or coach.
    • 9.Lack of a well built, high-performance team.
    • 10.Accrued Technical Debt if strict testing Standards are not upheld.
    • 11.Culture maintains traditional performance appraisals where individuals are honored and the team aspect is lost.
    • 12.A reversion to the traditional or ‘old-way’ of doing business occurs because change is hard.
  • [Coaching Agile Teams. Lyssa Adkins.]

More informations at PMI-ACP exam

PMI-ACP Tools and Techniques flashcards

PMI-ACP Knowledge and Skills flashcards

PMI-ACP Domains and Tasks flashcards

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