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Five Common Mistakes in Agile

With the increasing popularity of Agile, the mistakes and misconceptions associated with it are also increasing. So, we have put together a list of the common mistakes made while integrating Agile into routine work processes to provide you with an awareness to avoid them to get the best Agile environment for your projects to be successful.  1) Expecting the Scrum Master to be the Project Manager The most common mistake made in Agile is assuming that a Scrum Master is the same as a project manager or a lead developer. While none of these is correct, a scrum master is a role we haven’t seen before. His role is to coach as well as facilitate his team and not manage the team. He provides guidance and advice to his team as well as the product owner on matters regarding the scrum framework.   2) Daily Scrum doesn’t make you Agile Holding daily scrum meetings just for the sake of it isn’t enough to be Agile. To get the most out of the daily scrums, it is vital to stick to its core principles, however difficult they might seem. The basic purpose of daily scrums is for the team to review their progress as well as plan their steps towards Sprint Goal. These meetings also enable the team to identify the obstacles they find on the way and deal with them. It helps in team communication and planning for the Sprint to progress smoothly. However, Scrum alone doesn’t make you Agile, it just facilitates the process.  3) A huge Scrum Team Another mistake in Agile is thinking that you need a huge team to reach the Sprint Goals. On the contrary, an ideal Scrum team is a small and dedicated unit working closely to achieve the goals while keeping itself organized. So, go for a team that is easily manageable and works closely to reach the Sprint Goals instead of having a huge and unorganized team. 4) Thinking Documentation isn’t needed in Scrum The Agile manifesto makes it clear that it values complete functionality rather than documentation, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to document anything at all. Before Agile, you had to document each and everything ranging from requirements, to technical specifications to test plans and what not. While with Agile, you just have to document what is extremely valuable for you, for instance, your architecture and source code. So, while deciding what to document, keep the principle of Agile in mind and choose the ones that are useful for the product in some way and need to be written down. 5) Wrong Product Backlog Getting the product backlog wrong can set the whole development of the product off course. This is a common mistake made in Agile. Pay special attention to the initial requirement gathering phase to develop a strong ground for the following phases. For instance, if you are using the User Stories, get them written by the person who is closest to the customers, which would most likely be the product owner.  Try to avoid these common mistakes while integrating Agile to your daily working practices, in order to achieve the best outcomes for each sprint progress. If you are making one of these mistakes already, rectify it to obtain better results.  
Five Common Mistakes in Agile
Wasim Irshad
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Five Common Mistakes in Agile

Wasim Irshad
Agile Management
12th Sep, 2017
Five Common Mistakes in Agile

With the increasing popularity of Agile, the mistakes and misconceptions associated with it are also increasing. So, we have put together a list of the common mistakes made while integrating Agile into routine work processes to provide you with an awareness to avoid them to get the best Agile environment for your projects to be successful. 

1) Expecting the Scrum Master to be the Project Manager
The most common mistake made in Agile is assuming that a Scrum Master is the same as a project manager or a lead developer. While none of these is correct, a scrum master is a role we haven’t seen before. His role is to coach as well as facilitate his team and not manage the team. He provides guidance and advice to his team as well as the product owner on matters regarding the scrum framework.  

2) Daily Scrum doesn’t make you Agile
Holding daily scrum meetings just for the sake of it isn’t enough to be Agile. To get the most out of the daily scrums, it is vital to stick to its core principles, however difficult they might seem. The basic purpose of daily scrums is for the team to review their progress as well as plan their steps towards Sprint Goal. These meetings also enable the team to identify the obstacles they find on the way and deal with them. It helps in team communication and planning for the Sprint to progress smoothly. However, Scrum alone doesn’t make you Agile, it just facilitates the process. 

3) A huge Scrum Team
Another mistake in Agile is thinking that you need a huge team to reach the Sprint Goals. On the contrary, an ideal Scrum team is a small and dedicated unit working closely to achieve the goals while keeping itself organized. So, go for a team that is easily manageable and works closely to reach the Sprint Goals instead of having a huge and unorganized team.

4) Thinking Documentation isn’t needed in Scrum
The Agile manifesto makes it clear that it values complete functionality rather than documentation, but it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to document anything at all. Before Agile, you had to document each and everything ranging from requirements, to technical specifications to test plans and what not. While with Agile, you just have to document what is extremely valuable for you, for instance, your architecture and source code. So, while deciding what to document, keep the principle of Agile in mind and choose the ones that are useful for the product in some way and need to be written down.

5) Wrong Product Backlog
Getting the product backlog wrong can set the whole development of the product off course. This is a common mistake made in Agile. Pay special attention to the initial requirement gathering phase to develop a strong ground for the following phases. For instance, if you are using the User Stories, get them written by the person who is closest to the customers, which would most likely be the product owner. 

Try to avoid these common mistakes while integrating Agile to your daily working practices, in order to achieve the best outcomes for each sprint progress. If you are making one of these mistakes already, rectify it to obtain better results.
 

Wasim
Blog Author

Professional Engineer with effective management and engineering skills. PMP® certified professional, having Masters degree in Project Management (MPM). With a good Software Engineering background, I have extensive experience in software implementation, trainings, change management and software marketing. Achieved consistent and remarkable results in execution and completion of projects and managing client relationship by prioritizing customer satisfaction.

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