Give Agile a Chance Not Just a Try

There are many groups who claim they are using Scrum, Kanban, XP or another variation on agile approaches but really aren’t. When you look closely, you find that they haven’t adopted all of the practices that make the approach work.

For example, they’ll adopt Scrum but fail to include QA on the development team. Or they’ll adopt Kanban but set fixed deadlines for each group of stories.

When the customized approach fails to deliver the expected results, the underlying agile technique is blamed. Scrum doesn’t work. Kanban is not all it’s claimed to be.

Many smart people have worked hard to define how Scrum, Kanban, etc. should operate. Why would you believe that you can select some aspects of an approach, ignore other aspects, and still get superior results?

If you were baking a cake, do you think you could leave out a few ingredients, add a few others, and still get the texture and taste you expected?

If you want to experiment with a set of development techniques that you believe may work in your environment, fine – but don’t claim that you are following a defined methodology.

If you want to try an agile approach, embrace it in its entirety. Give it a chance. Fine tune it after a few iterations based on your team’s experiences not your personal preferences.

Updated: December 31, 2010 — 5:14 pm