Agile Antipatterns Are Easy to Spot, Hard to Change

There are some tell-tale signs that an organization is not ready to be agile. There may be lots of discussion about Scrum, Kanban, XP, Lean or some other agile development variation but the organizational commitment is lacking.

Adopting an agile approach to software development is not easy or quick. Doing so while protecting and preserving the current environment and culture is a recipe for stagnation. Don’t even think about it.

If you see any of the antipatterns that follow, you’re in trouble.

  1. Protecting the organizational structure over the team structure
  2. Preserving the command and control hierarchy rather than letting the team self-organize
  3. Insisting that every decision be documented in writing
  4. Adherence to strict feature-set goals per iteration even if extra time is needed
  5. Expecting the software to be built better, faster AND cheaper
  6. Postponing refactoring until later, usually after a release
  7. Cramming as much as possible into every iteration to ensure that the team is kept busy
  8. Unwillingness to invest in training and coaching
  9. Emphasizing process metrics over actual project outcomes
  10. Believing that agile is strictly a software development issue, not a business one


Updated: November 6, 2011 — 10:05 pm