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Top Agile Development Problems

written by: Jean Scheid • edited by: Ronda Bowen • updated: 9/12/2011

So you want to be agile in your projects. Some experts on the agile methodology will caution you on agile development problems while others will say, “go ahead and jump right in.” What are the top pitfalls and problems in agile development? Jean Scheid takes a look.

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    What Could Go Wrong?

    Assembly Line by NorthBayWanderer If you jump right in and implement the agile process in your projects, do you know what you’re doing? Have you had training and hands-on experience with being agile? What about your teams? Do they understand the agile methodology? Before you say, “It’s my way or the highway,” consider some of these agile stumbling blocks:

    • Knowledge and Training – If you’ve been to couple agile seminars, you aren’t ready. Consider yourself an apprentice of sort and seek mentors and coaches who have marked experience on implementing agile.
    • Change Burn Out – Some agile experts have notice change burnout in their agile teams. If this is your team, consider using stages of change instead.
    • Communication – Your client may be extremely excited about your agile process, but does he or she understand how much communication is involved? The client needs to be able to communicate with you and your teams on a constant basis.
    • Teams – If you have team who thinks they are the end all of the project, stop this immediately. Team iterations need to be shared, discussed, and outcomes correct for agile to work. No team is really alone in the agile process.
    • Risk Controls – If you don’t employ some risk management techniques within your agile development, you will have problems.
    • The Quality Process – Are your teams told to push on and move forth with iterations or outcomes without a quality assurance process? This is a sure way to not only have agile development problems, but unhappy clients who have paid for your expert agile management technique.
    • Stick With the Old – Teams that start with the agile process may fail and instead of requesting support, return to processes that worked in the past and ones they feel comfortable with. You need to monitor your teams.
    • Location – They say real estate is all about location, location, but so is the agile process. If you have a team ready to pass along their efforts to a team that isn’t even in the same building, how agile is that? Teams should be able to see, feel, touch, and ask questions of other teams.
    • Planning – Have you planned and determined how your agile process will work or did you just pass out tasks with deadlines. Teams need to know the succession of the tasks and where they fall in line with project completion
    • Test It – Finally, if you are new to agile, why use it on a make or break project for your company? Try testing the agile methodology on a less important project to evaluate how it works and where the bugs and kinks lie.
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    Further Reading on Agile

    Beyond hands-on agile testing, training, and the advice of experts, you can find some helpful articles right here on Bright Hub to help you through the steps of using the agile methodology. Remember, that every project management methodology, when first implemented, will have some pitfalls. Learn and read as much as you can to avoid agile development problems in your projects.

    Agile Knowledge Management

    Agile for Dummies: Making Sense of it All

    Why Do Agile Projects Fail?

    Agile Vs. Waterfall: Is There a Real Winner?

    Employing Agile Development