Tuesday, February 5, 2019

When is NOT a good time to use Agile Methodologies?

Question: When is it a BAD time to use Agile Methodologies?

“Agile Methodology” is a pretty broad term, so I’ll make an assumption and assume you meant something like Scrum, XP, or Kanban. “Agile,” is generally thought of as a set of values and an approach to working together, but it has spawned a number of frameworks that are based on this vision, and many people use those terms interchangeably.
It’s a great question really. A lot of people decide to use agile just because it’s hot, popular, or they’ve heard that it’s better, but it’s really something you should consider before making a choice like that. This is because it affects more than just your team.
Warning size where Agile would NOT be successful are:
  • Your management (or customer, or both):
    • Your management (or customer, or both) are extremely controlling,
    • They don’t have a hire degree of trust
    • And they like to tell you how to do your work
All agile frameworks, and “being agile” itself, requires a high-trust environment. I don’t mean one where your management leaves you along or ignores you - they need o be involved - but one where they let you figure out how the work gets done.
Other warning signs are:
  • Team members don’t like sharing information regularly about their current work
  • The requirements are well-known and well-documented in advance, and changing anything takes an act of god (I’m talking to you government).
  • It’s impossible to co-locate, or at least have a place to gather regularly to share information, ideas, and brainstorming
But - there are many GOOD reasons to adopt agile. You might check out “Great Big Agile” on Amazon. It takes a look at organizational agile and covers a lot of these topics.
Good luck!

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