Agile Dev: Don't Take The Easy Way Out - InformationWeek

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IT Leadership // Enterprise Agility
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7/23/2014
10:42 AM
Dwight Kingdon
Dwight Kingdon
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Agile Dev: Don't Take The Easy Way Out

It's easy to lose track of Scrum principles and best practices. Do these Scrum anti-patterns affect your development process?

There's a saying in the Agile community -- Agile is simple, but it's not easy. All too often Scrum teams cut corners or abuse the Scrum framework -- they do the easy parts of Agile without doing the hard parts. These teams may see initial short term gains, but sooner or later, meet challenges, frustration, and in many instances, failure.

For example, one of the principles behind the Agile Manifesto is "Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project." This is usually a big cultural change and can be uncomfortable for developers and business people who often don't speak the same language. Daily collaboration between developers and business people creates the feedback loop and ability for course correction that ensures what's delivered at the end of the sprint is just what stakeholders want. This collaboration is critical to the Scrum process, and is sometimes one of the hardest practices to begin and maintain.

How often do you leave software documentation undone because it is seen as a low priority compared to moving on to the next coding assignment? Similarly, some Scrum teams forgo Sprint Retrospectives due to lack of time or perceived lack of value. Inspection and adaption are cornerstone principles to building high-performing Scrum teams. You can only achieve continual improvement when you pause to reflect on what's working well, what's not working well, and make a conscious decision to adjust your practices. Small tweaks can mean the difference between project success and failure. Done right, the Retrospective can be an interesting and even fun meeting that yields valuable results.

Read the rest of this article on Dr. Dobb's.

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Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
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7/24/2014 | 9:08:00 PM
Re: collaboration in Agile
"Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project." This is usually a big cultural change and can be uncomfortable for developers." I think that sometimes making cultural changes that can be uncomfortable for developers is a brave and wise choice that is worth the risk. It will result in developers stepping outside of the box to hear, share, and bounce other ideas around. Ultimately, more heads are better than one. It can lead to conflict but it doesn't have to. It requires being open minded and being vulnerable. The final result will ultimately be more creative and effective.
Angelfuego
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Angelfuego,
User Rank: Ninja
7/24/2014 | 9:02:43 PM
Re: collaboration in Agile
@Soozyg, I agree with you. I would like to add on by saying that I think we need to focus on more meaningful conversation, rather than just constant conversation that just revolves around a lot of fluff.
soozyg
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soozyg,
User Rank: Ninja
7/24/2014 | 7:58:54 PM
collaboration in Agile
"Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project." This is usually a big cultural change and can be uncomfortable for developers

Constant communication is crucial to any successful business. And yet it is surprising how often the communication element is considered "counter-culture." I would think this is another "vibe" or environment promoted comes from the top down.
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