Agile Projects

Top Ten misnomers on AGILE projects

1. Give the Project and forget it – Its a Agile project it will be successful so customer can feel that they dont need to involve anymore,

  • Actually the fact remains that the customer (business user and stakeholder) involvement is more, this has to be costed and planned on Agile projects.

2. It is not for large scale project – Large project can be structured and split in such a way that multiple agile micro teams work together ,

  • Care should be taken so that each micro team have least dependency with other teams.

3.  Change is constant and always embrace them – Agile projects enables customer to make changes to the system as it is developed,

  • A lot of times the changes comes with associated cost, this has to be clearly understood before embracing change, changes should go through cost benefit analysis to get greater ROI.

4. Have no documentation – Agile Project should have basic documentations whether it is on requirements or relating to design and implementations.

5. No processes – For a successful project, you need to define and follow the important processes, some things below,

  • Defining quality standards,
  • Estimating effort,
  • Check points or validation points including feedbacks from customers
  • Setup communication plan with customer,
  • Identify roles and responsibilities
  • Regular retrospectives with team and customers,
  • Program/Project tracking including budget tracking with key stakeholders,
  • Regular demos to customer,
  • End user documentation

6. No design needed – Agile project should have just in time design,

  • The design should always look forward to the overall goals(including any technology goals) and build them into the plans,
  • Initial design should cover non-functional goals which otherwise could prove to be very costly later.
  • Usability and User Interface goals should be defined clearly before beginning projects,

7. Automation not possible due to frequent changes – Automation is critical on agile projects as this will help making core changes to product without significantly impacting quality of existing features.

  • Use of automated tools for development(automated builds, unit tests) and functional testing should be encouraged

8. Communication only happens face to face – Face to face communication is critical for success however for distributed agile it is essential to use tools like

  • Virtual meeting,
  • Distributed project tracking tool,
  • Chats,
  • Conference (Audio and Video)

9. No need for Business Analyst – Though Businesses (Customers) can interact with team directly, someone within team should be play a Business Analyst role to gather requirements,

  • An Analyst can translate requirements into a form which implementation can understand and also manage the changes effectively.

10. Teams are self organized no need to monitor project – The project teams have to be given support and guidance during the project

  • Encourage them to give enough visibility on progress,
  • They need to be given motivated individuals,
  • Provide adequate tools (hardware & software) to take it forward.