Agile Development: Tips For Avoiding Assumption-Based Pitfalls
In the modern software industry, agile development has become standard practice. Everyone wants to be a part of this agile development journey despite needing to understand its underlying philosophy. Failures or less-than-desirable results can result from this occasionally. Because of this, many newcomers mistakenly believe that Agile development is anti-methodology. It serves to give the word methodology newfound respectability. However, there is a thin line between what constitutes the values and guiding principles of the Agile methodology.
Pitfalls of Agile Manifesto
The four principles of the Agile Manifesto serve as the foundation for agile methodology. If these values are accepted appropriately, it could be good for the project and, in the worst case, lead to failure.
Individuals and Interactions Over Procedures & Equipment
Since people, not processes, address business needs, it is true to say that people are more important than tools and processes. Teamwork and cooperation were highly valued. However, the procedure and the available resources must be used for their intended purpose. There is unquestionably a need to define a standard procedure for carrying out a specific task because it ensures consistency in how problems are solved and implemented and makes results more predictable. The team will need the proper methods and tools.
In conclusion, team needs are served by tools and processes, not the other way around.
Working Software Precedes Detailed Documentation
This value places emphasis on the fact that software, not documentation, is the main deliverable. Although it doesn’t imply that documentation is unnecessary, the project need not wait until a thorough document is available. Agile doesn’t do away with documentation; rather, it streamlines it so the developer can access the needed information without being overburdened.
This value, which states that documentation is optional or required as long as the team develops functioning software, is sometimes taken too literally. Any software in use requires maintenance from a team that is sometimes different from the development team. Similarly, someone must train each new user of the software as there are no user manuals or help guides to refer to. With those technical manuals, supporting and maintaining a piece of software will always be easier, particularly if it uses several different technologies to implement, making it complex and difficult.
For the most part, the Agile Manifesto values working software more than it values documentation.
Collaboration with the Customer Precedes Contract Negotiation.
The agile methodology encourages the idea of the customer and development team collaborating to deliver a usable product. For consistent and effective delivery, it ensures that inputs, feedback, and controls are in place for each cycle. By now, it is constructed, and this mechanism offers a tightly closed loop with inputs needed for development and feedback after the component is delivered.
Contract negotiations typically establish a perimeter around the project that directs the team’s decisions regarding cost and schedule. The team’s ability to create outstanding products is consequently limited. Contracts are typically time- and cost-bound, but with Agile methodology, it’s almost impossible to determine the cost and schedule of a project in advance because requirements can change while it’s being implemented. The requirements frequently need to be completed or provisional.
Simply put, this value indicates that it is critical to distinguish between a legal contract with the customer and a relationship based on a product.
Adopting a Plan While Adjusting to Change
Every change in scope was regarded as scope creep in the Waterfall methodology or conventional software development, and it came at a price. It was crucial to manage the changes because the requirements determined the scope rather than the delivery date.
For a moderately complex piece of software, a typical software project could take up to six months to complete. In the present situation, a six-month window allows for observing changes in technological trends, business practices, and laws. As a result, software development is a process of change. Therefore, the scalability aspect of delivery is brought about by the process flexibility to adapt to the changes while still delivering. The strategy must allow for adjustments. If you don’t leave room for change and the ability to adapt, your plan will quickly become outdated.
Other Agile Failure Points
There are other areas of agile development that, if understood or handled contrary to the agile tenets, can lead to the failure of an Agile methodology-based project.
Everything, including defects, is added to the product backlog in an agile implementation. Teams often believe defects are not user stories and that only user stories should be added to the product backlog. Defects should be given more priority and continue to accumulate.
Changes To The Scope Of The Requirements
Any time a project is being implemented, the agile methodology welcomes changes in user requirements. The difference between small and large changes has yet to be made. Rework can occur due to requirement changes, no matter how minor. The longer the rework takes, the more money the project will cost. The customer must invest significant capital or choose a subpar product architecture to reduce risk. Significant changes can frequently impact the architecture of the product. Rework will be highly likely in such circumstances.
Product Owners, Scrum masters, and Developers make up the agile team in most cases. The idea that every developer can work independently and has the necessary skill sets to tackle any task on the backlog is one of the biggest presumptions. The developers in the real-world scenario sometimes have different levels of expertise and work independently.
Quicker Team Burnout
Due to continuous delivery and increased productivity in short sprint cycles, agile is gaining a lot of traction. But if it is not planned properly, the developers will overwork themselves and become exhausted more quickly than with the waterfall methodology. It might lead to the loss of knowledgeable workers early in the project’s execution, creating an unstable team.
To be successful, the company’s executive management must support and understand the Agile philosophy and put it into practice. The organization must be prepared to accept the changes in “ways of working” before the agile development project starts. Above all, use the best of AI and AI services to excel and stay ahead of the curve.
Vishnu Narayan is a content writer, working at ThinkPalm Technologies, a software & mobile app development services company focusing on technologies like BigData, IoT, and AI services. He is a passionate writer, a tech enthusiast, and an avid reader who tries to tour the globe with a heart that longs to see more sunsets than Netflix!
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