When talking about agile software development, we need to think fast, to be flexible and stay efficient. If you lack in any of these three principles, then you are probably doing something wrong. In other words, you’re not Agile enough.
Agile methodology is created to be an answer for the teams that work in an evolving landscape, to help them stay efficient and maintain a focus on the delivery of business value.
Agile teams work in the collaborative culture where each team member understands his or hers specific roles in the process.
Teams that are agile perform testing throughout website development and can be confident that they are releasing a high-quality product.
But why and when Agile way of work becomes less Agile?
Let’s quickly look into the main tenets of the Agile Manifesto to better explain the reasons that can impact the agile team.
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
Working [products] over comprehensive documentation.
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
Responding to change over following a plan.
Even though each team member knows their roles and the work methodology is defined, people still make mistakes in the process falling into common traps and misunderstandings.
#4 things you might be doing wrong with Agile software development are closely related to #4 tenants of Agile manifesto.
Let’s go over each of them to explore what lies behind and stops you from being agile.
#1 Agile Software Development cannot move forward: when too much data is not enough usable information
Related to Working [products] over comprehensive documentation.
If you want to deliver value to your customers, you must deliver early. This implies having different Scrum development teams working together in different environments.
The result of this is a vast array of data, ranging from test management, defect tracking to project management and so on. All this data needs to be processed and organised in order for you to keep moving forward on the agile track.
Visibility is very important when it comes to analytics.
Most of the time, what you get is a chunk of data with no real visibility and therefore, no room for improvement.
Use software that manages your data and gives you an output that you can work with.
Visual analytics software saves you time and money and helps you provide your customers with the quality they demand.
#2 Being Agile means being efficient: you’re not getting things done in time
Related to Responding to change over following a plan.
Time is always an issue. Getting things done and delivering in time is one of the key points of success.
In today’s world, the competition is stiff, and you need to be ahead. Take Spotify for example: their competition is Google (learn how Google works), Apple, and Amazon. These are all insanely huge companies that could crush them, but thanks to ASD, Spotify manages to stand shoulder to shoulder with these giants.
If you take weeks to finish projects, then you are not Agile.
Your product needs to be completed, working, tested and pending release every couple of weeks. This is the best way to keep your customers and tend to their needs. The main cause of these delays is not applying the ASD principles throughout the whole development process.
Incorporate testing along with everything else to get the project done and ready for publishing.
A lot of people fail to realise that ASD reduces risks by dividing projects into short iterations and thus allowing mistakes to be rectified in each stage of the project.
#3 Agile methodology allows you to test early: when lack of client’s and users’ feedback gives you product no one is going to use
Related to Customer collaboration over contract negotiation.
If you finish your product without any feedback from your users, you might find yourself with something people are just not happy to buy and this can happen because you are not publishing enough.
Lack of feedback is something that can doom your software.
It often happens that a product is completed and functional but there is a hold on publishing.
People do this because they want to make sure that all the kinks are sorted out, all the features included, etc.
Publish as soon as possible in order to get feedback in time.
This will help you make all the necessary adjustment and tailor your product to the needs of your customers.
#4 Agile teams are flexible, collaborative and open to improvements: when you’re not “going with the flow”
Related to Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.
Let’s go back to the feedback issue. As already said, it’s not always easy to get feedback, but it’s not always easy to hear it either.
We like to presume that our product and our initial idea of it are perfect and that it should remain the way it was imagined, but that’s not the case and this is where Agile comes in place.
One of the main principles of Agile Software Development is that you can not always know everything in front.
That is why it allows you to publish bits of your product and get instant feedback and adjust your thought process.
Gather market data, insights and listen to your users. Remember to listen, adjust and go with the flow.
Providing your users with a test version of your product and having them tell you exactly what they need is a priceless piece of information.
To sum up
If you want your projects to be delivered early, to be flexible and open to improvement, the best thing to do is to go back and think about what you are trying to achieve with Agile Software Development.