Pitfalls to avoid when adopting agile methodology in the workplace

Grayce Delivery Manager & Scrum Master, Melissa Burke discusses the pitfalls to avoid if you want to successfully embed Agile methodology in your business.

Agile as a project management discipline is becoming ever more important in organisations – and not just IT departments. If you’re thinking of adding Agile to your project management tool box, we discuss some of the ways you can help introduce the methodology successfully to other areas of your organisation.

Agile isn’t a linear process

It could be easy to think that the principles and methods you need to deliver change in an Agile way could be mapped against your existing practices. We’ve seen over the years that adopting Agile means a cultural shift in mind-set. People need to be brought along with the change, and believe in the core Agile values, such as communication, collaboration, feedback and incremental delivery. Understanding the principles, values and the ‘why’ will help you embed the methodology easier.

Agile operates under a different hierarchy

One of the things that changes as you introduce Agile is the existing structure of the project team. The traditional roles don’t necessarily align well with Agile roles. In order to get the most value from adopting Agile, entire teams should be trained in Agile practices. In doing so you can create buy in around the organisation, and it certainly helps with creating the right culture, as explained in the point above.

Fear of failure inhibits adoption

A failed sprint is by no means the end of the world. What Agile allows for is the ability to fail fast. The failure is exposed quickly, so that remedial action can be picked up in the next sprint. As a concept this makes some people uncomfortable. No-one wants to fail or feel like their work was unsuccessful. However, it’s important to remember that if everyone values transparency, then the end goal and outcome can be achieved – the failures contain the lessons you’ll need for future iterations.

It’s clear that if you’re going to make Agile a success in multiple business functions, education and communication of your core teams is key. Grayce provides Agile training for all its Analysts to support you as you roll out change in your organisation.

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