Top 3 Agile Myths: Debunked

Today’s business landscape is dominated by Agile – turning Agile into a business buzzword.

However, Agile is a unique approach to work management; origins are software development tenants is now transforming the business professional world Agile embraces flexibility, employee empowerment, early value production, and a sustainable work pace.

Over time, many myths have developed around Agile. These can hinder those consider adopting the framework. 

Socialization and overcoming objections is critical to any change.  Here are a few common myths about Agile: Agile Transformations are a One-Time Event 

  • Agile is Only for Software Development
  • If You’re Not Doing ________, You’re Not Doing Agile

Myth: Agile Transformations are a One-Time Event

Many see Agile transformations in the same way that they see the adoption of a new payroll system. It’s not going to feel natural at first and there may be a learning curve to overcome. But, once you’ve adjusted to it, you’ll just end up doing the same thing with it week in and week out.

Reality: Agile Transformations are an Ongoing Process

One of the core emphases behind Agile is being flexible to the changing needs of the market. It would be strange if that same mindset didn’t transfer over to the transformation itself.

The reality is that your business will change over time. It may grow, enter new markets, shift strategy. As these changes take place, the way that you use Agile will change.

Allow your agile culture time to adopt new practices and learn from the experience. Evaluate the adoption, assess where to evolve, improve and you will continue to innovate and change.

Myth: Agile is Only for Software Development

Agile was born from the frustrations that its creators had with how software development was often handled. They weren’t calling for sweeping changes to how their other departments were operating. Neither were they calling for those outside technology organizations to change their methods. With this background in mind, many don’t see why we would consider applying Agile to business teams and organizations.

Reality: Every Type of Team Can Benefit from an Agile Transformation

While Agile started in software development, there’s no reason it must stay there. Agile focuses on making sure that work is being done at a sustainable pace and that value is gained early and continuously.

This isn’t to say that the transformation will look identical for every team. As we’ll see in a moment, the different Agile practices that a team adopts will vary greatly. However, any team who resonates with Agile principles would benefit from them.

Myth: If You’re Not Doing ________, You’re Not Doing Agile

Many people view Agile as an intricate machine that won’t function if you tamper with or remove one part. This view can lead some to hesitate to adopt the framework. They may question if a particular practice will be beneficial to them. Or they might worry that they’ll have to change their entire business strategy all at once.

Reality: There is No Wrong Way to Do Agile

Many people and organizations have taken the Agile Manifesto and adopted it to create tools and techniques. Scrum, Kanban, LEAN, SAFe, Scrum at Scale and other variations on Agile each take a different approach to the framework.  

You might start with practices such as a daily standup and visualizing the work on a Kanban, but not be ready to start others.   This is how adopting Agile to suit  what makes sense for your organization and team now.

Some of these might work for you and your organization, some may not. It’s all a matter of figuring out what practices work best for your situation and finding a pace to adopt them that allows you to remain productive.

What Now?

Many companies stand to gain from undergoing an Agile transformation. However, misconceptions like these often delay or deter committing to a transformation. Once those myths are debunked, there’s little reason for any organization not to at least explore the possibility of adopting Agile.

If you have other questions about Agile or if you’re ready to take the first step in your transformation, the Agile experts at EIT are here to help! To learn more about what we can do for your organization or to get in touch with our consultants, visit us here.