10 Common Misconceptions about Agile Software Development

Here are 10 common misconceptions about Agile software development we’ve encountered.

Agile software development is a popular topic of discussion for many businesses. As such, there tends to be a lot of hype surrounding it and thus, misconceptions abound.

1. Agile development’s primary goal is speed, to churn out applications quickly – Speed comes secondary to quality. To continuously deliver software that provides value at regular intervals, good quality assurance practices must be part of the process.

2. Agile doesn’t work for fixed deadline projects – Quite the contrary, it works best in fixed deadline projects.

3. Agile development only requires new tools – To be successful, Agile development requires cultural, process, and tools changes.

4. Agile adoption only involves developers – Agile requires changes and continuous improvement throughout the organization.

Agile Software Development Mis

5. Agile means no planning – Some upfront planning is required for Agile development projects and should include details such as development principles, an estimate of the work and tasks involved, priorities, and overall budget to act as a guide for decisions during development. The key here is that it is a “guide” and open to change rather than a rigid plan. Planning continues throughout development and is the work of everyone involved.

6. Agile needs no architect or project management – Agile is commonly combined with Scrum to provide the needed structure and control points in the development process.

7. Individual developers get to do what they want – Agile requires the development team to work together and be disciplined. What gets done and when is lead from a designated role and agreed upon by the team as a whole.

8. Documentation is bad – When there are distributed development teams or a high rate of turnover in teams, key knowledge needs to be documented to supplement face-to-face communication. Documenting key decisions and rationale also helps teams from repeating mistakes. The key to documentation is that it needs to be created when truly needed and contain details that will be used going forward.

9. Realizing the benefits of Agile only takes a couple of months – New to Agile development teams often take years, not months, to fully implement Agile in an organization.

10. Agile “out of the box” is good for every project – When applying Agile to large projects and distributed development teams or very large teams, some modifications and care need to be taken to provide for their unique needs and requirements.

Do you know of any additional Agile misconceptions not listed here? Let us know and we’ll help steer you through the maze of misinformation to Agile success.