September 12, 2018

Common Missteps with Adopting Agile Software Development

App Development & Integration

When properly adhered to, the an agile software method can help streamline and improve your development process. However, there are plenty of factors and missteps that can limit the methodology’s effectiveness.

Implementing a new strategy can be stressful and it’s important to dot every 'i' and cross every 't' to ensure things run smoothly. When it comes to introducing an agile software development strategy, here are few things to watch out for as you begin adopting the agile process.

Inadequate Agile Buy-In

Let’s say a football team sends out 11 players. 10 of them know the plays and one doesn’t. Chances are that’s going to create some issues along the way. The same is true for your team and the agile method. Adhering to the manifesto is obviously key, but it’s all for naught if the entire team isn’t on board.

The best way to counteract this is by engaging every developer on your team. This is even more crucial if your developers are working remotely. Make sure everyone is constantly on the same page and check in often, inviting feedback. After all, agile is all about placing interactions above arbitrary processes.

Agile Practices Aren’t Part of the Larger Company

Your new process shouldn’t exist in a vacuum. It needs to become part of your company culture. This is especially important if some aspects of your culture contradict agile processes. Does your culture share the same values? If you were attracted to agile in the first place, it likely does. It’s up to your company’s leadership to amplify these shared values and address any conflicts.

If these conflicts aren’t addressed, you run the risk of sacrificing the agile methodology, or at least ignoring those aspects that don’t mesh with company culture. Going about it this way, you’ll discover pretty quickly that agile development doesn’t work when you start cherry-picking certain pieces.

Furthermore, if other departments developers rely on are still relying on older processes, it’s going to make things much more difficult. This is why addressing your company’s overall culture is key. It’s not just about developer buy-in or improving processes, but changing the way your entire team works toward a shared purpose.

Force-Fitting Agile Development into Existing Processes

The whole point of adopting an agile process is to improve what’s already going on in your company’s development department. An agile methodology thrives on adaptability and changing when needed. There’s no reason to adhere to the existing processes simply because they’re familiar. The second you start to cram in the old ways, agile methods lose their, well, agility.

This blending of old and new processes leads many to abandon an agile method prematurely because it doesn’t feel like the “right fit,” or seems like more work than it’s worth. In truth, however, these developers were not willing to toss out the old playbook and look to something better. Responding to change over following a plan is one of the basic tenets of the Agile Manifesto. It might seem like a big chasm to jump, but letting go of old processes is worth it.

How Aspirant Can Help

Adjusting to an agile development method can seem daunting, especially if it mean changing most of your processes and culture. That’s where the experts at Aspirant come in. Our software development experts have seen it all and know how to spot any red flags. Use the form below to schedule a casual discussion about how we can better position your team and your company for success.


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Phil is Aspirant's Managing Director of the App Development & Integration practice with a focus on providing enterprise-grade solutions. His 30 years of experience have given him the opportunity to work across many markets, industries, and applications. Phil is leading a team of skilled web and mobile developers building strategic solutions for our customers.

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