Common Misconceptions in Agile Development

Gimena Aguerreberry
May 26, 2021

Agile methodology can be defined as a software development methodology, which helps developers in their process.

The methodology is based on a repetitive and incremental process in which the functionality of the software is released in cycles. But even though it is a software development methodology, it’s used not only by the developers but by project managers, team leaders, development managers, product managers, technical writers, and QA engineers.

By doing repetitive checks and releases in small cycles, the company can have new ideas as well as feedback from the customer end so that the team can work effectively with incremental improvements.

For this reason, Agile is used by a large number of industries and organizations all over the world to avail the advantages of the shortening feedback loop, increasing collaboration between teams, and delivering products faster.

The adoption of this methodology faces a number of misconceptions like any other new approach. Today, we’ll discuss some of the top misconceptions attached to agile Methodology to help you in understanding this concept more precisely.

1. The primary goal is speed

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.

Simply collaborating or paying attention to quality does not mean that you're doing Agile. If you are not able to adhere to all of the principles of Agile, then you are not doing Agile.

2. Is specifically for software development

Though initially, agile project management started as a software development methodology, it turned out to be a complete methodology that can be used for projects of various other types where the potential of change and continuation is higher and feedback cycles are shorter.

3. No planning is required

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.

4. No management is needed

Another misconception regarding agile methodology is that it eliminates the necessity of clearly defining the order and roles due to the exceptional flexibility provided by it as compared to traditional plan-driven methods.

The methodolody is commonly combined with Scrum to provide the needed structure and control points in the development process.

5. Doesn’t work for fixed deadline projects

Quite the contrary, it works best in fixed deadline projects.

6. It doesn’t require changes

To be successful, Agile development requires cultural, process, and tools changes. But most importantly, it requires changes and continuous improvement throughout the organization.

7. No documentation is required

This misconception is not true as the project teams using agile methodology use and create documentation as the teams using other methodologies. At every stage of agile methodology, documentation is essentially important as the product of every cycle has to be tested and improved.

Conclusion

A wide range of industries from technology to financial services uses this methodology. While some are justifiably enthusiastic about achieving desired results more quickly, others are vehemently opposed to Agile for a variety of reasons, including that it requires making disruptive changes to established processes. The reality of applying this methodology, lies somewhere in the middle.

"Common Misconceptions in Agile Development" by Gimena Aguerreberry is licensed under CC BY SA. Source code examples are licensed under MIT.

Photo by Patrick Perkins.

Categorized under agile / software development.

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