Top 3 Common Mistakes in Implementing Agile Methodology

Yosef Falsafi
Posted on Jul 08, 2021

Lack of Alignment in the Organization on Embracing Agile

In some cases, part of an organization may be an advocate of Agile, while other parts may have skepticism, if not resistance toward this change. In such cases, as the adoption of Agile progresses, the resistant forces within the organization may become active blockers. Focusing on the first few iterations of agile which have not delivered results and encouraging the company to go back to the old and familiar ways, are common examples of this. Therefore, the organization must ensure alignment among all parties on adopting Agile, before starting the organization's journey toward this change. Robert Reeves, CTO of Datical, believes that the greatest challenge or roadblock is culture change. If parts of an organization are doubtful of embracing Agile, they will likely be resistant toward cultural changes that come with the Agile transformation as well. This is yet another reason for the entire organization to be unified in advocating for embracing Agile.

Poor Communication of the Change

I have seen cases in which an organization starts the agile journey, while some parts of the organization are not aware of this change. Some parts may be even unaware of what Agile is. The result can be a lack of understanding of the expectations one needs to have regarding the Agile methodology and subsequently being disappointed or confused about the results. Another drawback is that if different teams involved in the Agile implementation have a different understanding of Agile, they may apply Agile principles inconsistently. “For example, a large global company initiated a bottom-up agile transformation without first aligning on the end-state aspiration and the value the transformation would create. The transformation ended up having limited impact, as teams in different parts of the organization applied agile principles to varying degrees and in multiple flavors, which led to a significant increase in the overhead of managing across teams. Further, the lack of alignment on the value of the transformation meant that teams spent little time thinking through and tracking the value their efforts would deliver.” 

Not Establishing a Sense of Urgency

According to Kotter's Change Management Model, creating a sense of urgency for change is an essential step in managing any change. Managing an organizational change toward Agile, includes ensuring that the forces and stakeholders involved and impacted in the change are convinced that

a) The current state has flaws and needs to change 

b) Embracing Agile methodology can help improve or remove these flaws 

c) Now is the time to start the journey toward Agile.

Now What?

Stay tuned for our future blogs which will highlight common mistakes on a team level.

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About the Author: Yosef Falsafi is an experienced Scrum Maser and Project Manager. Yosef’s passion is helping companies better manage their journey from Waterfall to Agile methodology. Equipped with PMP, CSM, Lean Greenbelt as well as an MBA degree, Yosef looks at firms’ project management practices from a holistic angle to optimize diverse organizational elements the project needs in order to create value.