Common Myths and Misconceptions of Agility

Agile is a methodology

A methodology describes a step-by-step process of how to do things, or how to achieve a goal. Agile is not a methodology. Agile is a mindset, a philosophy that describes a set of values and principles coined in the Agile Manifesto.

Agile trades speed for quality

One of the origins of this myth comes from the perception that speed and high-productivity are traded for the quality of the delivered work. The other source comes from the project development practices that, in Agile, there isn’t a specific role for testing and quality check. However, in Agile testing and quality check, it actually happens within the team.

Agile is about doing more work with fewer resources

Agile increases visibility, adaptability, and product quality. However, in order to ensure the higher market fit and user satisfaction, Agile approach can cost more due to high attention on technical excellence and with repetitive incremental user feedback.

Agile means no planning

Agile planning is iterative. The plan is developed and adjusted multiple times. The goal is to invest time in planning at the best possible moment and adjust to changes easily if they occur during the execution phase. 

However, planning is often less visible because agile teams pursue planning as a series of smaller, recurring activities to ensure that their plans reflect the realities of the present. This way, agile teams develop plans the same way they develop products – by revising and adapting. Agile is anti-static planning.

Employees get to do whatevery they like

It’s the contrary: Agile needs well-disciplined teams. Agile is a cooperative and iterative process, which involves adaptation based on discussions between the team, building the product, and the client. This means that each team member should be ready to help its peers whenever they need help, should cooperate with them, and be open to acquiring new knowledge so that the team could deliver a faster and higher quality of work. This is something which can only be achieved by having well-disciplined teams.

Agile only works within small companies

While Agile works best when implemented in small teams, this doesn’t mean that it won’t work for larger organizations. It means that large companies need to start small and then scale the implementation of Agile within the organization. 

When implementing Agile, the culture within the organization, the leadership, and employees’ willingness need to be considered to embrace this change. Agile must be implemented on small batches, perhaps in small teams, working on small projects so that they can quickly receive feedback, reflect on it, make the proper changes, and start the next implementation batch.

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