Have you ever tried baking a cake? Let’s say you want to bake a cake, you need flour, eggs, sugar, milk etc. let’s say you look into the pantry, no sugar, but you have honey. Honey is sugar. I’ll use that instead. You need self raising flour, but you only have plain flour. So you use that instead. No milk, let’s use water. It’s a a liquid. Oh and I don’t have eggs, oh well. Let’s leave them out. You have no measuring cups or scales so you use your best judgement.
So you mix your ingredients together and put it in the oven for 30 min. Out comes this flat hard mess that tastes sort of strange. You throw your hands in the air and say “Baking doesn’t work”.
The same can be said about when agile goes wrong. I have read that 73 percent of companies that are doing scrum are doing it wrong. The most likely reason I think is that they have left something out of the process or substituted something else in its stead expecting the same result. For example, saying “We don’t need to plan, we know what we are doing” or the product owner who also doubles as the manager assigns tasks to the team instead of the team working out the best way to do the work. Or worse yet, they make it up as they go along without understanding the underlying principles.
The project goes sideways and they blame Agile. Ummm, what do you expect. You cut corners and rather than learn a tried and true process that has been around for more than 20 years, you decided to go it alone without understanding.
Get up to speed. Learn why something works, don’t just ‘think how it works’ or go by your thoughts as gospel or feel your way through. Read a book or two on agile, listen to podcasts, watch videos, read the scrum guide. Learn.
Agile is suppose to make you more flexible, but it doesn’t mean ‘do what you like’. If you do, your project will end up like the cake. Just plain wrong.