Getting "on board" with Agile

Someone asked this recently on LinkedIn:

What are some good ways in which to most quickly transition from a waterfall environment to an agile environment in such a way that (most) everyone gets on board with the transition?

My response went something like this.

By far the most common reason why development teams don’t get “on board” with Agile, in my experience, is that management isn’t on board either.

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How to Mess Up Scrum, Part 4

Another way to mess up Scrum, since I’ve already gone into adding work during a sprint, scheduling future sprints, and failing to prioritize, is…

Fake Reporting

Fake reporting is endemic in dysfunctional Scrum shops. Here are some examples:

  • “My meeting ran late so I burned an hour off the memory pooling story.”
  • “The boss didn’t want to sign off on DevOps integration. I just rolled it into the story about dropdowns on the UI because it has too many hours anyway and called it “refactoring.”
  • Using “defect bucket” as a recurring Sprint Backlog story. Seriously!
  • You can’t submit your time sheet to get paid without assigning all your time to an assigned task.

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"You're Doing Agile Wrong"

Someone who fears reprisal will withhold information.

I saw this and just wanted to share it. What a great summary of how Agile development so often goes wrong!

I love this part in particular:

There needs to be an absolute lack of fear around punishment or reprisal for negative information.

Someone who fears reprisal will withhold information. This is especially significant on under-performing or troubled teams.

Look at teams that are behind schedule (and not by a small amount), and you’ll tend to find that people usually know what the problem is. Yet if they’re not able to communicate that, well, things go south quick.