This past Black Friday 2010 I found myself outside Best Buy in a line all the way around the building in the freezing cold. As I fumbled with the thrown-out Black Friday specials pamphlet I found on the ground I wondered whether this was all worth it. An hour later, I was inside dodging the crowded tables of technology and gadgets galore. My shopping-discernment had all but dissipated into a mere memory and my buyer-rationalization began full force.
It’s easy to rationalize why we should buy something. It’s far easier to weigh the positives than the negatives. I could tell you 10 different reasons why I need the new Macbook Air. But stop me mid-sentence and ask me about the negatives? Be off with you fiend! Maybe if I had @agileforall‘s terrible experience with the new Macbook Air I may not get one…
But sometimes it’s best if we look at the negatives first. Sometimes it’s easier to find out what you want or like, by first, considering what you don’t want or dislike.
That’s what a group of guys did at the 2009 Salt Lake Agile Roundtable did. We like what they had to say.
Why Agile Fails or Why Agile Sucks:
- Agile teams may be prone to rapid accumulation of technical debt.
- Successful Agile development presupposes that team members will all act like adults.
- Agile methodologies misunderstood may lead to team burnout due to an irrational culture of urgency.
- Agile requires more team and individual discipline, commitment and openness than a dysfunctional organization may be ready for.
- The high visibility on agile teams causes poor performers to stand out like a sore thumb.
- Agile teams have a tendency to focus on tactical accomplishments at the expense of strategic goals.
- Agile can be hard on the product owner who has a lot of responsibility.
- People are led to believe agile development will solve all their problems with minimal effort and experience disillusionment when it doesn’t meet their expectations.
- A variation on The Blame Game can arise from other business units, not on the development team, but on each other.
- Too much power can be granted to the product owner when it comes to steering the product.
- Agile is too programmer-centric leaving it unclear how to balance work across an organization.
We know this list is a year old, but it’s a good one to return to. Again, sometimes it’s good to know where the pain points are going to be in the beginning so you can make decisions around how not to do something.