Agile development is challenging!
That is why researchers and consultants spend time helpin us understand and apply it. They develop frameworks and methods we can use to support our daily work. If you are practicing agile methods, you have most likely experienced that it is not always easy to do exactly like the book tells you to. You probably feel that you can’t divert from the methods– because what is the point of having them then?
But, you need to divert from the books, take complete ownership of the process and apply the principles your own way to become truly agile.
We’ve spend five months with a company who faced this challenging question and one of the outcomes is this report “Agile challenges using SCRUM” that we want to share with you (DK Audience only) .
The company used SCRUM to organize their work for a couple of years. They used a great deal of time teaching their employees about the SCRUM principles, roles and artefacts. Still, they didn’t feel agile. In the contrary, they felt restricted by the method. Their initial thought was “we must be doing something wrong. Let’s study the principles again and improve”. Studying the principles again made them realize something important. Some of the principles did not fit the context of their work. The principles were developed under another set of conditions.
Realizing this, they began to see the methods merely as guidelines instead of strict rules and they started studying and testing other methods. The result is that they now combine different methods all dependent on the context of the projects they are working on. It often ends up being a mix of SCRUM, Kanban (Scrumban) and Extreme Programming.
How to make it work
Now to the point! Frameworks and methods are gold and so are principles. They help us. But you have to adapt the principles and methods to the context you are working in. They are developed under one set of conditions and you might be working under another. It is great, if you divert from a principle because you know what is wrong with it in your context and what should replace it. It is not so great, if you divert from a principle because it is easier than following it and you don’t know why.