Joe Vallone, has been consulting for Eliassen Group as an Agile Coach at one of our Enterprise Transformation Clients for the past two months. Joe has been working in Scrum and XP environments since 2002. He is a Certified Scrum Master, Certified Scrum Professional, and has has helped several large and small companies make their transition to Agile methodologies.
Originally posted on Agile Business Connect:
I’m always interested in hearing about Agile projects that have failed. So, what do I mean by fail? An overly simplistic answer might be, failing to deliver on release commitments. In other words, customers and stakeholders have an expectation of your team to deliver X, and you end up delivering Y. Not simply a scope change, but something completely different than what was expected. Or perhaps there is a definitive release date and the team fails to meet it. I have encountered many reasons for Agile project failure: lack of people, lack of commitment, unexpected risks, failure to manage dependencies, etc. Arguably however, the most egregious is the failure to embrace the organizational and culture changes of the Agile Manifesto and principles. Many companies believe that simply doing the mechanics of an Agile methodology, such as Scrum (e.g. daily planning, demos, retrospectives, sprint planning, etc.) is all that is needed to be Agile. I submit that doing the mechanics of Scrum, doesn’t make your project Agile. What makes a project Agile is adherence to the principles and values of the Agile Manifesto.
To further illustrate my point, I present the following true story. Names are removed to protect the incompetent:
COO: You suggested we try using Scrum, however we’ve tried it before and it didn’t work for us.