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InfoQ Homepage News Opinion: Agile Adoption is Distinct from Agile Practices

Opinion: Agile Adoption is Distinct from Agile Practices

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Using Agile practices effectively is not as easy as knowing what Agile practices are.  To use test driven development effectively is different than knowing that you should follow the red-green-refactor loop.  How does one get from: Agile seems like a good idea, to: We have used Agile practices to significantly improve the value we deliver to our organization?

Success stories abound in the literature of Agile, but so do failures - there is no silver bullet.  So whether you can follow another team's example is based on context - is your context the same?  If not, then you probably won't get the same benefits. 

To start things off, Carel Lotz reports his organization's difficulties in getting real value from adopting Scrum:

I'm currently part of a team that needs to re-define our company's SDLC methodology.  I'm all for using a more agile SDLC (Scrum, Open UP etc.) as the current SDLC methodology is based on a Waterfall model of software development.  In the past 2 years, a few projects have attempted to use a more Agile SDLC, but they either failed miserably in their attempt or only succeeded in implementing some of the technical aspects of agile development like Continuous Integration (CI) and Test Driven Development (TDD).

What is really interesting, is his analysis (hindsight is 20/20) on why these failures probably occurred:

I read an interesting article on InfoQ this morning that highlights one of the primary reasons why the transitioning to Agile has not yet been successful in our environment. [this is a reference to last week's personal agility article on InfoQ]

We currently don't have enough of these key individuals who actually understand and have adopted the correct agile mindset (i.e. not Scrummerfall).  The result - without enough correct guidance and a strong believe in the benefits of agile development, a team quickly becomes disillusioned and reverts to the "known" waters of a Waterfall approach.

Over the next several months I will report exclusively on issues of Agile adoption.  The promised benefits are great, and the pitfalls are plentiful - tune in to InfoQ's Agile Queue on Tuesday for a weekly update on how people are adopting and adapting Agile practices!

If you think the focus on adoption has merit, then please let us know what you think here and send us emails about your thoughts, interesting blogs, and useful news that pertains to this topic. 

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