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Project Management

Are we Agile Yet?

Shot of a team of executives having a formal meeting in a boardroom

Agile is a Cliché, a widely used Phrase in today’s Industrial timeline. Evey Organisation, Group, Team wants to be Agile. But is it adopted in the name only???

Agile frameworks hold such promise. From focusing on value driven delivery to empowered investors or stakeholders, it is the time to be part of enthusing Software development.

There are fairy stories about what an Agile team should be like:

  • It is a belief that an Agile team should not require a manager.
  • The team should be able to forecast all scopes and delivery timelines up ahead.
  • The team should always be self-sustaining all the time.
  • Focus on the Tasks completion and make very little room for changes.

If you are agreeing to all or some of them, then it is time to change and consider the fact.

Here are some of the signs that backs-up the Agile is in name only but not a mindset

1. Requiring a large Document at the beginning

Being Agile is to choose Incremental Delivery, allowing team to learn adapt for new information and changes. Obtaining an exhaustive requirement document paves the way for traditional waterfall approaches and limits the team’s ability to think through, adapt and innovate

2. Marginalizing the Product Owner

For a consultant like us the Product Owner is the Client or the Client’s SPOC who provides the Product Backlog. Frequent and periodical communication empowers the Product Owner decide on the content and prioritizing the content in a Product Backlog, thereby giving an edge to the team for faster delivery. Remember empowering a Product Owner leads to the success of the team.

3. Micro-Management

Micromanaging the developers is contradictory to one of the principles of Agile; self-Organization, limiting the team’s ability to respond to change effectively.

4. Count of Ticket or Outcomes…Which one?

We often submerge ourselves into completing the listed Tasks than to really look upon the quality of the Outcome and value delivered. Agile success is measured not by the Volume of Tasks handled by the team but by delivering meaningful results.

5. Expecting a Project Plan Instead allowing team to adapt as more is learned

Agile frameworks prioritize adaptability and responsiveness to change. Rigid project plans do not allow for the iterative learning and adjustment that are core to agile practices.

6. Too many columns on your board

Using Tools such as Jira, Trello, YouTrack etc. are important to keep a track, however over-emphasizing on the usage and adding too many columns will only cause chaos and sometimes derail from actual collaboration and continuous improvement.

7. Lack of Continuous improvement

Agile team should constantly strive to reflect on their processes and seek ways to improve. The Agile process stagnates if there are no room for continuous improvement. It is necessary to create a feedback loop for continuous improvement through Sprint reviews. Agile methodologies promote frequent collaboration with all stakeholders to ensure the product meets the demand, undermining the same indicates shallow adoption of it.


Agile is all about finding what is the best for team for perform effectively.

For Example: A Team is forced to use the user story format to capture and document technical details in the Product Backlog when it doesn’t really make sense and perhaps extra efforts and Time spent. This is the sign the team is forced to use complementary practices when it is not needed.

Treating Agile as just a set of Practice rather than a mindset and change focused on flexibility, collaboration and continuous improvement misses the essence of being Agile.

Remember, Agile Transformation is a journey which cannot be obtained overnight. But as the wise say, every positive steps adds to the glory. Change takes time, and sometimes, a series of small improvements will get you there faster than trying to change everything at once.


Happy Agile

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Manikandan Mohan

Manikandan Mohan has worked at Perficient since February 2022. An Agile Project Manager and a Certified Scrum Master offering over ten years of experience improving processes and complex project deliveries by implementing a scaled agile environment. Strong expertise in resolving business issues, serving as a liaison between Clients, developers, and cross-cultural teams, facilitating scrum principles, removing blockers, and helping teams self-organize.

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