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DEVELOPERS HATE AGILE: This Is What Professionals Do

Many times have I seen a roll of eyes from team members at the mention of Scrum or Agile... And while Scrum is nothing more than a framework of Agile methodology, it has so much dislike (or should I say hate) from developers worldwide.*

*Don't get me wrong, many people love Agile workflow or are just neutral about it. But this is not the subject of today's article.

If you are a lucky one that has to implement Agile within your organization or you are already working in an Agile environment and want to fix the issue of people hating methodology, below are some recommendations on what I do about it.

So let's review what went wrong with Agile...

Root Cause 1: Wrong understanding of what agile is

The first reason is the managers' lack of understanding of what Agile is, what Agile development or Scrum framework is, and trying to force it into places where it doesn't work, or worse, working in a 'Waterfall'' pretending to be Agile.

For Agile, regular top-down training are necessary. In recent years, many organizations have experienced outstanding growth. Remember that regular employee training in Agile development and product management is essential.

Don't assume that everyone knows how to work in an Agile environment because even though many organizations are moving to a more agile mode of operation, a lot of training and knowledge transfer is still needed. Training is critical to avoid Agile transformation failure.

You cannot make teams work Agile when the organization is not Agile.

Root Cause 2: Making Agile everything

It's time to understand that Agile will not work for all types of projects. Unfortunately, due to a lack of knowledge, many managers still try to impose work (for example) in Scrum on projects that do not work with this framework.

Agile will not be the best solution for infrastructure projects or large initiatives with strict deadlines or a rigidly defined scope (such as database migrations). If you want to avoid frustrating the team, consider what methodology will be best before doing everything agile.

Root Cause 3: developers want to code, not to sit on the meetings

Inviting the whole team to all ceremonies or setting up more meetings does not make you Agile! But what it certainly does is take up developers' valuable time.

If you cannot cover backlog refinement during the Refinement session - review your process and approach, but don't add additional meetings. Think about what you need to do to ensure that the backlog is in good shape and the team is aligned, remove unnecessary meetings and let people code. Otherwise, don't be surprised that the team didn't deliver anything since they spent most of their time in meetings.

root cause 4: Building a process for a process

When implementing Agile, organizations sometimes go too far and introduce unnecessarily complicated processes instead of focusing on what is important. That's why over time, in such organizations, Agile is no longer about people, it's about processes.

In Agile, it's crucial to concentrate on people and communication, and processes are supposed to support this. Otherwise, the team will start dealing with excessive bureaucracy instead of delivery.

root cause 5: taking the scrum guide too exactly

The last mistake that teams or managers make is taking the scrum guide too exactly. Yes, the working product should be above the documentation. Nevertheless, in highly regulated business abandoning documentation causes problems and confusion in the development team. Also, cooperation with the user should be above contracts, but this does not mean we should permanently change our requirements and have no long-term vision.

Make sure you use Scrum Guide as a guide and not something you blindly follow without putting an additional layer of thinking.


So what developers hate is poor Agile execution and micro-management that comes from it. But you can fix it with best-in-class training covering various aspects of Agile and Scrum or an expert to make proper Agile Transformation in your organization - contact me for more.

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