DigiTech Magazine - UK CIO2020 - Spring 2015 - Page 17

6 ...................................................................................................................................................................................... TRAVELSPORTGAMES REASONS AGILE PROJECTS FAIL W ithin the last two decades there has been a dramatic surge in software development projects with Agile methods and principles becoming more and more prevalent. Many organisations are exploring Agile, most commonly Scrum, as a viable alternative to the more traditional Waterfall methodology and invariably run into problems with their initial attempts. Listed below are six of the most common reasons Scrum implementations are likely to fail. By Steve James 1. Let’s become more Agile Anyone who has worked on a large project understands risk mitigation. We spend many hours identifying risks in all shapes and sizes. We calculate the potential for these risks and all the myriad ways that we can minimise or avoid them. Is it any wonder then that so many organisations, when making the transition to Agile development, decide to ‘try out a few of the Agile principles’ and see how it goes. This is certainly an understandable path and many organisations have had moderate success integrating aspects of the iterative development model. However, to realise the full benefits that a truly Agile implementation will bring requires a much greater level of commitment to the process. Scrum is a framework for the entire software development lifecycle and the full benefits will only be realised if utilised across the entire project space. As the State of Scrum Report 2013 notes, “Understand the constraints and limitations of hybrid Scrum-Waterfall integration, but keep pushing the boundaries and measure the results. Like the old adage says, ’practice makes perfect’, the more you practice Scrum as it is prescribed, the better the results you will see.” The Agile manifesto stresses “Working Software over Comprehensive Documentation”. This is usually the first mistake organisations make when they first try to “Go Agile”. The need to have a comprehensive catalogue of requirements, which has been extensively reviewed and signed-off is ingrained in the waterfall mind- set. Scrum teams understand that requirements can and invariably do change, a lot! Only by developing the requirements via the iterative model of define, develop, test, review, repeat will true customer value be realised. CIO Magazine Spring 2015 Issue 17