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Seven common mistakes in adopting agile methodologies

When incorporating new methodologies into your business, the important part is to adopt them correctly. Check out what not to do when swithing to the Agile mindset!

The current buzzword floating around is agility. Companies have found new ways of working to achieve their goals within Agile Methodologies.

How can they contain their excitement when they hear about increased productivity, dynamism, efficiency, and team engagement. But you shouldn’t run before you can walk, especially when it comes to adapting your corporate mindset.

Why do so many businesses make mistakes when implementing agile methodologies? What are the main pit falls, and how to avoid them?

Read on and discover the seven most common mistakes in adopting agile methodologies.

Remote World, Agile World

With the changing scenarios encountered by most corporations around the globe, companies have adapted to become increasingly remote. This brought about several routine changes.

Adaptation was mandatory. And it had to be fast, efficient, and agile.

Agile Methodologies gained even more prominence in this new context.

The market chose Agile and embraced everything that comes with it: its processes, frameworks, tools, and ceremonies. After all, Agile Transformation is a mindset. 

Seven Common Mistakes in Adopting Agile Methodologies

1. Starting too fast

Even though Agile Methodologies are known for providing fast results, change in the corporate model needs to be done with great care and responsibility.

If you are thinking about implementing Agile Methodologies in your company, keep in mind that it is not something that should be done overnight. In fact, that’s where the danger lies.

Agile Methodologies are adaptable and simple to implement. So it’s easy to make the mistake of bringing Agile into the play quickly and suddenly. 

For a change to be successful, there are certain processes that cannot be ignored. Remember: There are no shortcuts.

2. Not knowing where to start

Every process can always be improved. Within your routine, your sector, and even your company.

But where to start? What should be prioritized? Which sectors should I begin implementation in?

You’ll have a lot of questions at the start, and this is normal. What you cannot do is allow yourself to be guided by guesswork. As tempting as it is, this is not the time to follow your intuition.

In this first moment, Design Thinking can help a lot in answering questions, mapping pain points, and identifying possible paths. 

3. Not knowing which framework to use

Agile brings with it a lot of specific terminologies, as well as frameworks, tools, and techniques that can sometimes feel overwhelming.

Scrum? Lean? Kanban? Smart? SAFe?

Are there too many options, and they all seem to fulfill similar roles. Or perhaps you just aren’t sure which one aligns best with your business goals? 

At that point, an Agile Coach can help. After mapping out your pain points, they can easily identify which framework best suits you. 

There is no “best methodology.” The search is for the most suitable solution within the context of your company.

4. Not keep up with Agile ceremonies

Pain points mapped, methodology implemented, frameworks working. What you have to do now is get your teams used to running Agile ceremonies, which might seem tedious but are completely essential for Agile to take root.

Let’s detail some Agile ceremonies so you can understand how they work and why they’re necessary.

  • Daily: daily team alignment meetings. 

This ceremony makes transparency possible. This is where your entire team meets up to discuss what they are each doing, at what point the project is, and any issues/bottlenecks/difficulties they happen to be experiencing.

  • Review: the validation of deliveries.

This is where the team delivers everything that was executed during the sprint to the Product Owner. Bringing sponsors to this meeting is a great idea. It generates a lot of team commitment to the project by empowering them.

Here is where you’ll share your experiences and lessons learned throughout the project, as well as provide insight for future error management and adjustments.

  • Retrospective: when the team and Scrum Master get together to discuss what went wrong and what can be improved.

Each SM is responsible for motivating their team – regardless of results and performance rate.

Herein lies the secret to continuous improvement. This ceremony guarantees that projects are on the right track the second they leave the station. Here you’ll discard what hasn’t been working for you and engrave what has been into your SOP.

5. Focusing only on productivity

Productivity is important, but don’t lose sight of your team. They are a fundamental part of the process. They are the ones who will build the solution. 

It’s the team that gets their hands dirty, executes demands, creates the ideas, and turns them into reality. They are the tactical agents that turn an idea into a solution.

Within Agile Methodologies, it is the team that commands the execution of demands. The Product Owner takes care of the strategy; the Scrum Master is the guardian of agility, and the team takes care of the tactics.

To be productive, you need to focus on what really needs to be done. Prioritization is key, and number one on that list should be the well-being of your professionals.

6. Not adapting Agile Management 

Agile Methodologies are flexible and adjust to the reality and objectives of different corporate profiles. This change in culture and mindset will take place according to your company’s reality.

Every company will react to and adopt Agile Management differently; it may be that a specific model or framework that does work for you might not work for someone else. Focus on your business objectives, your pain points, and the needs of your team!

7. Not acculturating Agile 

It is essential that everyone in your company adopts and engages with this transformation within their corporate environment.

Change is frightening, especially when it’s top-down. Therefore, in addition to creating the agile culture and encouraging this mindset among employees, make sure they are not insecure and understand what is happening.

This means that management needs to be on the same page as other employees so that the company can change its culture and mindset as one.

Employees are the driving force behind any transformation within the corporate environment.

Our best piece of advice? Ask for help.

The path will never be simple, but it’s always much easier with a guide.

Design Thinking can be a great time and effort saver in these moments (especially when mapping out pain points). After that, an Agile Coach steps in to prioritize what needs doing in the short, medium, and long term.

From then on, the transformations start to fall like dominos; the sectors start running on Agile Methodologies organically, increasing productivity. An innovation consultancy can provide the experience and know-how needed to facilitate these endeavors. Here at MJV, our experts understand the subject and can help guide you through this transformation process. Got any questions? Contact us!