TOP 10 AGILE MISCONCEPTIONS



1. Agile is a framework or methodology.

Agile is a philosophy which revolves around perpetual, incremental improvement, the power of human collaboration and the importance of happiness. A philosophy is a theory or attitude that acts as a guiding principle for behaviour. A methodology is a set of principles, tools and practices which can be used to guide processes to achieve a particular goal. A framework is a loose but incomplete structure which leaves room for other practices and tools to be included but provides much of the process required. Agile Scrum is an example of a framework which aligns to the Agile philosophy.


2. Agile only works for the IT industry.

Agile is increasingly being used in all areas of business to foster flexibility, fast extraction of value and acceptance of changing targets. Agile can be applied to all areas of companies who have dynamic markets and changing business conditions ie. most businesses.


3. Agile means no documentation.

Documentation is still required in Agile projects. The focus of documentation in Agile is that it should be a light as possible to still achieve its intended value. If legacy documentation requirements exist which do not clearly deliver value, it should be challenged and altered to only deliver what is perceived as valuable.


4. Being Agile means no Team Leads.

Team Leads still exist within Agile but are more seen as servant leaders who enable the team to deliver their work. In Agile, Team Leads no longer dictate to the team what needs to happen. In Agile, the Team Leads are respected for their experience and knowledge, but no longer have the absolute power to dominate the team.


5. Agile doesn't work for fixed deadlines.

AgileXperts’ own record of achievement across many high profile and high risk recovery projects qualifies us to know that Agile concepts can definitely be used to deliver to fixed deadlines. By leveraging the benefits of traditional project management enhanced by modern ways of working, deadlines can be met.


6. Agile will solve all of our problems.

Agile is not the solution to all organisational problems. As Theodore Isaac Rubin quotes, “The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem”. Agile is a tool to address problems in organisations – a tool that has been seen to have many benefits to the organisation itself and to the individuals who work within the organisation.


7. There are no plans with Agile projects.

Estimated plans are created at the start of an Agile project. The key difference for Agile projects is that the plan is recognised as a high-level estimate and is therefore accepted as being imperfect. Due to the likelihood of the project plan changing over time, the amount of effort spent on perfecting the plan is minimised – why invest heavily in perfecting something you’re going to continually change? The closer components of the plan come to being executed, the more effort is spent to get it right. The clearest example of this detailed planning is the daily scrum – the planning of the coming day of work.


8. Agile is better than Waterfall.

AgileXperts are obviously advocates for Agile. We do, however, believe both options for project management have benefits suited to particular projects. See our news post on the key differences between Agile and Waterfall to learn more.


9. Agile is just project management.

Agile projects are delivered via self-managed teams (hence no need of a project manager within a team), so, in this way, Agile cannot be considered just project management. An Agile project focuses on business value, people, collaboration, and incremental outcomes, as opposed to fixed targets, exact processes and expansive documentation.


10. You cannot set a budget for Agile projects.

When you budget for Agile projects, you budget in sprints (usually fortnightly). Cost is usually in direct correlation with the project time. So, yes, you can definitely set a budget which describes how much you will spend over a set period of time.


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