- Are unwilling to pursue rough-cut solutions
- Suffer from perfectionism
- Are over-focused on architecture and software longevity
- Focus on avoiding criticism rather than getting something out there
- Are too willing to code first and ask questions later
- Have poor communication skills, particularly under stress
- Detest / lack empathy for users
- Lack project management skills or have an empty-suit manager
- Are afraid and indecisive
- Are unable to listen
Consultants who are...
- Displaying bid-to-win behaviors, are desperate to win a deal or keep the account (hint to clients: interview their CTO about the bid)
- Too flexible, too compliant, willing to make commitments they cannot really meet (hint to clients: watch out for cultural differences)
- Unable to deliver "bad news" quickly and effectively (ditto)
- Unable to say no and make it stick (ditto)
- Unwilling to take charge in an uncertain situation
- Unable to listen
- Unable/unwilling to respond to requests the same day (hint to clients: get an SLA)
- "Yes men" / empty suits
- Overemphasizing speed and volume of coding, underemphasizing building the right thing
- Unwilling to be on site (or at least in the same time zone as the rest of the team)
Management that is...
- Unwilling to actively participate in the project, as well as champion it
- Excessively focused on command-and-control, requiring all key decisions to be escalated; unable/unwilling to trust or truly delegate
- More focused on budget than value; overly interested in narrowly-defined metrics; limited attention span for broad objectives
- Exhibiting ADD or memory issues
- Willing to promote someone who really doesn't know the domain and doesn't want to learn it
- Rewarding fierce intramural competition, so leaders have clear incentives to low-ball budgets, over-promise deliverables, and play games with milestones
- Holding people accountable but not giving them control of resources.
- Using fear as a management tool, and publically punishing failure
- Unwilling to unequivocally prioritize, set realistic deadlines, or acknowledge tradeoffs; unwilling to filter the signal from the noise
- During contract negotiation, adds unrealistic conditions and asymmetric risk items
The bottom line
There's no scoring system here -- but if you detect enough of the issues outlined above in a team member, seriously consider replacing him/her fast. If you detect enough of the issues in the management area, it's not likely that agile is going to be a success within that part of the organization.
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