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Guest opinion: Do we need Agile development?

Arif Jubaer | Feb. 13, 2014
As a keen observer of the IT industry, I come across numerous buzzwords and phrases to describe new and improved technology products, services, and implementation methods.

At the cost of lesser documentation the users may get quicker temporary solution but in the long run, they suffer more when they need to change the software functionality.

This also has bad impact on the development team who built the software at the first place because it becomes much harder for them to remember the existing functions of the software without the right documentation, or worse, if the development team has changed.

Does Agile reduce the project failure rate?
Reduced project failure rate is another highlighted characteristic of Agile. There is no guarantee that a project will not fail if you follow Agile. A project that failed using Waterfall won't necessarily be successful with Agile.

That prompts me to point out few reasons why project may fail, such as the incorrect assumption that requirements are fully understood at any given time of the project,that changes will always be manageable, and integration will be smooth.

In relation to these wrong assumptions, Waterfall never forbids the development team to keep understanding the requirements as they develop. It doesn't prohibit changes from being addressed in small chunks.

Agile more suited to extroverts
Agile is more suitable for extroverts who can promote their work well during the Agile standup. But to the best of my knowledge often most of members of a development team are introverts.

These introverts — who are often very creative — contribute equally like any other team members and with Agile, their contributions often go unnoticed to the demanding project lead.

Also, the less confident a project lead is, the more he likes Agile. I believe this is because each day, the entire team reports to him during Agile standup meetings, which gives him a sense of satisfaction.

Ultimately, organisations should invest more in preparing leaders and creative teams and should not invest too much in another methodology that may or may not work for them.

They should find the best way for rational communications between team members and the business without any regular overhead. It's important to think about long-term impacts as well, instead of opting for a quick solution at the cost of documentation or any necessary elements, and don't be influenced by competitors and the methodologies they are pursuing.

If Agile is the only best way forward for a given scenario, then go for it. But you do not need to fit into the Agile box. Creativity should take the upper-hand instead of the so-called 'smart' methodology. And the entire team should be vigilant at any given timeto achieve short and long term application development goals.


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