The Top 3 “Way Too” Scary Aspects of Going Agile

With Halloween just around the corner, we’re all going to have enough to be scared of without worrying too much about an ongoing Agile transformation. So, we decided to attack your fears head-on and offer some guaranteed solutions to help you deal with the top three scariest aspects of going Agile.

Getting Way Too Much Done

Let’s just hit the biggest fear right up front.

When you complete your Agile transformation and your teams are operating at maximum efficiency, you’re going to be booking through sprints at record speed, crossing off user stories left and right, and churning out one successful release after another.

You’re going to potentially exceed your initial quarterly or six-month production estimates by a large margin because they were put together prior to the transformation and no one realized just how powerful this change was going to be.

That’s a scary place to be when you’re not prepared.

So get prepared now:

• Learn now how to effectively plan ahead for the realities of an Agile work flow as it translates to your organization, and adjust the estimates as needed.

• Then, maintain an expert knowledge of rapid estimation best practices so you don’t run into this problem going forward.

Giving Way Too Much Power to the Team

One of the main reasons Agile works is that the development team becomes far more autonomous, taking responsibility for the planning and execution of the project, and embracing accountability for how it comes out.

This is great in a lot of ways, but it’s scary too.

After all, those decisions and the responsibility that goes along with making them used to be the sole property of upper management. That means those managers are probably a little scared to give it up, and the teams may be a little scared to take it on.

Way Too Many Changes Happening Way Too Fast

On a broader scale, the pending Agile transformation is going to mean changes at every level of the organization.

Roles are affected, job descriptions are rewritten, in some cases compensation packages are adjusted. This can create feelings ranging from skepticism to outright anger. But fear is probably one of the most common.

There are project-based management issues at work here, but there are also a lot of people-based issues that need to be addressed.

In both cases, training, communication, and a unified vision are key to getting past the fear and embracing the positives of the situation:

Professional Agile training courses specific to your organizational structure, the roles involved in the transformation, and other variables only you can identify, can ensure that everyone involved in the effort is comfortable with what their new roles and responsibilities.

Agile coaching and mentoring can provide an experienced voice of reason and understanding within the organization to help ease the transition as things get rocky.

•Full scale Agile transformation programs can take the heavy weight of responsibility out of your hands and into the hands of professionals who have successful done this before, and will be able to help you do the same in your organization.

So, as we head into the Halloween season, go ahead and get scared. But don’t let it be about your ongoing Agile transformation.