Levent Gurses has an article, 10 Mistakes in Transitioning to Agile, in the Dec 2006 Dr. Dobbs Journal. He writes about the most common mistakes that companies make when transitioning from “legacy development methodologies” to agile ones. In this series of short articles for the winter holidays, we’re looking at each of the ten mistakes he identified. Enjoy the light reading, and don’t think too much about work.
Mistake 3: Ignore the Corporate Culture
Many companies operate with each department acting as a silo. Agile techniques rely upon cross-functional contributions. When there are barriers (“not my job”, “not your job”) within an organization, they have to be addressed before agile will work.
Setting management expectations is critical here too. In addition to looking for the switch-hitters on the team, we also have to set expectations in terms of pacing and delivery. We’ve written before that waterfall processes are better for planning – because they provide perfect predictions of what the team will fail to do. Many organizations rely on the “predict, deliver, fix” model.