Top 5 Agile Methodology Myths

Agile methodology goes back 11 years and today has become a common buzzword in the IT software development domain. It replaced the “Waterfall” technology founded by Winston W. Royc. Simply put, Agile methodology can be best defined as a method of software development that assists software developers in various processes. The principles applied by this methodology aimed at eradicating the rigidity that existed in the Waterfall technology by concentrating more on dynamic tasks.

Agile methodology on its developmental path had gathered several myths and misconceptions. The 5 core myths to know and debunk include the following:

  • Myth 1 – Agile methodology is either better or worse than Waterfall methodology.

The reality: Each case needs its individual adopted way of operation. Therefore, there’s hardly any reason to conclude on this myth. Waterfall is apt when you are responding in a predictable way, with clear needs and stable conditions from the start. It is also applicable when excess adaption and feedback isn’t required. If the situation is otherwise, then an agile approach is suitable. Hence, neither is worse or better. It’s just situational.

  • Myth 2 – Agile methodology is synonymous to no design. 

The reality: The truth is, that in order to practice agile, design is essential. In agile methodology the huge up-front designs have very less significance. This is because in most situations these designs end up delaying the coding process and then fails to provide the committed benefits. Instead, agile needs to adapt to an emergent design rationale that is clear in refactoring procedures, where the developers can enhance working code design. Therefore, design is imperative in agile methodology but not the start of a project.

  • Myth3 – Agile is applicable only to “High-Speed” IT.

The reality: Gartner’s concept of bimodal IT maintains that Agile is for a high-speed world. This is very misleading. Agile primarily fosters the process of early and ongoing feedback. Hence, the method can help you in performing the correct things in apt ways during the early stages of a project lifestyle, making the delivery quicker. Hence, Agile methodology by itself is not about “high-speed”! Rather it can lead to quicker time to market.

  • Myth 4 – Agile indicates less stability with increased flexibility. 

The reality: Sometimes in everyday operations companies have to do a trade-off between stability and flexibility. However, with Agile methodology, there is more flexibility. But does that mean one has to compromise with stability? The befitting answer to this is the most accepted definition of agile methodology from Highsmith (2002) which states that the process is all about balancing flexibility and stability. Agile methods can achieve the same and you can see a proof of it in Scrum. Here the product backlog stays open for alterations anytime by the product owner.

  • Myth 5 – Agile should or can substitute everything like a big-bang act instantly.

The reality: When agile method is implemented with a sense of urgency in huge projects and programs across a company, a crucial risk that gains advantage from the agile functioning module will not be clear initially. Often companies and its staff will carry on conducting things assuming that they shifted to an agile approach. However, the transforming capacity of a company is a long-run procedure that comprises changing and learning. The businesses evolve and discover the ideal ways to conduct business. Hence, it is a misleading thought to execute a big-bang agile methodology transformation and then develop a mindset that no further enhancement is required. This rather can act in a detrimental or less progressive manner.

The lists of myths and misconceptions concerning agile methodology include more facts and thoughts. Knowing these 5 core myths benefit companies in having a clear understanding about agile methodology.


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Melissa James