Debunking Myths About Agile In Software Development

Agile has a lot of myths surrounding it, let's debunk some of these pseudo theories in this short read
Siri Kaliparambil
Oct 14

A project management technique that has gained popularity especially in the IT industry, Agile is an interesting concept that deals with humans and how a team can collaboratively deal with a project while also being flexible to changes. Agile is more than a mere methodology, it is a technique in which team mindsets are conditioned to make them more self-organised.

While this philosophy has been around for quite some time now (since 2001 in fact!), there are various myths and fallacies that surround the methodology because of which it hasn't been as welcomed by other industries as it has been embraced by the development community. Let’s see what some of these false theories are and bust them:

Agile is a methodology!

One of the most popular myths surrounding this technique is that it is a methodology which was not what the creators of this technique intended it to be. In fact, it would be more appropriate to say that Agile is a philosophy wherein teams are encouraged to adopt a mindset wherein they’re open to having flexible processes following agile values and principles. It is a holistic approach which teams follow in order to be more dynamic and efficient while also having the prowess to deliver quality products. The essence of Agile, as it was intended to be, is based on a manifesto which outlines four values and twelve principles which define a particular modus operandi to boost productivity.

Agile is new to the game!

Another fallacy associated with Agile is that it is a contemporary method that has been invented off late. This is not true at all! In fact, the Agile philosophy has been around for almost two decades making it a tried and tested technique. Agile was born as a result of a recoil to traditional development techniques which weren’t exactly the most well-planned to find a method which is far more organised. Invented close to twenty years ago, the Agile way of thinking and doing things has taken the development community by storm with an increasing popularity embracing this formula of working which enhances collaboration within the team while also being a true and productive customer-centric approach.

Agile has no documentation!

While it is true that one of the core fundamentals states that the process values working processes over no documentation, this just means that the documentation process would be limited as opposed to the comprehensive way that traditional processes followed. While it is definitely not possible to hide the fact that Agile followed a less detailed approach to documentation, the reasoning behind this was in fact quite strategic and straightforward! The Agile manifesto outlines a method which is more financially prudent after the creators of the manifesto discovered the time and money that was going into detailing every single particular aspect of the project.

Agile processes are disorganised!

The fact that Agile stresses more on interactions between individuals as opposed to tools and techniques has led to a popular misconception that it is a disorganised way of doing things. While it is true that teams following agile processes require more autonomy, this is just to facilitate the development process to be more fast-paced and efficient in order to make decisions more efficiently. In truth, there is a fair amount of organising that happens even though it is not done in a top down fashion. The organising and planning happening within an agile framework is done by the people who are working on the project who plan effective but short sprints while also factoring in any upcoming changes or rectifications which may be required from the client.

Agile is only for smaller organisations!

Agile provides a framework which can be adopted by organisations of any scale and it can be applicable to any project as it is highly scalable. While Agile does work best for small teams, the trick to applying it for larger organizations is to start at the base level and work your way up within the organisational structure for maximum efficiency. When larger organisations are adopting Agile for the first time, it is important to ensure that it is done gradually while assessing employee’s reaction as the framework is essentially based on values and mindsets. To implement agile the right way for a larger organisation, it is critical to ensure that it is an ongoing process which is done slowly and continually because the intent is to target the working culture of the organisation.

Debunking myths about agile is extremely important as it is an unorthodox approach which has highly enhanced the development process. The process of devising flexible sprints for projects brings in a lot of scope to perfect the product during the development process while improving collaboration both within the team and with the client. To know more about agile and how it can positively impact software development, refer to this article.

Siri Kaliparambil
Oct 12