From everything I’ve learned, Agile methodology sounds pretty great. I can’t wait to look for opportunities to use it at work. However, I know that Agile can’t be ideal for all situations, and it is important to know the pitfalls of working in Agile, too.
This article from LucidChart.com provides a look at 3 key disadvantages of Agile and how you can avoid them.
- Teams get easily sidetracked due to lack of processes. LucidChart suggests combating this by looking for ways to measure growth and keeping track of progress.
- Long-term projects suffer from incremental delivery. If you’re managing a project that takes longer than a few months and includes several complexities, incremental delivery might be tough. LucidChart recommends taking a disciplined approach to managing the backlog.
- The level of collaboration can be difficult to maintain. LucidChart points out that an effective way to manage your team is with a scrum board (visual representations of a current sprint). Keeping the team enthusiastic and positive is key, too.
“On the surface, Agile offers project managers a promising methodology for promoting faster project completion and a more efficient development process. But ultimately, it’s your willingness to adapt, be flexible, and collaborate with others that will make it work.”
I think that it’s a good idea to start off with a methodology you want to emulate for a project, and then customize as needed. You might find that your project won’t be best suited for any one methodology to a t, but rather a mixed methodology process might be the best option.
Two instances of mixed methodologies are a “Hybrid” Agile approach and a “Blended” Agile approach.
Blended Agile “is the combination of two or more established Agile methods, techniques, or frameworks.” (agilealliance.org) This approach makes sense for those who are already very familiar with Agile.
An easier approach for people who haven’t mastered all of the techniques of Agile would be the Hybrid Agile approach. Hybrid Agile “is the combination of Agile methods with other non-Agile techniques.” (agilealliance.org)
The type of methodology you choose to use for your project will depend on your goals and what your team is trying to accomplish. There are endless types of methodologies out there. The important thing to remember is that there is not a “one size fits all” approach, and careful considerations of your goals and your teams’ skills and capabilities will drive what methodology (or methodologies) you end up choosing.