You May Be Doing Agile Wrong: Here’s Why

Doing Agile Wrong

It’s quick to get swept up in a new trend and end up in a ditch. This principle is exemplified nowhere more than in agile development. Many businesses embrace agile in search of its benefits—ease of accepting transition, shortened turnaround times, evolutionary design, and so on—only to find their best agile experts quitting and the rest of the team struggling to repair a faulty production process.

The trouble with most agile methods isn’t with agile itself; it’s with Agile, the Capitalized Methodology. Agile isn’t a process; it’s a way of working. 

Fortunately, identifying the symptoms of an agile strategy gone wrong and taking action to maintain peace is not difficult. Here are some signs that will help you identify if you’re doing agile incorrectly. 

Using story points as objectives

User stories are an important aspect of agile development when they capture a tech function request from the user’s viewpoint. Point values are assigned to stories to estimate the amount of work required to execute them.

These plot points do not reflect a guarantee or a target. They don’t have any inherent worth or significance. They are an unofficial arrangement among team members that reflect a shared awareness of the dynamics of a project and the team’s capability.

Your 3-point story could be someone else’s 5-point story. When story points are used as a metric for performance, they lose their use as a tool for estimation.

The solution is simple: work with the product owner to establish and calculate useful expectations (or better yet, the users). Don’t confuse “compliance to estimate” or “compliance with the schedule” with “performance”; success is measured by the amount of value delivered – nothing else.

Being Vs. Doing Agile

It all starts with a positive mindset. If the organization focuses on doing agile instead of being agile, they’re already off to a bad start. Agile is a conceptual shift in how you view software production, a paradigm shift. The basic procedures and ceremonies are the least significant aspect of the process. The point is to be agile; once you accept and apply the Agile Manifesto’s ideology, you will automatically “do” agile.

Take a close look at the manifesto; the wording isn’t chosen at random. Consider the following ramifications: Focus on working code and short input cycles; self-organize, self-examine, and self-optimize; remove needless ceremonies, management, and paperwork. This is the beginning of the transition. The basic practices for meeting the objectives stated in the manifesto are still changing.

You’re doing it wrong if you’re implementing a one-size-fits-all agile “phase” that’s compulsory on all teams. The idea of an “ordinary” agile method is contradictory—agile means constantly evolving and changing.

To fix this, bear in mind that the key aim is to produce functioning apps, not to follow a specific formula; no recipe is guaranteed to work with every project and team. As a result, each team should follow its own procedures and be responsible for modifying and developing them.

Scrum is also confused with agile

Scrum is a framework for organizing operations, not for designing applications. Kanban is just the same way. Without solid agile ideals, Scrum and Kanban finally return to the waterfall. Big initial backlogs (inviting waterfall designs instead of gradual evolution) and “standardized” agile methods worsen this in many business environments.

Not Doing DevOps

When something seems too hard or painful, do that more frequently. Automation would be an encouraging practice as a result of this principle.

By automating facilities with resources like Ansible, Chef, Puppet, and others, handle computers like cattle rather than dogs. Render testing and app release automatic, or at the very least push-button triggered. Render the infrastructure invisible by adding it as a separate component of the code base and/or utilizing self-service platforms like AWS. Automation will greatly minimize development time—the time it takes to transform a code update into a production release—allowing for quicker input loops and, as a result, faster learning. Higher-quality software is provided more often as a result of accelerated learning.

Refactoring is not needed

Refactoring not only improves the mechanical accuracy of the code but also allows you to benefit from it. When you refactor, you end up with better ones. Your code is currently functional, but it can sound tense and fragile. The implicit model, which tells your perception of the domain, is revealed by refactoring. Refactoring is not optional in the test-driven growth period of red-green-refactor, lest you incur intellectual debt and refuse to benefit from the coding experience.

Implementing “best practices”

This may come as a shock to those who like to follow a set of practices or specific QA testing tools to do everything. There are no universally accepted “best” practices. Even inside the same organization and on the same project, what works well enough for one team can not work well for another. Every team is a remarkable mix of cultures, talents, and atmosphere, and all we create is a unique snowflake of nature and circumstances. Read about practices that have worked for others, give them a try if they seem relevant, but don’t follow them just because anyone thinks they’re the “best.” Your team’s straitjacket could be someone else’s “best” practice.

Never-ending stand-up routines

Stand-ups, which are meant to be short team-sharing meetings, will easily transform into long meetings. Limit the dialogue to clear comments on items that the whole team should be aware of, such as what you did yesterday, what you’re doing today, and any roadblocks or assistance that might be necessary. A sentence or two on what you’ve heard will also be beneficial. That is what there is to it. You can do this in a round-robin style, by “walking the story wall,” or in whatever other manner the team likes.

Stand-ups aren’t the place to have technical conversations, make choices, propose designs, share battle tales, reorganize a sprint, or do something else but communicate what’s needed for community communication. Instead of dreaming about what you’re going to say, come prepared to listen to what others have done and are doing to consider whether it’s important to you. Any issues that arise outside of the joint status report should be discussed in a huddle or by email. A team member’s stand-up can take no longer than 15 to 30 seconds.


You can make the agile method your pet by doing it the right way or you can let it rule you, in which case your company will incur heavy losses in the near future. No matter how many QA testing tools you use, the only way to transform your agile process is to unlearn the faulty practices and re-learn the core principles of agile. We advise you to focus on the points mentioned above and streamline your agile processes for awesome results.