Agile Myths and Misconceptions

GoRetro Team
August 22, 2022
Posted on
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  1. "We're working with Scrum which means we don't need to implement any practices from Extreme Programming”: Alternately, Scrum founders - Ken and Jeff are both in favor of scrum teams utilizing all aspects of Extreme Programming in their work to become ultra-productive.
  2. Test-driven development won't give us all the answers, so we might as well not use it: TDD is never an "all-in or all-out" deal; you get better and better at judging what should be tested, and how to do it as efficiently as possible. There are always new angles and approaches to take into account. Your attitude shouldn’t be to assume there’s nothing new to learn.
  3. I can learn all I need to about applying Agile methods from books: The most effective and long-lasting learning comes from regularly acting out a task. This means, coaching, mentoring, speaking to others in Agile and practice will teach you not only the theory but practical aspects that can’t be communicated from a book.
  4. "The candidate should support and take direction from the scrum master": The Scrum Master is not a managerial position. It is a role that is assumed by someone capable of organizing and facilitating a Scrum team. They help the Scrum team learn by themselves and teach them how to solve problems by themselves. This means that Scrum master’s should never be in positions where they’re ‘bossing’ people around, but empowering them to self-learn and self-develop.
  5. Talking about ‘the’ agile methodology: Agile is a family of different methodologies that can be applied to different situations. Scrum is only one of the Agile methodologies; so to say talk about ‘the’ Agile method is an immediate mistake.

You need especially talented people to develop software the agile way: Scrum is designed to get best productivity out of a lot of moderately competent programmers who want to work together. So much in fact, that removing one disproportionately productive team member who doesn't want to help the others can actually "unblock" the rest of the team and bring their new combined productivity up to above where the super-productive former team member was.

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