I have been reviewing agile adoption process for product company, service company and also product company where vendor is engaged in developing/supporting product either following Fixed Price or Time & Material. My job is to observe why team fails to deliver product on time while following agile (Scrum) methodology and recommend and coach team to deliver working product.
Below is my observations based on process review, interaction with management, vendors and team members. I attend all ceremonies like daily scrum, sprint planning, sprint review and retrospective to understand gap in adoption. Also review tools that team is using before coming up with any recommendation.
Adoption of Agile without any formal training – Team has not gone through any formal training and have no or little knowledge about agile project management. Just following management instruction to deliver project using agile.
Individual and Collaboration vs Command and Control – Agile values and principles is completely misunderstood by team. Manager/leads still driving team rather than team taking own decision based on inspect and adapt. This leads to dissatisfied team and team member not motivated.
Fixed price contract and agile – Vendor says fixed price and agile can’t go together and vendor consider fixed price contract is top most impediment. Vendor’s management team is passing this message down to team as well that leads to misunderstanding about agile in fixed price project.
Sprint duration not consistent – Sprint duration is not consistent so velocity can’t be calculated that leads to unpredictable delivery timeline.
Definition of Done (DOD) and Acceptance criteria not defined for sprint – Team is iterating sprint by sprint but product not. There is no clarity about DOD and acceptance criteria and team itself testing product and logging defects.
Project management tools not properly configured/utilized – Team is using tools like Jira, Rally or RTC and some them even MPP but these tools not helping team in release prediction. These tools are also not in sync with other tools like requirement management, bug tracking etc and not getting updated regularly so not helpful.
Continuous Integration missing – CI tool is available but not configured and team is not configuring CI that leads to resource waste towards the end of project. Team spend many hours in every sprint to fix only integration issues towards the end of development.
Team structure – Team doesn't have proper scrum recommended structure. Lead playing role of scrum master, technical people playing role of product owner. Scrum master and product owner role is completely misunderstood. Team is also not cross functional because sprint runs only for developers and testers still follow waterfall approach
Agile metrics not implemented - Team doesn't have any defined metrics like burn-down chart, team velocity, release burn-down etc. Team velocity is known in absence of metrics.
Product Backlog is not managed and groomed properly – Team not working on breaking big feature/change request/defects into a small and manageable stories. One big features getting completed in multiple sprints.
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