Currently, about 71% of US companies use Agile project management. However, despite its popularity, people know very little about the Agile manifesto and its specifics. This has given rise to some misconceptions that aren’t really helping anyone.
Here are some we’ve busted for you.
Reality: Technically, Agile management is a mindset that can be applied to almost any industry and project. Unlike traditional project management approaches, Agile management focuses on innovation, exploration, and flexibility. Therefore it works for teams in all sorts of industries—even non-software-related ones. That being said, some project requirements or company cultures may align better with Agile project management, but generally, it’s all about collaborative communication and iterative processes, i.e., relevant across industries.
Reality: Very often, when you mention agile, people assume you’re doing Scrum. This is a very common misconception because Scrum happens to be the most used Agile framework. So, everyone assumes Scrum equals Agile, but they couldn’t be more wrong. Agile is best described as a mindset or an approach; it’s not a single methodology or framework. Scrum, on the other hand, is a framework that uses Agile principles and values, just like XP or Kanban.
Reality: This is also a very common belief linked to the Agile approach, and we think we might know where it comes from. One of the values outlined in the Agile manifesto talks about valuing working software more than comprehensive documentation. We know how it may sound out of context, but it doesn’t mean that Agile is anti-documentation.
The fact is that Agile project management does have plenty of documentation like burn charts, task boards, product backlogs, and sprint backlogs. But the value in the manifesto points toward the importance of having working products instead of lengthy written documents to impress customers.
Reality: Because there’s so much focus on iterations, people assume that it’s all about the short-term tasks and results, and there are no long-term objectives. This is a very simple way to look at it, though. Agile project management does have long-term planning, and it’s called Release Planning..
Reality: This is not true at all. If anything, Agile requires more well-displaced themes in order for it all to work well. When agile project management is in place, collaboration is more important than ever, but to get the best out of the team, it’s important to lead them well. This is up to the project manager, and the only way they can make this work is with the right agile project management training.
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