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Before You Make the Leap to Agile - Ten Weaknesses of Agile
Together with my friends and fellow associates at Cedar Point Consulting, we've come up with this list of Agile weaknesses, which apply to Agile as it is most commonly implemented:
In most cases, these integration points need to be identified early, then they need to be clearly defined so that both sides can develop the two software components to work well together. The problem is worsened with third-party integration, when another business needs to integrate with you or you need to integrate with them. In these cases, contracts and service level agreements come in to play, requiring lawyers, approvals and frequent meetings before the first line of code is written, pushing the total completion time up by 2 to 10 times.
Because Agile teams often do not invest the time in identifying and designing the integration points with other systems in advance, the need for an integration point can become a last-minute surprise that often requires re-work, additional time, removal from scope, or a poor-quality product. For many of us, none of these options are acceptable, which explains the weakness of Agile in this area.
With all the strengths of Agile methodologies, these ten weaknesses can (and should) prevent some businesses from adopting Agile in its most common form. While Agile is very popular with consultants, IT journals and on the Internet, it's not well suited for every business and every project (see “Agile Home Ground” versus “Plan-driven Home Ground”).
To summarize, this methodology positioning map should give you a rough picture of where Agile thrives compared with Waterfall and RUP:
If, with the list of weaknesses in mind, you're still thinking about making the move to Agile or you're using Agile already, there are quite a few ways to offset Agile weaknesses. In my next article, I'll describe some key improvements being made to Agile as it matures to handle larger, more complex software development projects and adapts to go head-to-head with the more traditional methodologies.
Donald Patti is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting, a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area, where he advises businesses in project management, process improvement, and small business strategy. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 17 November 2011 17:34|