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Agile Anti-patterns

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A good anti-pattern has 2 elements:

1. A repeated pattern of action that appears beneficial, but ultimately produces more bad consequences than beneficial results.

2. A refactored solution exists that has been proven in actual practice and is repeatable.

So, what are common pitfalls that new (or even experienced) agile practitioners fall into? Learning about and watching out for these anti-patterns is a great way to inspect and adapt your agile practice.

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Agile Anti-patterns

  1. 1. Agile Anti-patterns Andrew Cox @coxandrew
  2. 2. What is an anti-pattern?
  3. 3. “A pattern that may be commonlyused but is ineffective and/orcounterproductive in practice.”— Wikipedia
  4. 4. See Also• Scrumbut• Process Smells• Cargo Cult Agile
  5. 5. Why learn anti-patterns?
  6. 6. 2 key elements:
  7. 7. 2 key elements:• A repeated pattern of action that appears beneficial, but ultimately produces more bad consequences than beneficial results
  8. 8. 2 key elements:• A repeated pattern of action that appears beneficial, but ultimately produces more bad consequences than beneficial results• A refactored solution exists that has been proven in actual practice and is repeatable
  9. 9. “Scrum is like your mother-in-law.Its constantly pointing out yourshortcomings.”— Ken Schwaber
  10. 10. The Anti-patterns
  11. 11. We Tried Baseball and It Didn’t Work
  12. 12. Agile Coding Sandwich
  13. 13. Kitchen Sink Product
  14. 14. Deadlines
  15. 15. The AbsenteeProduct Owner
  16. 16. Customer Driven Development
  17. 17. Double Duty
  18. 18. Watching the Runners (aka “Maximizing Capacity”)
  19. 19. RetrospectiveActionless Items
  20. 20. A “Bug Fixing” Sprint
  21. 21. Sword of Damocles Standups
  22. 22. Layer Cake Stories
  23. 23. Premature Allocation
  24. 24. Silo People
  25. 25. Multitasking
  26. 26. Agile as Project Management (aka “Not using XP practices”)
  27. 27. XP Practices• Test Driven Development• Pair Programming• Continuous Integration• Coding Standards• Simple Design• Refactoring
  28. 28. The Nots(aka Not doing these things is bad)
  29. 29. Not
  30. 30. Not• ... designing
  31. 31. Not• ... designing• ... maintaining a prioritized backlog
  32. 32. Not• ... designing• ... maintaining a prioritized backlog• ... having retrospectives
  33. 33. Not• ... designing• ... maintaining a prioritized backlog• ... having retrospectives• ... having a definition of “done”
  34. 34. Not• ... designing• ... maintaining a prioritized backlog• ... having retrospectives• ... having a definition of “done”• ... spiking for risky stories
  35. 35. Not• ... designing• ... maintaining a prioritized backlog• ... having retrospectives• ... having a definition of “done”• ... spiking for risky stories• ... prioritizing technical debt
  36. 36. Further reading• Out of the Crisis by W. Edwards Deming• Scaling Lean & Agile Development by Craig Larman and Bas Vodde• The Decline and Fall of Agile by James Shore• The Scrum Guide• We Tried Baseball and It Didn’t Work

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