Event Report: Agile Antipatterns

Karen and Sam from Growing Agile give us a runthrough on how antipatterns sneak in over time, often with the best of intentions with some examples:

WHAT: Burndowns updated by Scrum Master.
WHY: This antipattern features in many a team but if you do it, you own it. But who cares about the status the most? The team should, so it is best for them to own the burndown.
TRY: Don’t do it. Maybe the team will do it, it might even take 3 sprints, even longer..But the team need to fully understand their progress to do something about issues when they can fix it, rather then at the end when its too late.

WHAT:Same velocity every sprint.
WHY: Velocity should vary and should overall be going up.
TRY: Let the team know its ok to fail. Prepare management for failure. Commit honestly if you honestly believe you can do the work.

WHAT: Fines for being late to meetings.
WHY: You are giving people permission to be late.
TRY: When someone is late, don’t update them on whats happened in their absense, its their responsibility to find out what they missed after the meeting. Finish your meetings early to give people time to get to their next meeting. If people are continually late find out why.

We also discussed the difference between an antipattern and a problem. For instance a 45 minute standup is not an antipattern, its a problem.

For the remainder of the event we broke up into teams and discussed other antipatterns we found in our teams.

It was a thought-provoking evening and I really liked thinking about the differences between an antipattern and a problem. I also would use the format of WHAT/WHY/TRY again, its a good framework to use when thinking about issues.

One Response to “Event Report: Agile Antipatterns”

  1. Sam 21 May 2013 at 09:28 # Reply

    Thanks for the write up Austin 🙂

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