Project Management

One way Teams Fail With Agile and How to Avoid It

From the Manifesting Business Agility Blog
This blog concerns itself with organizations moving to business agility—the quick realization of value predictably and sustainably, and with high quality. It includes all aspects of this—from the business stakeholders through ops and support. Topics will be far-reaching but will mostly discuss FLEX, Flow, Lean-Thinking, Lean-Management, Theory of Constraints, Systems Thinking, Test-First and Agile.

About this Blog


Recent Posts

How companies/teams succeed with Agile

One way Teams Fail With Agile and How to Avoid It

Why do organizations fail with Agile?

Piano tops and Agile

Asking Powerful Questions

A CST, in response to my post 'How Agile Fails', asked me “How can Agile fail? Agile is just some ideas shared.” Here's my answer

While Agile's not Scrum, it's pretty common so I'll use it as an example. Scrum has immutable roles, events, artifacts &rules. People are supposed to follow them as is. But since Scrum is based on empirical process control, little Lean, Flow, Theory of Constraints or organizational development is taught. When they have trouble they don’t know what to do. They try, but often can’t solve their problems- struggling while they have day jobs. So what happens is they sometimes substitute a bad practice for a Scrum one they can’t get to work. This often makes things worse.

I don’t blame the folks for abandoning Scrum given they are poorly prepared to adapt it to their needs and are even told not to (Ken Schwaber says "Scrum is simple, use it as is"

A way to fix it this to acknowledge Scrum is just one of many ways to do successful Agile. Scrum has many good practices–but there are no universal practices. People should think of Scrum as a starting point & be given a way to find practices better suited to them as needed. It may not be Scrum, but it may be successful.

Posted on: July 26, 2020 09:37 AM | Permalink

Comments (3)

Please login or join to subscribe to this item
Hi Al,

You are entirely right, but if you try to explain this in a job interview, they don't have the vision to see beyond the scrum framework and how the practices can be improved.


Agreed. and an interesting point.
I am thinking how to get around this - hopefully will have an answer in a couple of weeks.

Very interesting thanks for sharing

Please Login/Register to leave a comment.


If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man but deteriorate the cat.

- Mark Twain