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Challenges in Agile projects

By ramkip ·
The following challenges were observed while working on multiple Agile projects. I have tried to summarize the challenges here... Also includes suggestions on how we could overcome them.

- Agile requires very good time management skills not only from the PM/Scrum Master but also from each and every team member. Maintaining the time management skills for long is a challenge.
- Meetings are not focused and tend to take long time. This mostly happens during the initial stages. This is another challenge for the PM to moderate meetings
- Daily standup meetings are not effective
- No one raises any issues during standup meetings but project still gets delayed. This is a big challenge for the scrum master/PM to ensure that the issues are raised and tracked.
- Communication gap among the team members.
- Revised estimates (burn chart) not done effectively. The actual remaining effort required may be done religiously and the issues get reflected during the *** end of the iteration/sprint.
- Some real examples during standup meetings as mentioned by the team members.
- ?I updated a couple of classes yesterday and will be updating a couple more today. No issues faced?.
- No one knows what classes were updated and how it affects the system. Also there was no update on the test cases written and executed. This is where the scrum master needs to act and extract information useful for the other team members.
- ?I have studied one requirement yesterday. Will be continuing on the same today as well. No major issues faced?.
- The team member mentions neither about the requirement (details) that he is working on nor how much time is still going to take.
- Scrum master not aware of what has been told the previous day and whether the same has been mentioned that it is completed. However it was not verified, if completed, whether the same has been checked in. If not done, then why the same was not completed (to bring out the issues faced by the team member). This requires the scrum master to do the ?home work? before the meeting.
- Agile Quality process not defined and the team follows the traditional quality process. PM/Scrum master spends time in this activity, which provides little value to the project. Metrics to track in Agile are different (simpler ones and not expected to take any time). For example, in Agile, it may not give any value add in predicting the bugs in design, coding or unit testing phases as these go in parallel. However, the following metrics need to be maintained.
- Schedule variance ? This is expected to be zero.
- Scope variance ? Initially planned requirements vs. delivered requirements in that sprint (they can be more or less). This is a tricky one as it can capture the change in requirements as initiated by the customer or the problem in the effort estimate for completing the same. Effort estimates are expected to even out in the long run.
- Defect density during the QA phase
- Post delivery defect density
- Testing/QA team heavily dependent on the development team to understand the requirements.
- QA team not able to write the test plans from the requirements.
- Development and testing are not done in parallel
- Testing team doesn?t test incremental builds.
- Focus only on the final build to test all the functionality at one shot
- New test cases are not added to the regression test suite whenever new functionality is added.

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