5 Common Problems in the Agile Software Development Process

Agile software development teams work through a series of sprints to reach project completion. In the beginning, the product owner ensures that every part of the project is well mapped out and assigns duties to each team. More than one team may work on the project at any time and the people on each team may change during the product development cycle. That’s why it’s important to understand the common problems in the agile project management process, and here we break down five of them:

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Problem 1: Communication breaks down between teams. These teams include individuals with vast technical expertise, but sometimes they just don’t communicate well with each other. The product people are about preparing the product for the market, and the software engineers are deeply enmeshed in the details of building the client’s service-oriented architecture. If they could just work together, the project would get done faster. The product owner does not have time to resolve all of the communication issues between teams while managing multiple projects.

Problem 2: Knowledge silos hold up progress. People on one team are specialists in certain aspects of software development. They know their coding techniques inside and out, but it may be hard for them to understand the technical components that other teams are working on at the same time. Everyone wants their own share of the project to be superior, but it’s easy for multiple teams to forget they’re working on the same product. In reality, their sharing of technical knowledge would benefit everyone on the project.

Problem 3: Historical knowledge wanes, and agile teams start holding meetings without understanding their relevance. In the beginning, the product owner laid out a plan for the sprints that agile teams would move through to complete the project. If there is difficulty completing one of the sprints or if teams waste too much time on sprint reviews and retrospectives, the entire project stalls. The final product may diverge from the version defined by the product owner.

Problem 4: Quality assurance is not built into the development process. Some people assigned to agile teams have experience working through this process, and others are newer to their respective teams. What’s more, some teams work better together than others. However, the project depends on each team meeting its deadlines and producing quality pieces of software. Agile teams should have a system for documenting that the customer is happy with the completion of each stage of the project. Quality assurance documentation occurs in the background throughout the project even while agile teams push forward to achieve their sprints on time.

Problem 5: Location affects the ability of teams to collaborate on the project. What happens if one or more agile teams are working from different locations? It’s not like they can run across the hall to discuss problems with writing code or bugs to work out after testing has been completed. They have to find ways to work together throughout project management software, through emails and video conferences, and through telephone conversations. Even if multiple teams can conference together on the phone to solve project issues, this takes everyone away from the work they must do to complete their team’s assignment.  

The agile software development process is full of potential issues that hold up project completion. The best agile teams work together to complete their work on time and communicate effectively with other teams. If you partner with the wrong firm to build a service-oriented architecture for your insurance company, you could wait weeks or months and still get an inferior product. We have our risk management and quality assurance methodologies in place to ensure that our agile teams complete all work to your satisfaction. We solve technical problems before they affect the final product. Please contact us today for more information.

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