Agile is not suitable for fixed bid projects

Before looking at this myth, it’s important to define “Fixed bid projects”. Does this mean fixed scope, schedule, and cost? History has proven that software projects of any significance in size or complexity cannot be accurately estimated well. What is more, according to CHAOS reports 24% of all projects fail and 44% are significantly challenged2. Regardless of the project management methodology, attempting to fix all three does not have a high probability of success. Something has to give – whether it’s adding resources, cutting scope, or moving the delivery date.

As described in the myth “Agile Projects don’t provide Budget Estimates”, agile teams fix the cost, fix the date, and vary the scope. The onus is on the Product Owner to make sure the requirements are not only prioritized correct, but ordered correctly. The team will deliver the highest priority items in the order that they are specified in the product backlog. The lowest priority (and last in the order) items usually turn out to be superfluous, and never need to be developed anyway.

Agile Development is Not Predictable

This myth is closely related to the Agility Means No Commitments. What is more predictable?

Code that is tested and delivered every two weeks, teams that are communicating their status every day (through standups, burn down charts, and various other mechanisms), and requirements that are constantly being groomed and updated.

- or -

Code that doesn’t get tested until the end of a 6/9/12 month project cycle, teams that go dark for months at a time, not reporting status until the end of the construction phase, a requirements document that never gets updated because the change request process is too difficult to manage.

Successful Agile teams bring predictability to software development because every step of the way they are communicating, deploying real code, and adapting to change (and keeping the documentation current). Every two weeks, they will release a set of features that they stated two weeks prior that they were going to work on. They met the expectations and delivered on their predictions.


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Top Agile Myths

In the 11 years since the Agile Manifesto was created, the adoption of agile concepts has continued to grow. This growth has been so significant that Gartner has declared that “agile is now mainstream”.

Along with this growth in adoption and exploration of agile, the number of agile myths has grown as well.

Find out the truth behind the top:

  • Project Management/Process Myths
  • Agile Software Engineering Myths
  • Agile Startup Myths

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