I’ve had the opportunity to work in several non-pure agile environments for the past 5 years. I would consider them more like mini-waterfall pitfalls instead. I’ve attempted several times to implement an agile framework with my current employer by bringing in an Agile coach to give an overview and send motivated individuals to conferences or online training classes. But unfortunately, the attempts turn out to be hybrid versions that lack full transparency where projects become silo-driven efforts that undercut unity and sometimes leave teams frustrated and in opposition.
In my experience not all team members are asked to be engaged in the Sprint planning sessions, but are only brought in at the end, which creates more bottlenecks and carryover work that’s not truly “done” work. Instead of pulling work, it gets thrown over from Dev to QA. This pitfall scenario always ends up with bugs at the very end that get carried over to more future sprints as technical debt, causing delays and puts sign-offs at risk.
I have also been exposed to stand-up meetings and Sprint Reviews, which are better managed when feedback is encouraged by all, and not left to a single individual or group. However, there are times when the Product Owner and other stakeholders are not able to attend meetings, which handicap the team when critical questions go unanswered or decisive decisions are not made for a long period of time.
I’ve attended retrospectives, which are valuable for process improvement, but they become ineffective because the team loses interest or becomes complacent. It’s one thing to talk about trying new things to get better and it’s another to not actively pursue improvements after a retrospective. Maybe we need to try different formats and techniques to get teams more excited and not let goals and ideas sit on the shelf for weeks or months before one acts on them.