Lose 25% of Developers When Moving To Agile?!

I attended a very interesting web meeting today about SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) and Agile Development with the Burton Group – a consultancy specialising in Enterprise Architecture.

They explained all the advantages of SOA and Agile Development and why they are such cool things to be doing. I asked what the main pitfalls were in their experience and I heard a very interesting comment.

They said that changing Developers’ mindset for Agile Development was one of the hardest things to do and a challenge that is often under-estimated. I’ve certainly seen this challenge first hand, but was very surprised to hear their view.

In their experience, they say you can expect to lose anything up to 25% of your Developers in moving to Agile Development; as it’s just not an approach that suits everyone.

I must admit my experience is rather different. Whilst I have found educating Developers and Team Leaders (and Business people) to adapt to a different mindset takes time, actually most seem to embrace the concepts and are excited by the approach.

By contrast, I have found most tension comes with Project Managers, as it’s fundamentally different to the methodology they’re used to (invariably based on PRINCE2/Waterfall), and even more so Testers who like to have a lot more clarity about what they’re testing than Agile Development usually provides.


See also: 10 Key Principles of Agile Development

2 Responses to “Lose 25% of Developers When Moving To Agile?!”

  1. James McGovern says:

    The loss of developers occurs because most large enterprises can only do agile for specific pockets and haven’t figured out how to make it pervasive nor sustainable. Once you get a taste of agile, you can’t ever go back to waterfall..

  2. Anonymous says:

    As a developer I would agree with the bit about project managers finding it hard. For me the more I find out about Agile methodologies and try to apply them the more I see the benefits, but as soon as I try to suggest to a project manager that something is a good idea, up comes the brick wall.

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