Anti-Pattern: Water-Scrum

Pattern Description

This anti-pattern could be also seen as “phased agile”:

  • You set up a e.g. three months stage plan for stage 1, stage 2, etc.
  • You expect every stage will deliver at the end of the stage, but the delivery method during the phase is somewhat agile.
  • Sometimes you even see an “Analysis Stage”, a “Design Stage”, and an “Implementation Stage”.
  • This anti-pattern likes to comes along with the User Story = Requirement anti-pattern.

Issue, Problem, Risk

The customer isn’t getting things early. But to get customer feedback (or product owner feedback, or business owner feedback) is one of the key reasons we want to go agile.

The cadence and rhythm of Agile (e.g. sprints) are not being used. Thus the boost in efficiency coming from working in cadence and in sync is lost.

Root Cause

The organization either does not know enough about Agile or does not want to become agile. Or both.

Mitigation, Remedy, How to avoid

Get management buy-in to start a small project which is suitable for agile approaches. Continue to record your lessons, try to learn from the sprint and project retrospectives and try to extend this to more complex projects.

In case of Scrum: get trained Scrum Masters who have the power to assure Scrum is properly implemented.

Get Agile Coaches to help the organization to move towards the Lean-Agile mindset.