Who does agile really benefit?

Who does agile really benefit?

Agile and related methodologies have been praised for improving communication and increasing efficiency. But are they truly benefiting everyone on the team?

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Who gets the most out of Agile?

Everyone wants to improve their experience at work.

Whether that takes the form of increasing efficiency, reducing confusion and anxiety about what needs to be done, feeling like your ideas and feedback are heard and respected, or simply knowing that the projects you work on are making an impact, there are seemingly endless ideas about how the nature of work can be improved for employees and employers alike.

Within the world of software, agile practices have been among the most talked about ways of improving processes. But are they all that they're cracked up to be?

Proponents of agile laud the focus on the individual, the mandate to build working software on fast timetables, and the ability to quickly and easily respond to change. The processes themselves, like kanban boards and daily stand-ups, are praised and evangelized by many who have made the switch to agile practices on their team or organization.

But agile is not without its critics. Detractors say agile can be a time waste when too much energy is spent maintaining the process itself for the sake of process, and that it's simply incompatible with certain personality types, working styles, and the demands of some types of jobs. They may even feel micromanaged by the frequent check-ins. While agile may work for management, it doesn't work for them.

So what do you think? It's clear that agile is continuing to see adoption across the software industry. But is it benefiting everyone? And if not, who is the real beneficiary?


About the author

Jeff Mackanic - Jeff Mackanic has been at Red Hat for more than nine years and is currently responsible for the creative services team at Red Hat. After several stints with varying levels of success at many e-commerce companies, Jeff became one of the original employees at Akopia, which delivered ecommerce solutions based on the Interchange platform. After Red Hat acquired Akopia, Jeff spent several years in Red Hat Consulting. Jeff has also worked in IT and marketing during his tenure at Red Hat.