Quick Glance at...

The company has “successfully transitioned to Scrum”. You work in two-week sprints and do all the rituals. But behind the scenes, most things in your company work exactly like before.

People in your company start saying things like:

  • This is not how Scrum is supposed to work
  • Agile is not working for a company like ours
  • We are doing Scrum-But
  • What we do is Water-Scrum-Fall

"Agile Theater" is one of the anti-patterns from my book Quick Glance At: Agile Anti-Patterns. Get the book now to read more about this anti-pattern and eight others.

a page from the book about the anti-pattern agile theater

How "Agile Theater" Looks Like

Your company is starting to implement Scrum (or any other agile methodology), or they have already finished their "agile transition". And on the surface, it looks like you are doing everything your methodology requires you to do.

But when you take a closer look, you can see that nothing has really changed. Your company is experiencing problems like:

  • Decisions still take a long time
  • Implementing changes still takes time
  • Long lead times for deliverables
  • Large Releases
  • The company cannot react quickly

Even if you do everything that is prescribed by the Scrum Guide, you can still create an environment that is not agile at all.

Everything you do - The meetings, burn-downs, user stories, ... - is just a stage play. Your company is playing "agile theater".

Why and How to Get Better

When you are in a situation like this, you pay all the cost of begin agile, while getting none of the benefits. Your team and your company still cannot react quickly. They still cannot reduce delivery risks.

To get better, you must change the way your company works.

You must work on...

  • making communication better
  • decentralizing decisions
  • creating an organizational structure that is more suitable for agile working
  • creating trust in your organization

This is not an easy thing to do. But when you start now and when you try to do it in small, safe-to-fail steps, you might succeed.

Learn more about this anti-pattern and eight others in the book Quick Glance At: Agile Anti-Patterns:

Buy this ebook: Learn about

  • Nine agile anti-patterns
  • How they usually get started
  • Their root causes
  • How to spot them
  • What you can try to improve your situation

What readers say...

"OMG this book is so good, and it will describe exactly what is going on at your company! [...] It even offers solutions :)"

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David Tanzer (large)

About the Author

My name is David Tanzer and I have been working as an independent consultant in the software industry since 2006. I help my clients to write better software (higher quality, better architecture, better design) and to get better at writing software (better processes, better communications, less friction and waste).

I do so by providing training, consulting and coaching - And also on-site development. I have been working with Agile software development methodologies for almost ten years now, and I help my clients become more agile.

Not Convinced Yet?

Get a free sample chapter of the book here! You will get an email with a free chapter, and a chance to buy the book later. The free chapter contains one of the anti-patterns and some more content.

With the free chapter, you can check if the book is for you. And if you like it, you can buy it later by just clicking a link.

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Quick Glance At: Agile Anti-Patterns
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