Agile Roadblocks: Lost in Translation


Agile Roadblock

In the series about agile roadblocks: obstructions for implementing agile processes, the time has come to “Lost in Translation”. (Please read the previous posts about stray team members and drowned by waterfalls as well.)

People are eager to migrate to agile processes such as Scrum. There’s a lot of talk about sprints, scrum boards and retrospectives. One thing that is overlooked is understanding why agile works and the rationale behind it.


I am convinced that you cannot truly succeed with agile software development unless you understand the principles behind. It is not enough to merely apply the methodology. You have to understand why you do things, and why – if so – agile may actually work in your organization.

Knowing the reasons, and motivation, behind agile processes assist in evaluating and fine-tuning the process. Without the bigger picture, decisions may be contra-dictionary and the expected increase in productivity won’t happen.


  • The full effect of migrating to agile may not happen.
  • Agile practices are met with skepticism and suspicion.
  • Decisions are made that counter the benefits of agile development.


  • Educate everyone on why agile development may be successful. There are tons of useful resources online. If you are using Scrum, for example, start by reading the Scrum guide and this excellent blog post about the origins of Scrum by Ken Schwaber, one of the founders of Scrum.
  • Try to remember the big picture when making decisions. Ask yourself questions like “Will this lead us to a more effective implementation of agile?”
  • Formulate a vision and long-term goals. Evaluate progress.

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