Skip to main content
Skip to footer

Yugesh Avadhanula

Solution Architect, TCS MasterCraft™

Various market study shows that more than 85% of the IT industry has adopted the agile methodology to survive and thrive.

The agile philosophy recommends a disciplined yet flexible approach to efficiently deliver IT solutions through collaboration, sprint-based timeboxing, and retrospective-based improvements with smaller teams with limited and clearly defined scope.

The proper adoption of the agile methodology enables development teams to deliver higher quality software in alignment with customer requirements with relatively less effort. Therefore, for an organization to thrive as an agile adopter, it should ingrain the agile way of thinking and doing at every level.

The lack of proper agile adoption by ground level teams results in the burnout of team members and loss of quality besides adversely impacting the organization. 

Based on our experience, in this blogpost, we have highlighted some of the common ground level challenges that teams face in different phases while executing a project in an agile mode. They include:

User stories spilling beyond a sprint: 

One user story should be ideally delivered within a sprint. But implementation timelines for some user stories can stretch beyond a sprint. This adversely impacts delivery timelines, especially if the user story is a critical one. This commonly occurs due to inaccurate estimation of the efforts. 

Insufficient and unused acceptance criteria:

Acceptance criteria is a critical component for a feature or a user story which drives the test cases and therefore, the scope and quality. Inaccurate or incomplete acceptance criteria for a user story or a feature will result in insufficient test cases and therefore, lead to poor delivery quality. This happens due to incomplete feature analysis and identifying acceptance criteria just for the sake of process compliance.

Sprint effort estimation: 

When the sprint effort estimates are too optimistic, unplanned absence of members in a team affects the sprint deliveries adversely. This sometimes causes several critical user stories to be descoped from the sprint and affects the deliverable quality.

Ad-hoc requests:

Projects with one or more active customers invariably get ad-hoc support requests despite meticulous planning. Most of the time, these requests are time bound and must be addressed quickly. Developers capable of addressing such requests are often those actively contributing to a sprint delivery. This results in sprint timeline slippage.

Quality assurance:    

In any enterprise project, delivery besides functionality, security, performance, and code-quality assurance is also of paramount importance. Any unforeseen gaps identified during the functional and non-functional requirement testing must be addressed with the utmost priority, as they have definite impact on the planned development that is parallelly happening. This adversely impacts the sprint timelines. If proper time and effort are not allocated for identifying and fixing functional and non-functional issues, deadline-based deliveries could happen with known limitations which is not a healthy agile practice.

Infrastructure issues: 

Sprint development requires all developer workstations to be fully equipped with the required infrastructure. Each developer in an agile team must ensure that the required resources are ready before the sprint begins. Any delays in procuring the required infrastructure will be a roadblock to that story completion. 

Parallel sprints:

It is not uncommon for development teams to execute one or more parallel sprints to cater to the needs of critical customers. When the same team members participate in parallel sprints, there is a possibility of poor quality along with developer burnouts.  

Retrospective meetings:

Development teams who newly adopt the agile methodology tend to slowly stop conducting proper sprint planning and retrospective meetings regularly. Sometimes, teams do not record retrospective points. Due to this, the expected benefits of agile methodology cannot be reaped and there is a slim chance for iterative improvements which is the core tenet of agile.

As agile adoption enables quicker development and delivers tested working software, it is imperative that every team adopts it and practices it. Development teams must be wary of the above aspects while executing agile projects. 

In our next blogpost in this series, we will bring forward a set of practices that can help mitigate the above challenges.

For further details please write to us  at 

About the author

Yugesh Avadhanula
Yugesh Avadhanula is a Solution Architect, currently working on TCS MasterCraft™ TransformPlus, which is an automated modernization and rapid application development platform that helps enterprises in their digital journey without business disruption.
Read more about authorRead more about author Read more about author