At a Software Association of Oregon presentation in Portland this month (Feb, 2012), Frank D’Andrea, Product Owner, Studio D at Waggener Edstrom Worldwide presented an entertaining and informative presentation on Agile Sucks: Why Everyone Should Use Agile.  You can also watch Frank’s 5 minutes version of the presentation delivered at IgniteSAO last fall.

During the Q&A session, one questioner asked whether he had a list of agile anti-patterns that he can share?  Frank jokingly suggested whether she was looking for a list along the lines of Jeff Foxworthy’s routine, “you might be redneck, if….”.

So along those lines, here is my quick list of agile anti-patterns:

You Might Not Be Agile if…

  • you think daily scrums are optional
  • you think daily scrums are colloquiums
  • you come across impediments and not raise them
  • you raise an impediment and your ScrumMaster ignores it
  • your Product Owner tells you to commit on more stories, and you do, even though your team has never acheive that high velocity, ever
  • you have zombie stories that keep coming alive every iteration
  • the lonesome development team member with testing expertise has nothing to do for 8 days in 2 week iteration and he has 60 hours of work  to complete on the last day of the iteration.
  • your retrospectives are turning up same issues over and over again
  • you have pluses and minuses list from your retrospective but not an action items list
  • you are not experimenting with something new or different every iteration

Comic strip credit: Michael Vizdos and Tony Clark (

There are probably innumerable anti-patterns you can think of.  As a matter of fact,  I came across an hilarious anti-pattern video called Sh*t Bad ScrumMaster Say .  The video creator Adam Weisbart looks to be putting out a book on agile antipatterns, soon.