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Agile Coaches' Corner shares practical concepts in an approachable way. It is for agile practitioners and business leaders seeking expert advice on improving the way they work to achieve their desired outcomes. If you have a topic you'd like discussed, email it to, or tweet it with #agilethoughtpodcast.

Aug 2, 2019

In this week’s episode, your host Dan Neumann is going solo! He will be sharing the top 10 misconceptions he regularly runs into related to Agile, Scrum, and Kanban. Some of these myths include believing that Scrum is a methodology, that Agile is a process, and that following the mechanics of Scrum is sufficient enough to be an excellent team. Have you run into of these? Or do you believe them yourself?


Prepare to have 10 myths debunked! Tune in to hear them all and find out if you’re mistakenly falling for one of these misconceptions!


Key Takeaways

Misconception #1: There is an Agile process

Agility is 4 values and 12 principles

When the Agile Manifesto was created back in 2001 they defined the various values and principles from what they found was common in finding success; they didn’t just imagine what a new process might be

Misconception #2: Agile is good and every other approach is bad

Agile works really well for complex, challenging problems that require teamwork to deliver a solution to

Straightforward problems may not require agility; simple problems require simple solutions

Misconception #3: Scrum is a methodology

Scrum is a lightweight framework

Misconception #4: “We do Scrum… but…”

If you don’t follow the Scrum framework you’re not doing Scrum

By saying “We do Scrum… but…” you’re putting these cracks in the Scrum framework which is going to inhibit your team’s ability to be successful using the Scrum framework

Misconception #5: Following the mechanics of Scrum is sufficient enough to be an excellent team

Scrum’s effectiveness is really enhanced when teams embrace and understand the values behind the Scrum framework (focus, openness, respect, courage, and commitment)

When the values are not present, you can follow the mechanics but you’re really going to be lacking in your ability to become a high-performance team

Scrum values really bring the events, the roles, and the framework to life

Misconception #6: You can have a highly productive Scrum team without adopting good engineering practices

Though this might be true if you are organizing a group of volunteers to do yardwork for a non-profit, it doesn’t work for delivering a working increment of software every sprint

You will be very challenged as a Scrum team if you do not have good engineering practices that are agreed upon as a team

If you don’t take time to continually practice intentionally growing your engineering skills to share those with the team that’s going to limit the ability for your Scrum team to be highly productive

Misconception #7: We can do Scrum without improvement

The retrospective at the end of each sprint is an opportunity for your team to become intentional about committing themselves to continuous improvement

No Scrum team is going to be perfect right out of the gate, but you’ve got to commit to continual improvement

Misconception #8: Running to Kanban because the Scrum boundaries are uncomfortable

It’s difficult to put together a product increment every sprint but these are opportunities for growth and improvement; not your reason to run away and use a different approach

A misconception about Kanban is that it is an iteration-less framework; in reality, Kanban has values and principles just like Scrum

Misconception #9: You don’t “go to” Kanban

You apply Kanban’s values to the work that you’re doing and you embrace those principles (in other words: you just start doing Kanban)

Do not invent a new workflow that you imagine will work; just start with where you are

Misconception #10: Scrum and Kanban are mutually exclusive

They work incredibly well together, so feel free to use them together

You can use the information you glean from Kanban to help improve your team’s ability to deliver using the Scrum framework

What myths do you run into?

Share them by tweeting using the hashtag #AgileThoughtPodcast or email them to!


Mentioned in this Episode:

The Agile Manifesto

Agile Coaches’ Corner Podcast Ep. 28: “Misconceptions and Interpretations of ‘The Agile Manifesto’ with Arie van Bennekum”

Daniel Vacanti

Agile Coaches’ Corner Podcast Ep. 19: “Eric Landes on Kanban Metrics in the Scrum Framework”

Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity, by Kim Scott

Christy Erbeck


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