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The Agile Marketer by Roland Smart

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Chapter 9Implementing Agile: Common Objections

Change is hard, especially when you're an incumbent. Change often requires a change maker, and even then there will be pushback. In this chapter, we examine some of the most common arguments against implementing Agile.

Argument #1: “It Doesn't Scale”

Perhaps the most common concern about Agile is the perception that it does not scale well. This is a valid concern, but when put in context I think you'll see that it's not a reason to postpone an Agile implementation.

For product development, Agile methods scale about as well as any other method. The same scale issues that arise with Waterfall tend to come up with Agile. The single biggest one is communication: The more individuals involved in a project, the bigger the challenge it is to ensure good communication. Dunbar's number applies here; it states that there is a limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. This is, of course, an inherent barrier to scale, not unique to Agile. Collaboration platforms such as Asana can help increase the number of relationships an individual can maintain. Like social networks, they facilitate communication and provide a record of relationships, conversations, projects, and documents in the cloud—but there are still limits.

Scaling anything is hard when humans are involved. Agile, however, includes practices that improve our ability to collaborate at scale. For example, in the engineering context, XP's focus ...

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