Since COVID-19, agile groups have adopted distant practices to ship steady worth to their customers. Many leaders had been unprepared for this distant work tradition and thus some agile anti-patterns emerged. In this text, I’ve listed some agile anti-patterns for distant groups primarily based on private experiences. Before we begin, let’s perceive what an anti-pattern means? An anti-pattern is a sample that you simply suppose will enhance issues, nevertheless it would not.


Communication and Collaboration

With distant groups, communication performs a vital position. You want a talk clearly, steadily, and candidly so everybody feels related. Thus, one of many agile anti-patterns for distant groups that emerged is too many conferences. The break-room conversations close to a merchandising machine or a water cooler have been changed with conferences. As a end result, an engineer doesn’t discover sufficient time in the course of the day to work on his dedicated tales for the iteration and is spending additional time within the evenings or throughout weekends to meet up with his or her work.


There are a number of methods to cope with this anti-pattern. As agile leaders and scrum masters, we have to:

  • Shield our group from pointless conferences and permit them to give attention to their dedicated work.
  • Ensure that groups have entry to applicable collaboration instruments reminiscent of Slack, Skype for Business, and many others.
  • Choose the appropriate collaboration instrument to speak steadily to your group
  • Allow your group to be self-organized


Another agile anti-pattern that applies to each co-located and distant groups is conducting conferences with numerous individuals regardless that solely 2-3 persons are required for the dialogue. Other stakeholders merely need to take heed to the dialogue and monitor the following steps. To me, this feels like micro-managing the group reasonably than trusting them to get the job carried out. Instead, agile leaders ought to encourage the group to take possession, make selections, have direct conversations, and share outcomes with the bigger viewers.


There are not any quiet corners or convention rooms with a distant setting to compensate for your work. Most managers now count on speedy communication which causes an excessive amount of disruption, context switching, and lack of productiveness. The downside of context-switching shouldn’t be new, nevertheless it has elevated with distant groups. Agile leaders ought to encourage their distributed groups to observe the follow of ‘don’t disturb’ hours when they need uninterrupted time to work.


The different agile anti-pattern for distant groups is having lengthy conferences that exceed greater than 2-4 hours with out sufficient breaks in between. This follow causes each bodily and psychological stress to the distributed groups. Some of the rituals like prolonged PowerPoint shows and many others. must cease and conferences ought to evolve into participating, interactive, and collaborative periods which are extra inclusive. Moreover, there needs to be 10-minutes breaks deliberate for conferences longer than an hour.


Not everybody in your distributed groups is skilled in Netiquette. When it involves on-line conferences, a couple of tips or etiquettes (“netiquettes”) will make them more practical reminiscent of:

  • Mute your microphone if you find yourself not talking
  • Don’t interrupt when the opposite particular person is talking. Only the facilitator has the appropriate to interrupt to maintain issues on monitor.
  • Enable your video until you might have a community bandwidth concern at dwelling.
  • Send a gathering invite hyperlink to the invitees and particulars on how one can be a part of the assembly.
  • Be receptive to one another’s ideas and remarks



Many companies are struggling throughout this turbulent time with COVID-19 and have aggressive deadlines to manage up with market instability. With altering enterprise priorities, children operating round the home, elevated cooking, family chores, and countless work-at-home hours, distant groups really feel extra distracted and overwhelmed. They are inclined to work on a number of duties at a time. With all this, individuals begin to cherry-pick work that brings them instantaneous gratification whereas procrastinating on complicated long-term options. During this time, agile leaders ought to continually encourage groups to remain calm, handle stress, take common breaks, reduce context switching, and give attention to enterprise outcomes.



Remote groups are re-inventing efficient methods to facilitate their ceremonies reminiscent of each day scrum, retrospectives, dash planning, dash overview, digital PI planning, and different SAFe, Scrum, or Kanban ceremonies. Let’s talk about a couple of agile anti-patterns on this space.


One of the agile anti-patterns is being the lone facilitator for a digital assembly with numerous members. With greater than 30 individuals in a gathering, it turns into difficult for the facilitator to share the display, take notes, seize dangers, write down parking zone objects, and many others. whereas protecting conversations on monitor to attain the purpose of the assembly. Thus, it is strongly recommended to designate a scribe or a co-facilitator throughout such occasions.


Another anti-pattern is utilizing flip charts or bodily whiteboards (with a video digicam pointed in the direction of them) in a digital assembly. This association doesn’t work properly and frustrates individuals as they battle to learn the content material. Instead, facilitators ought to analysis the suitable digital drafting board or functions that promote visible collaboration inside the group reminiscent of Mural, Miro,, and many others.


A standard anti-pattern when groups first begin with digital occasions reminiscent of PI Planning is lack of preparation earlier than the occasion. For a digital occasion to achieve success and significant, groups should make investments time in preparatory work. A Scrum Master ought to work with the Product Owner to carve out the group’s capability for the preparatory work.


Remote groups ought to be careful for a standard agile anti-pattern when each day stand-ups turn out to be a standing assembly. With no eye contact amongst the distant members, the group tends to report standing to the scrum grasp. Another agile anti-pattern of skipping retrospectives holds good for distant groups too. With a number of conferences, elevated stress, and extra work, groups are inclined to defer or skip examine and adapt ceremonies, don’t have sufficient backlog refinement conferences, begin delivering work that has not met the “Definition Of Done”, and extra. These widespread anti-patterns will influence an agile group’s capacity to ship enterprise worth and to repeatedly enhance.


Built-In Quality and Technical Debt

Due to aggressive deadlines, elevated stress, and reshuffled enterprise priorities throughout this pandemic, it’s fairly possible for distant groups to de-prioritize technical debt discount efforts reminiscent of code clean-up, automated testing, and many others. This will end result within the accumulation of technical debt over time. A couple of extra agile anti-patterns that distant groups ought to be careful for are listed under:

  • Missing Acceptance Criteria
  • Undefined Definition of Done
  • Delivering work with out assembly the `Definition of Done`
  • Lack of applicable testing
  • Lack of required documentation


These are a couple of distant agile anti-patterns that I’ve skilled. If you agree or disagree or if you want to share your experiences, let me know within the feedback part.


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