Catalogue of Agile Smells

by Ulisses Telemaco

The Manifesto for Agile Development has already inspired many software development methods such as Scrum, XP, and Crystal Reports. However, being “agile” is not trivial and only a few companies are capable of mastering so-called agile practices. Failure to apply the agile approach properly can do more harm than good and may jeopardize the benefits of an agile method. Thus, evaluating an organization’s ability to apply agile practices using an agility assessment tool is critical.

In the presented catalogue, we extend the metaphor of code smell and introduce the term agile smell to denote the issues and practices that may impair the adoption of the agile approach. Thus, the focus of the presented catalogue is to gather a collection of agile smells that were identified and validated through a rigorous methodology. In a nutshell, a literature review and a survey were conducted to identify and confirm the characterization of agile smells. We have identified so far a set of 20 agile smells that were ranked according to their relevance. For each smell, we proposed at least one strategy to identify the smell’s presence in real projects. The catalogue can be used by companies to support the assessment of their agility ability.

A full paper describing all details related to the catalogue construction was published in the Open Access Journal IEEE Access an can be found here.


The top 10 agile smells