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What Is an Agile Impediment?

In Agile software development, the definition of an Agile impediment is anything that slows down or hinders the productivity of a team, hence affecting the successful delivery of a product. Impediments are a normal occurrence in an Agile Scrum team and can occur at any time due to the complexity and dynamics involved in the product development process. 

An impediment occurs in different forms. It could be a missing resource or a bug that pops up during development or testing. Additional Agile impediment examples include unresolved dependencies, a sick team member, business or customer-related roadblocks. 

Most Agile impediments delay the progress of the project at hand. In this case, the Scrum master is responsible for identifying, tracking, and removing impediments. At other times, the team members can also play a part in identifying impediments. 

Some common ways to tackle an Agile impediment

Agile impediments can be tackled in the following ways:

1. Make impediments visible

Rather than ignoring the impact of an impediment, it’s best to create an impediment log so your team can clearly visualize the obstacles in the way of work. An Agile impediment log is used to record, track and resolve a list of obstacles, challenges that delay the team’s performance. 

The first step is to identify the impediments and get all team members to understand the impact of these impediments. Once the impediments are understood, they need to be written down and made publicly available for anyone to view. These lists of impediments are captured on an

Agile impediment board which helps in the visualization process. 

2. Address the root cause of the impediments

Once the impediments are identified, the next step is to identify the root cause of the impediments. This is more effective than focusing on solving the impediment itself. Once the root cause of the impediments has been identified, the Scrum team begins to resolve the impediments.

3. Get senior leadership involved in resolving the impediment

The entire Scrum team needs to collaborate in order to identify the impediments that need to be resolved, starting from the highest priority impediments. Once an Agile impediment is resolved, the Scrum master then updates it in the impediment log.