Agile Antipattern Cards

Spot it. Reverse it. Reap the rewards.

What’s an Agile Antipattern, you ask? An Agile Antipattern is something that at first blush seems harmless but which in practice often proves detrimental to Agile initiatives. They act as kryptonite to your healthy sense of self-organization.

“My boss is on my team.”

“Our daily scrum lasts 45 minutes.”

“We’re doing a documentation sprint before we start coding.”

These are Agile Antipatterns. Knowing how to recognize them and their insidious peers will help direct your team and organization around the typical traps, tripwires, and treachery.



What's Included?

An Agile Antipattern deck contains 24 cards, each highlighting a different Antipattern. These Antipatterns have been collected from around the world via the Agile Antipattern Project and refined through Adam’s experiences helping thousands of people adopt scrum.

The deck is printed full-color on real playing card stock for the slick “I’m an Agile magician” feeling.

The full deck is 3.5 x 2.38 x 0.5 inches and weighs 0.2 pounds.

Using Your Antipattern Deck

Keep your Agile Antipattern deck close to hand so you can flash one when you spot a looming pitfall, or use them to run a retrospective with your team to help banish dysfunction!

For retrospective use, try the following procedure (or adapt your own):

  1. Give a few cards to each team member at the start of the retrospective.
  2. Ask the team to identify the Antipatterns they’ve run into this sprint. *
  3. Facilitate a conversation around the selected Antipatterns.
  4. Have the team pick an Antipattern they’d like help resolving.
  5. As a team, figure out what principles and values of the Agile Manifesto speak to the Antipattern.
  6. Collaboratively devise an action plan for resolving the Antipattern.

* If your team is lucky enough not to have been affected by any of the Antipatterns in the deck during the current sprint, discuss which Antipatterns they did encounter. Submit your newly discovered Antipattern to The Agile Antipattern Project for bonus points!


User Reviews

  • Wow. Not only is this a good reminder for practicing Agilists, this is a good training tool many in our organization. Needless to say, our greater organization IS NOT Agile–and most of these Antipatterns apply to us. These patterns (now identified as Antipatterns) have been embedded in our culture for years and are excruciatingly apparent to many of us now as we try to move into the 21st century. As I introduce Agile & the Scrum framework to our folks, using these cards somehow is sobering call to for our organization to become more agile.

    El Aran,

  • 5 Stars! We recently used the Agile Antipatterns Cards in a Retro. It generated a lot of good conversation and helped us pinpoint a couple of areas we wanted to work on. To add some fun I printed out pictures to post in our scrum area to depict Traps, Tripwires and Treachery. The team seemed enjoy reading the Antipatterns and commenting on them. I would reccommend these for any team wanting to improve and grow.



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