To Agile or not to Agile?
Nils Boeffel shares an article that explains why it’s important to recognize where, why, when and how the agile method chosen makes sense.
Agile methods are not simply a project management that work differently from the classic waterfall method, but they are something more. Agile looks to establish a culture of continuous change, of questioning the status quo, of adapting the organization to ever faster changing needs. It will force management to manage more by goals and objectives, and steer away from micromanagement. It will transform (parts of) the organization into a network organization, away from the traditional hierarchy and matrix models. Above all, it will ensure that management continually questions priorities, and aligns upcoming tasks with business priorities and strategic objectives.
When is the right time to use agile methods? Are they sometimes out of place or overkill? This is definitely a good question to ask before starting on the agile journey. As Simon Sinek says in his famous Ted Talk: “First Ask Why”. What is forcing you to go agile? Why do you think you need it? What problems does it need to solve for you?
The main question to ask is whether or not agile is the right solution to what you are faced with, or whether other methods possibly are more relevant? Basically: Choose smartly between a Hammer and something else, and make sure the entire world does not start to look like a nail to you!
Understanding where agile makes sense
There are many good drivers to push you towards agile project management methods. If your industry is undergoing rapid change, if the environment you operate in is chaotic, fast changing, and complex (think VUCA), Agile is a possible solution. If you are simply looking to make smaller incremental changes, Agile may be overkill. Revolution? Think agile. Evolution? Think lean six sigma.
When looking at your organization, you will see parts of it that are working and functional, and you will see areas where changes are needed. This is normal as organizations (or parts of them) are always working in one of two states: Steady State (requiring smaller changes), or Changing (requiring larger changes).
Key points include:
- Optimizing an existing organization or process
- Six sigma Frameworks
- Building and changing an organization or process
Access the full article, Using the Right Tool for the Job: When Agile Methods Make Sense, on Boeffel.net.