Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Agile State of Mind

Are you wondering how to choose which project management method to deliver a successful project? Organizations today have to be more competitive in the marketplace so choosing the best practices and methods for your organization and projects is important. Agile is a set of values and principles, not a pre-defined process with obvious areas of limitation. Waterfall is a model based on development method that is linear and sequential.

Here are four criteria to choose the best fit of methodologies at the right time for the right customer.

1. Time to market projects – Agile adoption has replaced waterfall in organizations in the delivery of small, yet frequent pieces of functionality where requirements are expected to evolve, change is embraced, competition in the marketplace is a key concern, and critical to delivery of the latest technology. I.e.: medical device manufacturing, military/aerospace.

2. Status quo – Waterfall is a better choice for organizations that are not flexible, have clearly defined requirements, frequent interactions with end users and other stakeholders is a constraint or when there is risk of key developers quitting the project midway.

3. Success criteria – The success of a project that is defined by delivering business value will benefit from agile methodology. The success of a project defined by measured by KPI of the IT organization would be better suited with a Waterfall methodology.

4. Organizational Project Portfolio – Organizations that have a diverse portfolio must be both risk adverse, innovative and take some risks to be competitive.  Choosing a hybrid approach to use a blend of both methodologies would be beneficial. Planning, requirements and team communication are areas in which organization are designing custom best practices/ methodologies that fit their culture.

Action Items to Help You Get Started:

> Choose your methodology wisely; make sure your project team can adapt to the change and lead using the right best practice methodology or a hybrid approach.

> Focus on team member selection – Resources on an agile team can thrive by co-locating in common areas or resources can struggle due to intense and constant interactions which may create stressful team dynamics.

> Leadership Support – all projects need great sponsors, buy in from the business for implementing IT standards and methods and support for product service delivery using a big bang approach to smaller iterative delivery cycles.

Ultimately, a hybrid approach of traditional waterfall and agile elements make be your key to success. A hybrid approach can help an organization leverage talent and deliver business value early and often for software development projects.

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- See more at: http://www.iirusa.com/projectworld/speakers.xml

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