Category Archives: Introduction to Agile

Never Put Off Till Tomorrow What Can Be Done the Day After

mark_twain

A fundamental truth in life is that there’ll always be more to do than we’ll have time or money to do.

Always!

And although projects are (arguably) a part of life, some Project Managers/Customers/Clients still believe they can defy this fundamental truth by introducing Agile – and then using it as an excuse to make unrealistic demands from delivery teams/suppliers.

However, the goal of Agile is not to deliver everything that the customer wants…

A Good Plan Is Better Than a Perfect One

george_01

In an ideal world, things would always go to plan – but since we don’t live in an ideal world, they don’t; hence why the best-laid plans of project managers often go awry.

More often than not, detailed plans laid out on neat charts projecting months (even years) into the future, tend to describe a fictional reality; and perfect plans tend to describe fictional realities perfectly. Because no matter how much time, effort and care goes into planning a project, sooner or later, something’s likely to deviate from the plan.

The Problem With Agile…

AngerA common problem I constantly encounter with people and organisations struggling to get Agile to work for them is this…

They’re focusing on the wrong things – whilst ignoring the key fundamentals that make Agile work.

Now, if your goal is just to slap a few ‘Agile’ labels on what you’ve always been doing, and you have no desire to reap the Agile benefits of higher profits, lower costs, improved quality and quicker time to market, then I wish you well…

…Just remember that Einstein defines madness as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

But if you recognise that in today’s fast paced, highly competitive business world, agility is not only essential for retaining market share and business survival, done properly, it can also give your company a significant competitive advantage, lower risk exposure and earlier return on investment, then watch this video…

The Mysterious Case of the ‘Agile’ Duck

Baby-DuckMy son will be 3 next month.

And he’s currently at the stage of language development where he generalises.

Which makes for some very interesting — sometimes embarrassing — moments.

For example, whilst walking down the street the other day we saw an elderly man. And being the friendly type he is, my son waved to him and said “Hello Grandad” — even though the man was a complete stranger and definitely not one of his granddads.

But my son’s current level of logical thinking led him to generalise that since both his grandad’s are elderly, then all elderly men must be ‘Grandads’ too.

Now here’s the thing…

…although such generalisations made by toddlers developing language skills might be acceptable (even laughable), the same cannot always be said when illogical conclusions are drawn by adults — especially those expected to know better.

Let’s take Agile implementation for example…

Agile Is Not The Goal

agile is not the goalAgile has become the new fashion in the Software Development World. Organizations ranging from startups to large scale development, varying across technologies and domains, from Product Companies to Service Organizations have either started, or planning to start or already have years of experience invested in the Agile Software Development.

The challenge starts when the teams or organizations just want to do Agile, without understanding the need for it. They just want to brand themselves as Agile, as this is the new thing and everyone is doing it. They don’t want to be left behind in this race.

They just focus too much on the practices, and forget to think about why they are doing those practices. They blindly follow the popular Agile methodologies or frameworks without understanding the context of their problems, environment, real need of the hour, believing Agile is the ultimate solution to any problem.