PM ChangeAgent Commentary by Stacy Goff.
We’ve written before about the intelligent application of Agile methods in Information Technology (IT) projects: See part 3 of our 4-part 2011 series, The First 10% of a Project: 90% of Success, here in our ChangeAgents articles. This article is a follow up with more insights. And, much has happened since our earlier article.
Agile is maturing, and moving beyond a focus on the last-half-of-the-IT-life-cycle. For example, we have seen excellent discussions on “hybrid” approaches. This involves using Agile where it is most appropriate (and where the prerequisites are in place), and using other insightful pm methods where they are more appropriate. That approach in IT, plus increasing use of Agile concepts in areas such as New Product Development, shows promise.
I do still have concerns about a few agile zealots who insist upon contrasting Agile to Waterfall. Competent PMs disposed of Waterfall in the early 1980s. We also disposed of, for the most part, years-long, hold-your-breath-and-wait-forever IT projects. What did we replace them with? Three-to-six-month bursts (we called them iterations) that delivered prioritized useful business functions. Of course, we also identified most of the prerequisites for success: