Is your Agile project an informed decision?
As rightly said, Agile is a mindset and not a methodology. Agile can be adapted for a project only if everyone agrees to it.
As service industries start adapting Agile, it is best to set some ground before taking a decision. Lets take a look at the core values of Agile and see how it gels with the services industries, points worth considering –
- Agile emphasizes on working software instead of documentation – but is the client ok with it? Are they legally compliant to have no or limited documentation?
- Agile emphasizes constant feedback and client interaction. But are the stakeholders available to spend that amount of total engagement time? What is the cost to involve stakeholders for full project duration rather than just a few phases?
- Agile emphasizes a faster go-to market. This also implies that the cost for procuring and maintaining environments comes much sooner than a waterfall approach.
- While emphasizing on responding to change, this should still fall within the boundaries of the budget as well as comply with the goal of the project.
Rather than juggling between Agile and non-agile aspects, trying to alter Agile to accommodate non-agile processes, and make agile work for non-agile suited projects, I would recommend to include a methodology analysis at the beginning of the project, that is similar to need analysis. This will help in finalizing the approach at the start of the project.
Agile should be an informed decision rather than a default option.
To best tackle this situation, where everyone wants to go agile yet don’t want to go away with certain non-agile aspects, discuss the following key aspects upfront before initiating the project –
- Lay out the approach to stakeholders
- Take a buy-in as to what level of documentation is required
- Discuss the cost of maintaining environments upfront
- Understand how much involvement can the stakeholders commit to
This will help finalize the level of agility that the project should accept, and thus would help in crafting the hybrid model that best suits the project requirement.
While adapting Agile is not a problem, the problem is in blindly adapting it. So take a step back, think, and then utilize the best suited approach for your project.