So it seems that the term Agile is now being applied to everything that involves development and delivering projects; Every single job advert now asks for Agile this, Agile that, but how do you ensure that Agile as a methodology is properly understood by those banding the term around ? Agile is seen by many as means of delivering quicker, by cutting the mountains of paperwork and documentation which projects have a habit of producing, and instead just getting on with it.
Fine, no problems there, as yes a lot of unnecessary documentation is produced in a project, most of which is written, signed off and then filed, never to see the light of day again.
How often have you spent a couple of days crafting a PID, getting the facts right, and finally achieving sign off, only to find that as soon as you refer to the PID to address some contentious issue (“No it's not in scope, as documented in here (the PID)”), everybody ignores you and you are now expected to deliver additional functionality without additional time or resource ?
Exactly.......Why write a document which the Project Board will happily disregard as soon as it suits them ?
So, back to Agile, and the fact there is no longer a need for all of this paperwork........
Management so often don't understand what Agile really means in terms of being a methodology you apply to software development and project delivery. To them it means they get what they want quicker, which is partly true, but it does still require an element of planning, documentation and lots and lots of collaboration.
This collaboration is key and involves not just “them IT bods in the basement” but also that the business actively get more involved with projects and commit more time and effort to the delivery of the project.
The Business lead is involved daily in progress updates, and is constantly called upon during the project lifecycle to make decisions on priorities of work.
The only way to truly implement Agile development and project delivery is to get the business to fully understand what their role is, and to make sure that they work with you as a single unit to deliver the project.
An interesting question I was once asked during an interview was "What happens if you implement a project using Agile, but it goes wrong and fails to deliver ?"
My simple answer was, it won't fail because you as the business sponsor are actively involved in the project on a daily basis, and you are responsible for the decisions made during delivery. If you perceive a project as having failed, then you are saying that you yourself have failed, and that is unlikely to happen !
We are all ultimately in charge of our own careers, and the decisions we all make and we all want to succeed, so with that in mind, lets work together to make every project a success.