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When Should I Consider Using Agile Methodology?
Billy Ingram, Director of Lean Product Development, Interface
When should I use Agile?
When you’re working with a dynamic organization: Dynamic organizations can take advantage of short term course changes. If you know the organization adapts to change easily it’s a great time to consider using Agile. Working with adaptable people and organizations is not for the faint of heart. But if you find yourself leading a project where small, rapid course changes are possible you should consider using the Agile approach. This is a great way to strengthen the team and ensure inclusion while improving the end results.
When goals and destinations are still malleable: When you have the chance to influence the future state, the Agile approach increases the speed at which new ideas are evaluated as they occur in the project.
When you are working with strong relationships or teams:. Strong, positive social interactions between team members are a gift. Take advantage of this opportunity to craft a better solution and journey. This is big part of what some organizations strive for when they are trying to improve their culture. If you find it in its natural state count your blessings, encourage more interactions and facilitate your team to success.
When should I use a more traditional waterfall approach?
When your solution is already well-defined: If you already know your goal and a good way to get there, there’s not as much opportunity for improvement along the way. Traditional project management works well in this situation. It’s also more comfortable to most of the individuals who make up the average organization.
When organizations are more siloed: Working with teams in organizations that allow functional are as to plan and act independently rather than interdependently is difficult. Adding uncertainty in project management methods to this type of organization is like throwing gas on the fire. It’s best to stick to traditional project management methods in this situation.
When you are measured by how you complete the project: Some organizations are less concerned with the result and more concerned with the process. Customer service is a great example. Sometimes a bad customer experience result can’t be remedied. The experience can only be made better with a well thought out, standardized method which can be executed to improve the experience. In this case letting every individual adapt the method during the journey could be catastrophic. And anytime you add ‘strophic’ to the word cat it should be considered bad for one’s career.
Considering which approach to take for project planning and execution is one of the most important components of successful project implementation. Clearly, there are many more attributes to consider when choosing your approach. There are also many more that could be added to this article’s short list. However, using directional go, no-go check points early in project formation you can increase your chances of success when implementing your next project.