On Agility

The problem existed in the business I worked in, a few years ago. Information technology projects often fail habitually – they get cancelled or the final product doesn’t meet the objectives statedat initiation.

On assignment to lead a project soon after I joined this business, I elected to experiment with a project management methodology that will allow the project team deliver the project outcomes in  small increments over short periods of time. We (the project team and I and some of our key stakeholders) agreed with the project sponsor that we try out this approach and see if it solves the problem described above. We proceeded to select a small segment of the business to get involved with us in testing each delivered increment and provide feedback which can be factored back into the work we were doing  and ensure each increment provides useful outcomes for the business.

The small section of business which participated in testing the increments were then tasked with being ambassadors for the project team and to convince colleagues from other areas of the business to start to use the incremental outputs from the project and to provide structured feedback in town-halls we organised to introduce new project outcomes.

Our project took as long as most other projects in the business had taken, but did not suffer the rejection often associated with similar projects in the past as we had early feedback from real users, factored these feedback back into the work planned, and continuously released features that users can begin to use, albeit in small but useful increments.

The project management approach we had adopted, is broadly defined as Agile.

Note this is part of a series of writings that are geared towards my planned 2019 book: The BA Book. I am deliberately grouping them together here as first drafts as that is what most of them are. Doing this helps me stay accountable as well as gain early feedback from stakeholders.

Your comments and feedback on this early thoughts will be appreciated and applied towards further shaping the research that will go into the writing the book.

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