In the age of Agile, how can a simple decision making framework to ensure it is the most valid approach for upcoming projects?
Many organisations in their efforts to improve their project capability are turning to Agile as an alternate project delivery methodology to the traditional waterfall or iterative approaches.
Agile calls for less documentation and has certain advantages over other methodologies, particularly with real time application projects, but is not necessarily the best fit for all types of projects.
So to get the best results from Agile adoption, organisations are faced with the challenge of how to decide when it is the right time to adopt Agile over the usual waterfall and iterative approaches.
Create a Project Delivery Decision Making Framework
Agile is not always the most appropriate project delivery methodology and there should always be room to use alternate approaches as required.
If an organisation uses more than one methodology it is critical to develop a project delivery decision-making framework. This decision-making framework should be used to assess and score a new project against agreed criteria to determine the most appropriate methodology to adopt to deliver the project: be it Agile, Waterfall or Iterative.
Will There Be Different Documentation Produced?
Regardless of the approach adopted the generation of project documentation is a key consideration (what, when, sign off protocols etc.).
A general principal driving the adoption of Agile is it is documentation light and is an approach that can accept greater risk during delivery.
Developers only produce the necessary document, which during development is minimal because development cycles are short and the team is stable, cohesive and trusted. Iterative and waterfall approaches assume that interim documentation is necessary to cope with longer cycle time and personnel churn and the management of greater risk.
Whichever approach is adopted, we suggest any decision making framework should also define the most complete suite of documentation and indicate the primary purpose and consumer of each documentation item.
Plans at the project level would then indicate and justify which documents were not applicable. To achieve balance and flexibility the framework should ensure that business and operations endorse the deletion of a documentation item for a particular project.
The Growth of Agile
The adoption of Agile approaches to project delivery is only set to increase as organisations driven by commercial imperatives look to ramp up their ability to execute projects in a more timely manner.
The creation and adoption of a simple decision making framework is imperative for any organisation to ensure they have a checkpoint to assess when Agile is a most valid approach to use for an upcoming project.
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