There is a buzz word that is being thrown into conversations... 'agile'
There is a new trend beginning to emerge among some of our clients who are running multiple business change programmes. There is a buzz word that is being thrown into conversations… ‘agile’ eg. “We take an agile approach to our projects.”
This immediately fills me with concern when client starts using the word ‘agile’. Not that I have any concerns with the agile project management methodology. But there is a definite gap between those who are using the word agile and those who actually understand the agile project management methodology. Agile is often used as an excuse to not write any project documentation, to work chaotically, to be unorganised!
Hiring managers are in some cases even less sure, asking for formal project management qualifications such as APMP on the candidate’s CV, yet looking for project managers to adopt an agile way of working. Of course, we all should work in an agile way, who doesn’t want to be agile? But this is not the agile software development methodology that some organisations are looking to adopt for non-software related projects.
What does this mean for candidates? Become an expert. You need to understand and be able to explain the real agile methodology as opposed to working in an agile way. There is a definite need for this expertise particularly as IT projects are more and more being seen as a portion of a wider business change project. Can you manage a whole business change project if a portion of that project uses the agile method and the rest doesn’t?
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Rather than causing governance problems, agile can provide us with powerful new ways of implementing governance that will help an organisation become more flexible and responsive to its customers.
Agile has a lot to offer the wider enterprise, and we could perhaps see a time when the whole of an organisation is run on agile principles. Since this will not be about projects or programmes, I believe the emphasis will be on behaviours and structures as opposed to processes and tools.