Agile - future or fashion?

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Posted by APM on 24th Jun 2014

There has been a lot of interest about Agile in recent years, mainly due to the success in the IT industry; however there is a lot of interest in applying the Agile methods to other types of environment, not just IT.

Stephen Jones and Jeremy Renwick

This conference uncovered some of the myths around Agile, discussed how Agile can be scaled to large complex projects, looked at case studies, talked about Lean Agile and fed back what governments think about Agile.

The presentations sparked some interesting debates, even between the speakers, but soon some common themes started to emerge from each of the presentation.

Agile is not a methodology – it is a way of thinking.  There are Agile methods, ranging from project management methods to software development methods but the agile manifesto, which was mentioned almost be every speaker, does not actual prescribe anything.

Being agile is not an excuse to avoid doing things, like planning and risk management.  Being agile has a lot of parallels to Lean – you do what needs to be done, no more and no less.

Agile is not new, Julius Caesar used agile, he just did not call it agile.  There are a number of companies and projects who are agile, but did not realise it and jumped on the band wagon when a name was given to their behaviour.

Agile is about giving your customer what they want, regardless of what it says in the contract - they have the right to change their minds.  Agile is about people and collaboration, not the processes or tools although these do help to be more agile.  

After lunch, we had a presentation from Project Place and learnt about their latest collaboration tools, including KANBAN boards.  The idea is not new, Toyota have been using them for decades, but they have been given a new digital face lift.

Finally, thank you to our sponsors Project Place, DSDM and APMG, to the speakers for giving up the valuable time for free, and to Anna and Nigel for their support in pulling the event together.

All other presentations from the day can be viewed and downloaded below

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