I don’t know about you, but I struggle to understand the nuances of the varying flavours of Agile that fly around and, at times, the purist adherence to one particular dogma, be that Scrum, Agile, XP, Lean, etc. To me it is all about taking the bits that work for you and applying them – but the real question is – to what purpose?

Although technology has moved on, the age old problem still exists – how do clients get what they want, when they want it, and for the price that makes economic sense? Sadly we know waterfall doesn’t work and I have the scars to prove it! I was responsible for the delivery of a 50-man year project that came in “on time, within budget and to the right quality”– trouble was it took 3 years to implement, requirements were vague (though signed off), and the business model had changed (what a surprise!). How can you be proud of building something that you know isn’t what people want, but more importantly how can any organisation fail to get any real return on what is a substantial investment?

The simplistic answer is go Agile and although that doesn’t guarantee success it at least makes it far more likely. Agile gives you a framework to build small parts at a time, and for very regular reviews to happen (every 2 weeks is optimum I suggest) so that everyone knows they are on the right track. Guess what? - In the real world people change their minds, refine their thinking, change priorities… Agile embraces all these facets but to achieve success you must have strong management and powerful business involvement.

If you are interested in knowing more give me a shout. In the coming weeks I’ll be adding more on the subject, as I’m passionate about business getting benefit from IT investment.