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Finding the Right Blend: Sometimes Pure Agile isn’t the Way to Go

PM ADVISORY

By Nancy Y. Nee, PMP, CBAP, CSM

Vice President, Global Product Strategy

ESI International

 USA
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AGILE HYBRID/BLENDED APPROACH

Only a fraction of organizations will migrate to Agile methods completely and for all projects. The reality is, many types of projects are not well suited for Agile approaches for a variety of reasons. Some organizations run multiple projects across many departments and corporate entities, many of which may not have the inclination or resources to manage in an Agile manner. Others have made significant investments in traditional or proprietary methodologies and are not prepared to simply abandon them. Further, many companies are global, with development resources located around the world, in different time zones, with varying local corporate cultures and working styles. For all of these reasons, Agile project managers need to be prepared to work in cooperation with non-Agile project managers, teams that employ traditional methods, and organizations that have resources scattered around the globe.

HOW THE BLENDED APPROACH WORKS

Agile adoption doesn’t need to be an all-or-nothing, either-or scenario. The very incremental, iterative concepts that Agile project managers (PMs) apply to their projects can also be applied to Agile adoption. For instance, teams that are migrating to Agile methods can adopt certain elements, such as user stories in place of requirements definition, and incremental, rather than “big-bang” planning, as ways to ease into the Agile migration. While these incremental methods will not offer all of the advantages of the total Agile environment, they have the advantage of being less disruptive to existing approaches and offer “proof points” to reassure managers and teams that these methods can deliver the expected results.

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About the Author

Nancy Nee

 Author

Nancy Y. Nee, PMP, PMI-ACP, CBAP, CSM, Vice President, Global Product Strategy, ESI International, guides clients in the development and implementation of learning programs customized to their specific needs. Her solutions reflect the insight of almost two decades of PM and BA experience in healthcare, information technology, financial services and energy. www.esi-intl.com