I was trying to understand what Agile is. A friend of mine suggested a youtube video that helped me grasp the basic idea. It is a legend of pig and chicken. For those who are not familiar with the story, chicken came up with the solution to feed the hungry with bacon and eggs. The pig did not feel that this solution was reasonable because in order for this to work chicken had to make a small contribution but for a pig this was a total commitment. Same thing with Agile, in order for this approach to work the team must totally commit to the project and be responsible for the outcomes on daily basis. One of the reasons Agile works is because it is flexible and all commitments are current and relevant. If someone has not dedicated him/herself to the project it shows up right away and the whole project could suffer. However, these problems can be seen immediately and mitigated in a timely fashion.
Will Agile work for everyone? This methodology could be difficult to implement in a matrix organization. The resources (people) are shared between departments, projects, and managers. People are committed only as much as their other projects will allow them. And if they had to run Agile on all of the projects they would spend all day in the scrum meetings. This could also be a challenge for larger companies that utilize any other project management processes. To convert everyone at the same time is impossible, and slow conversion might create tensions that could affect current project work.
Once I understood the idea of Agile, I started to wonder if I can implement that at my workplace. Our projects for the most part have to be delivered in a very short period of time. Majority of them are prototypes and sometimes we have to make changes on the fly. We usually meet daily internally about every project to make sure no projects are stuck. We communicate with customer on the progress of their orders. Once the project is kicked off we are committed 100% and must deliver… Wait a minute! It seems we already doing Agile and don’t even know it! It means that with a little bit of tweaking we can get even better at this. The question now what else are we doing that we don’t know we are doing?
Does your organization use Agile? And if it is how did you get there? Was it an easy change?
Here is the link to the video if you are interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPoBA18Q_3g