Does everything taste better with Agile?

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:


6 thoughts on “Does everything taste better with Agile?

  1. In my last role as a software engineer we used agile. We found that since we had such a small team this really helped us deliver what our clients desired on time. Most of our clients kinda of knew what they wanted, but not really. So agile allowed us to pivot our design and functionality without impacting scope further down in the process. This mitigated our risk of time/cost overrun since we really narrowed down what the customer REALLY wanted very early on in development.

  2. I am a big fan of agile and would prefer working in such an environment over a traditional waterfall environment. But as you mentioned in your article, it takes dedicated and committed resources to make an agile project work. In a matrix environment , this is quite a challenge, as you correctly noted. I work for a fortune 50 company, and the PMO is classic matrix structure. However, last year we decided that we will have a different management methodology (agile) for projects that were of short duration and primarily short enhancements or bug fixes. The project suffered because while the development work was agile, the testing and environment support still followed matrix structure. It was quite clear to management that there was no use being agile if it wasn’t so all the way to deployment. Basically matrix and agile don’t mix.

  3. In a course I have been taking we had to decide on a development methodology we would follow. We decided to use Agile. I find your analysis of your workplaces development methodology interesting. I like how you say that the team must totally commit to the project in order to succeed. I see this in my group as a requirement as well because we want to do well and produce a great project for the course. After reading this post I will certainly begin looking into my activities and trying to assess the methodology used (such as what method do I use at my work).

  4. I agree with everyones thoughts about agile, it can be used well in a workplace. A good environment to work is the first thing we need at my workplace. We are currently working with project managers in our department and they are always talking about team work and how the important that is to the work place. I like the idea of methodology in the workplace.
    I see a different groups on a daily basis and it helps me see how everyone stays organized and right on check together.

    Overall I like this wall post it creates very interesting topics to discuss about the work place.

  5. Project management methodologies can be useful for creating a path from for a project from beginning to end. Project managers can use agile when their project is smaller and it needs more structure. With scrum there can be less oversight because everyone knows there roles from the many meetings conducted to keep the ball rolling. There are many objectives and each activity is a milestone. There is less time in the planning phase thus more can be accomplished and this is beneficial when time is of the essence.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *