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Isn’t Agile meant to make everything easier, better, and faster?

Blog: Capgemini CTO Blog

In short, ‘Yes!’ Agile is meant to make project management and solution development easier, better and faster but this does not mean that Agile is perfect or that you can select the best bits in expectation of a perfect outcome. Agile, according to the AgileLion Insitute, is a mindset, and a way of doing things that enables us to quickly respond to change, and deliver value in spite of uncertainty. This definition is rooted in the Agile Manifesto’s four core values.[1]

Then why do organisations find themselves in projects and programmes that end up as a hybrid of project methods including, but not limited to, Agile/Scrum/Waterfall/SAFe/DAD methods? A major issue our clients cite over and over again is not with Agile methods or even tools themselves, but adoption and embedment within their organisation.

After 5 years’ experience in Agile project delivery and development, in the private and public sector the 3 most common areas where organisations have issues with adopting Agile and what are some ways of overcoming them?


Top 3 Common areas where Agile adoption can be difficult and how to overcome them

1.The perception that Agile means no planning, and no Project Management.

2. Agile projects do not have a clearly defined final product.

3. Agile needs to be supported by the top. Reporting to traditional Waterfall structure hierarchy and project management styles will inevitably reduce adoption across the organisation.

Key takeaway’s and conclusion

One key takeaway that will always make a difference when trying to increase Agile adoption is prioritising change management within the project team and the organisation. Agile is not only a new way of running a project, it is a new mindset.

Also keep in mind that when a project starts to spiral out of control, aka current Agile methods are not working, people tend to fall back to familiar or safe habits; ironically this is often when Agile methods are best suited. An Agile focus on quality first can aid in rapid benefit realisation, whilst constant backlog refinement and reprioritisation can bring focus to a project. When Agile is embedded within an organisation

[1] Agile Manifesto (Beck, K., Beedle, M., Bennekum, A., Cockburn, A., Cunningham, W., Fowler, M., Grenning, J., Highsmith, J., Hunt, A., Jeffries, R., Kern, J., Marick, B., Martin, R., Mellor, S., Schwaber, K., Sutherland, J. and Thomas, D. (2001). Manifesto for Agile Software Development. [online] Available at: [Accessed 29 Apr. 2015].)

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