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Why switch to Agile - besides failure

05.15.2009
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There's a thread currently bouncing around the Yahoo Agile group as to why organizations would consider switching to Agile. A lot has been said about project failures and there's debating back and forth as to what statistical data is out there to back a company's decision to switch.

The way I see things is that both Waterfall projects and Agile projects succeed and fail. So it's not just because projects fail that one should switch. Most certainly that's a big reason. But there's many other reasons why company's should switch. One only needs to read the Chaos report by the Standish group to realize that there's most likely a better way to do things than traditional methods. Lets face it. There were a lot of smart people behind the Agile movement and so there were reasons that they sought to find a better way.

So what are the other reasons to switch, there are many tell tale signs to look for in your organization for example and this is not an exhaustive list:

  • Features take longer and longer to get implemented
  • New releases take longer and longer to get out
  • Ever increasing QA cycles at the end of every release
  • Increased bug counts release on release
  • Increased support calls/emails
  • Morale problems on the team
  • Unsatisfied customers

I don't think any statistics should play a role in making the final decisions. But the statistics sure do show a growing trend. So I would take a long hard look at what's working and what's not working in your organization. It might just be that you're experiencing any number of issues listed above or many others. If this is the case, I'd at least start experimenting with Agile on a small project or a new project initiative and then you be the judge.

But if you do decide, do it properly so that you give it your best shot.

Written by: Jack Milunksy - COO at Brightspark and Co-founder of Agilebuddy (An Agile project management tool, built with rich collaboration features for Scrum teams). For more from Jack please visit: www.twitter.com/agilebuddy and blog.agilebuddy.com 

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Jack Milunsky.

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