The Next Iteration Agile: Re-contextualizing Agile for the 21st Century (Part 3)

Don is an entrepreneur and business leader with over 15 years experience specializing in aligning management-driven technologies and initiatives together with business and project strategies resulting in thoroughly planned and comprehensive business solutions. His expertise as a project manager, developer, tester, analyst, trainer, consultant, and business owner has spanned across diverse industries such as finance, retail, health care and information technology

Part 1 of this series discussed the background environment and philosophical divergences that caused agile to establish itself as an alternative to traditional project management--which occurred as early as the 1950s before establishing itself as a recognized and formally established method and practice of project delivery in just over the last decade. Part 2 described the convergence of agile practices outside of software development, highlighting the recent example of the Wikispeed racecar prototype. It was manufactured using all of the agile development processes from top to bottom, delivering a working prototype in less than 90 days.

In this third and final installment, we will look at how agile can be re-contextualized for the business environment at large to transform not only specific projects or processes in an industry, but also entire organizations within that industry to meet the growing demand for faster project turnaround while also achieving higher quality and business value.

The core methods
Rather than get bogged down by terminology from agile methods such as Scrum and XP, let’s look at the core, fundamental methods of agile that can be appropriated by any industry and business environment. When distilled to their essence, the core methods of agile project management are:

  1. Rapid and Sustained Iterations: The mantra in software …

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"Of all the 36 alternatives, running away is best."

- Chinese Proverb