Strategic Agile: It Doesn't Have to Be a Complex Model

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting Inc., an Ontario, Canada-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Any new trend within agile seems to get a lot of column inches (does that still apply in this online world?) dedicated to it. Inevitably, there is excessive hyperbole about how it will transform everything while almost guaranteeing success. Before long, those agile stakeholders who have not been a part of the trend will see that traction is being gained. They will jump in with their own opinions on how the trend is indeed important—but that those other practitioners are using completely the wrong approach, and the only right way is the one they are now proposing.

Okay, perhaps I’m being a little melodramatic. But we can all recognize elements of this in our agile experiences, and nowhere is that currently more prevalent than in the area of strategic agile. The idea of taking agile to the decision-making levels of an organization has now been around long enough—and has gained enough traction—that there are a number of different approaches and models competing for attention.

The cynic in me is tempted to suggest that the competition between the models is to develop the most complex diagram, perhaps to demonstrate evidence of a well-thought-out, cohesive and integrated approach. I don’t want to turn this into a critique of any one approach, but I will suggest there simply isn’t enough long-term evidence to suggest any one of those models …

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