Project Management

A better way to explain Agile than flipping the Iron Triangle

From the Manifesting Business Agility Blog
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This blog concerns itself with organizations moving to business agility—the quick realization of value predictably and sustainably, and with high quality. It includes all aspects of this—from the business stakeholders through ops and support. Topics will be far-reaching but will mostly discuss FLEX, Flow, Lean-Thinking, Lean-Management, Theory of Constraints, Systems Thinking, Test-First and Agile.

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The project management triangle of scope, time & cost is often called the "iron triangle." In classic project management, you fix scope while estimating time & cost. Agile “flips” the iron triangle by using iterations to fix time and cost varying the amount of scoe in the iteration.

Unfortunately, this puts the focus on the development cycle, not on value delivered. This may be why executives often think if only the development group could be more effective more would get done, leading to pressure & unrealistic demands.

Consider if we explained Agile in terms of delivering value as quickly as possible. Flow tells us to remove delays from start to finish while Lean tells us to work in small batches. The primary cause of delays and waste is having development teams work beyond capacity. Understanding this would encourage executives to avoid doing this. The value of working with small batches leads to using Minimum Business Increments

This approach to explaining agile would accomplish the following:
* Focus on what should be delivered quickest
* How can the development team be most effective

This could help executives understand why demanding more and more from the development team is something to avoid

Posted on: September 23, 2020 12:31 AM | Permalink

Comments (4)

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Thank for sharing, very interesting.

Thanks AL,
Great stuff on Development cycle vs value delivered

Thank you very much for describing the two completely different project management methodology with the well known triangular approach. Really interesting.

Thank you for the article Al. This is an intriguing perspective.

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