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Topics: Agile, Change Management
Agile experiences in a predominatly predictive environment
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I'd like to learn about your agile experiences in business sectors which are mainly dominated by the conventional PM approaches (predictive, waterfall...). I'm finding myself in such an environment and am testing ways to do certain parts in an agile way.
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Try the hybrid approach with waterfall and agile. You can implement agile in waterfalll by building out your project timeline and leaving place holders in the areas in the timeline that have missing requirements. Indicate in those area that they are "requirements under construction" and you need to revisit that area when you finalize the requirements. The main thing is to map out the entire project and start working on areas that can begin already and not waiting for the missing requirements on areas that you go back to when the requirements are finalized.

Not all projects will work with a hybrid approach, but you need to give it a try if your project is a good candidate for a waterfall/agile hybrid.
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1 reply by Urban Werner
Mar 12, 2018 8:56 AM
Urban Werner
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Thanks for your advice Drake!
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Progressive elaboration ;-)
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Urban -

Specific agile practices can be used on waterfall projects (e.g. retrospectives, daily standups, non-solo work) and an agile mindset can be brought to any situation, project or otherwise.

As such, the only gap in traditional organizations is regarding agile delivery.

Kiron
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1 reply by Urban Werner
Mar 12, 2018 8:57 AM
Urban Werner
...
Thanks Kiron, your comments are always highly appreciated :-)
Network:1465



Mar 12, 2018 6:09 AM
Replying to Drake Settsu
...
Try the hybrid approach with waterfall and agile. You can implement agile in waterfalll by building out your project timeline and leaving place holders in the areas in the timeline that have missing requirements. Indicate in those area that they are "requirements under construction" and you need to revisit that area when you finalize the requirements. The main thing is to map out the entire project and start working on areas that can begin already and not waiting for the missing requirements on areas that you go back to when the requirements are finalized.

Not all projects will work with a hybrid approach, but you need to give it a try if your project is a good candidate for a waterfall/agile hybrid.
Thanks for your advice Drake!
Network:1465



Mar 12, 2018 7:37 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Urban -

Specific agile practices can be used on waterfall projects (e.g. retrospectives, daily standups, non-solo work) and an agile mindset can be brought to any situation, project or otherwise.

As such, the only gap in traditional organizations is regarding agile delivery.

Kiron
Thanks Kiron, your comments are always highly appreciated :-)
Network:1634



Along more than 20 years I brought bread to my home helping organizations to implement Agile and gaining into agility (including today). Those organizations are silos-oriented organizations (including today), maintain predictive environments (predictive does not mean to avoid risk and uncertainty, is the contrary, but people do not know), maintain hierarchical structures (USA Marines have implemented Agile), etc. So, the first you have to understand is you can not and you must not throw away the structure to create Agile based organizations. So, how to do that? It is a kind of magic? Not at all. The key here is to understand what Agile really is and what agility really is. For example, few people know that the term "Agile Manufacturing and Enterprise" was first used into the USA in later 1980 and then Agile and agility was formaly defined into USA DoD NSF/Agility Forum (1990 I was part). So, here a short article that I hope helps you and was published into PM Network: "Perfectly Positioned", http://www.pmnetwork-digital.com/pmnetwork/april_2016?pg=73#pg73
"Perfectamente Posicionado", http://www.pmnetwork-spanish.com/pmnetwork...2016?pg=68#pg68
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At a high-level, we followed the SOP for projects with analysis and requirements up-front, worked more 'agile-centric' for the execution, then more or less back to SOP for testing activities. I called it 'Bookending' :)

We were constrained by the organizational model. Our business partners expected facilitation and elicitation activities, our development team expected clear requirements to build a design document, and our tester had to be slotted in for testing based on timeline, priority, and capacity.

When speaking with the business I conveyed my approach simply with the terms increment, iteration, demonstrations, flexibility/adaptation. Working within the team, we strategized on prioritizing based on development needs and demonstrating completed value in conjunction with what we had learned from the business. From that, we had our execution framework. Every 4 weeks we provided a demonstration of the completed work, incorporating feedback back into the cycle.

So from the business perspective, we did our due diligence to determine the overall picture but reduced overhead by becoming more flexible with our implementation and including 'checkpoints' for revaluation and adaptation. We always looked at the big picture in our discussions to ensure the appropriate scalability.

We did use JIRA, writing the requirements as stories, and running 4-week sprints. I would do the Acceptance Testing for each sprint in the TEST environment, then our tester would run System Integrated Tests in the ST environment. The business was still responsible for testing in the UAT environment. Once approved, deployed to Prod.

We did that release process every [n] sprint. This allowed the business to reap the value of the efforts, while we continued on with the project.

The project was very successful. I actually worked with PMI on a case-study about it, though it hasn't been published yet.

Hope that helps, and adds context. Apologize for any typos - quick write-up during lunch :)
Network:1011



Urban,

you might also want to look at Disciplined Agile Delivery (DAD) as it is a scaling framework that can accommodate traditional organization constraints...

Kiron
Network:13450



As Kiron said, it's possible to introduce Agile principles and some events and artifacts even in a waterfall project. In fact it's how many organizations start, with a pilot project or pilot hybrid project.
Network:764



Some fantastic responses already in this thread.

The only additions I would make are:
1. Be aware of environments where it would not be beneficial to use Agile. Agile is not a panacaea for executing projects and there are some specific assumptions that need to be confirmed.
2. If there is a project team which is highly resistive to Agile, discretion may be the better part of valour in doing things the traditional way.
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