When we hear managers to talk about introducing Agile to a new or existing project, the most exciting parts are to start the training, the best practices sharing, the new techniques to implement, the beautiful tools to practice. A new atmosphere starts to be felt, where the workload balance and the continuous improvement are now decisions to be negotiated with the actual operational team, or not?
For most Organizations, at least the big ones, the adoption of this nice framework is just a merchandize strategy to keep them fashionably among their competitors, further beyond the true intentions of a mindset change at work. To be realistic, the fear for these big guys is that Agile is too risky to be implemented as is defined, especially when huge contracts are already committed.
Here it comes the legend that states, a project is as Agile as the Waterfall project budget allows it, because no matter how agile your tech team wants to be, or how practical the agile tools seemed to be, or how fun the techniques are, not even how convincing and encouraging is the Agile manifesto with their principles and values. Free will on the tech team, will always be fighting and yielding against the budget, and the tight timeline to set trends in the feroz market.
Is it then, that Agile is only for small companies with minimum risks to be faced? Not quite, but is a must to be said that is much easier to deal with smaller impacts, losts, and readjustments. Also with mindset changes, and that is what Agile is mainly about. Everything is possible with the right conviction in the right people.
But the budget I said? In my opinion, Agile is not only an operational technique that ends with the Fiscal Year, Quarter Goal, previously required to the department, is a Company Culture Behave, a mindset embraced for all the different departments of the Company, and all of them are willing to look for agile solutions that evolve their processes. What am saying here is that, not only the IT department should switch to Agile techniques when Company decides to “become Agile”, but also the financial department should upgrade their contracting processes to implement agile models on their strategies, same for HHRR, same for Sales, and even, Marketing, they all should be considered on the migration, as they all impact each other somehow.
For a Company to be consider as Agile, for real, each area of that Company should become an agilist embasor.