Tuesday August 10th, 2021

Does Agile Fit Everything?

You are supposed to or want to work Agile? You have a few questions beforehand, though? You are not alone. I, for instance, have recently been asked:

Does Agile fit everything, or are there still areas of use for traditional project management?

People and with them organizations always develop new approaches when they realize that their current means of solving problems are no longer sufficient.

However, just because our current tools and capabilities are currently unsuitable does NOT mean that they are either poor or even useless. It may just be that they are no longer as suitable as they used to be – given the current changed situation.

This also applies to classic project management – whatever we mean by that.

It makes sense to keep using what has been good and purposeful in previous project management.

For me, this is what makes a professional, good, appreciative and motivating approach to one’s own skills. Moreover, it is simply pragmatic and unavoidable, at least for the time being:

Because for now, there is nothing else we can do.

It is clear:

As long as there are projects, it will also be necessary to manage them. And also to manage them in such a way that they are successful, meaning: profitable.

Whether this is done with “classic” management methods or with other methods, is – in a way – secondary for me. Much more important is to ask first, what project situation we encounter and what approach we consider promising. (By having a closer look at the project situation you can quite clearly identify whether more Agile or more classical approaches are more suitable.)

If you have a well-established “classic” project team that works to your satisfaction: Why should you get rid of it?

However, if you are reaching limits, Agile approaches could help you

The biggest advantage of the Agile approach is

that it is not only desirable, but structurally and methodologically required, that the entire team consistently does everything possible to ensure the quality of the deliverables

Agile working frameworks ensure that improvements or adjustments are usually implemented faster than in classical, traditionall hierarchical project management. THEREFORE, agile teams also deliver good results faster and more reliably.

And because they are self-organized, they sometimes do so by using elements of traditional project management (whatever we mean by that) in addition to agile methods (whatever we mean by that).

Further Reading?

Shenhar, Aaron J.; Dvir, Dov: Reinventing Project Management. The Diamond Approach To Successful Growth And Innovation.