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  • Writer's pictureRavikiran Papthimar

Agile - Are we really following it?


I have been in Project / Program management for close to 11+ years. Over the last few years, there has been Increasing push to move from Waterfall to Agile development. I have seen companies jumping to make this shift without knowing exactly if Agile is the right approach for them. Have come across instances where Agile is Force Fit into the teams whereas Iterative waterfall would have been a better approach. Overall there is a feeling that “Agile” is the Magic Pill for all problems.


With this approach we are running the RISK of not only diluting the meaning of Agile but also implementing something which is not right. Some of the common issues i have seen

  1. Burnout of the project team while catching up on the lost time without change in Scope

  2. Having the team Idle waiting for some key Governance decisions to be made

  3. Un-synchronized backlog between different development team (Data, IT, Training, Deployment..etc)

  4. No common Definition of Done (DoD) between Company & the Vendor

  5. Confusion between Incremental Development vs Detailed Documentation

  6. Adding Unwanted overhead in terms of additional Monitoring & Reporting


What we need to realize is that each of the process has its own Pro’s and Con’s and its important to understand this and choose the one which is right for the job to be done. Ideally this depends a lot on the type of the Project and the Organization setup. When this decision needs to be made, it would be wise to take help of experts who have experience in this area and always ask the question, “Are we making the process Simple or Complex?”.


Overall Agile is broadly assumed to provide Productivity Improvements but Agile at scale for large projects should not be the de facto choice. As per me this decision should not be an organization binding but instead left to each Project team to decide. Though this will be little difficult to track and manage from a reporting perspective but this should be the way to go.

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