Is Agile right for my project? #whyagile?
Why choose the waterfall route to manage your project today when everyone else is adopting Scrum or Kanban? Though the use of agile methodologies helps to avoid tunnel effect and to increase team commitment, under certain circumstances, the old-school waterfall model can be less risky, simpler to implement and more efficient.
You should take into account different facets of your project to decide if Agile is the right approach for you. It is also recommended to closely monitor your project dashboards along the project life cycle to check if your indicators confirm that it is the right choice.
If requirements are crystal-clear, complete and precise at the outset of the project, a waterfall model might be the best choice because there won’t be any need of redefining priorities or discussing features. For a fixed-price contract, it is highly recommended to use a waterfall approach so as to clearly see the percentage to complete for each feature and identify project impacts via the project dashboards if there is a change in scope.
If there are hard project deadlines, you could have trouble working in Agile mode. In implementing regulatory projects, for example, where deadlines must be met in order to avoid fines, adopting the Agile mode would mean having a backlog as complete as possible right from the start, which in itself would be contradictory to the Agile concept. The waterfall approach, on the other hand, with clear specifications and a well-defined scope would make retro-planning project tasks far easier, thereby increasing the likelihood that tight deadlines are met. The project dashboards would enable clear identification of project tasks that are on critical paths that would need to be secured to prevent any project delay.
- Team maturity
Team commitment is essential for any successful Agile implementation. Team members are not prepared to take collective responsibility for the project; they may be inexperienced, the project may be too complex, the technologies may be too recent, and so on. If you have any doubts about your team and their abilities, “going Agile” isn’t the way forward, and may end up doing more harm than good. You can rely on the project resource dashboard to get the necessary information on your overall team experience in Agile to decide if you should adopt that approach.
Based on the criteria above, if you have decided to use the Agile approach, the KPI that you need to check on a regular basis is an increased team velocity if you quickly revise your approach.