Phy-gital Roundtable: Breakfast Roundup from Germany and Netherlands

02 May '15 | Debjyoti Paul

German Shoppers: Meet Them in the Fast Lane to Phy-gital

15 January '15 | Ralf Reich

Shoppers Will Share Personal Information (But They Don’t Want to be “Friends”)

15 January '15 | Anil Venkat

Modernize or Perish: Property and Casualty Insurers and IT Solutions

14 January '15 | Manesh Rajendran

Benelux Reaches the Phy-gital Tipping Point: Omnichannel Readiness is Crucial

13 January '15 | Anil Gandharve

The New Omnichannel Dynamic: Finding Core Principles Across Industries

13 January '15 | Debjyoti Paul

Technology does not disrupt business – CIO day 2014 Roundup

02 December '14 | Anshuman Singh

Apple Pay – The Best Is Yet To Come

02 December '14 | Indy Sawhney

Digital transformation is a business transformation enabled by technology

01 December '14 | Amit Varma

3 Stages of FATCA Testing and Quality Assurance

06 October '14 | Raman Suprajarama

3 Reasons why Apple Pay could dominate the payments space

18 September '14 | Gaurav Johri

Beacon of Hope: Serving Growth and Customer Satisfaction

05 August '14 | Debjyoti Paul

The Dos and Don’ts of Emerging Technologies Like iBeacon

30 July '14 | Debjyoti Paul

What You Sold Us On – eCommerce Award Finalist Selections

17 July '14 | Anshuman Singh

3 Steps to Getting Started with Microsoft Azure Cloud Services

04 June '14 | Koushik Ramani

8 Steps to Building a Successful Self Service Portal

03 June '14 | Giridhar LV

Innovation outsourced – a myth or a mirage or a truth staring at us?

13 January '14 | Ramesh Hosahalli

What does a mobile user want?

03 January '14 | Gopikrishna Aravindan

Agile methods in stage-gated IT environments – Why?

Posted on: 17 May '13

I spent two weeks last month interacting with my business partners and friends about agile methods. They are curious to learn and introduce agile methods in their project portfolio. This post is to explore the reasons for their curiosity.

My friends and business partners whom I interacted with, are working in IT groups of large enterprises. They are responsible to deliver a portfolio of projects to business users. Their teams follow a homegrown customizable IT framework that comprises of stages and gates. For each stage, there is a gate or exit criteria. For example, requirements sign-off is a gate to ensure completion of the requirement analysis stage. The key thing is the budget approval happening at a certain stage, which is very important to execute downstream stages and stage-wise activities. In each stage, the team members create documents – some of these documents are to comply with the IT framework and in some cases, one or two extra documents are created to satisfy regulatory requirements.

Projects start, and projects end. However, as you guess, there are changes in requirements and designs at a later stage, and hence there are issues and teams pull it through to deliver the end product with some slippage. There is a dire need to optimize and demonstrate improvements in productivity as well as quality.

Agile Manifesto and Agile Principles are the foundation of Agile methods. In principle, Agile methods have the potential to help project teams deliver meaningful solutions in stage-gated IT environments. There are several reasons. Here are six of them.

  1. Agile methods can help us identify technical risks early in the lifecycle. Involving developers early in the lifecycle enables this.
  2. Practices such as daily stand-up, reviews and retrospectives provide visibility and predictability.
  3. Short feedback loops and action items from retrospective enable continuous improvement.
  4. Continuous integration or automated daily builds followed by automated unit tests help the teams stay away from integration nightmares, which is a common bad smell in software projects.
  5. Demonstration of working features or solutions help project teams create a productive engagement with business users to move forward in the right direction.
  6. Delivering what matters the most first by means of prioritization and negotiation is what creates competitive advantage in going to the market.

There can be other reasons too. If you are working in an IT environment and follow a phased approach or stage-gate approach, what are your pain areas? What are the three reasons that matter to you most when it comes to introducing Agile methods?  Let us discuss.

In my next post, let us explore how we can bring in Agile practices in stage-gated IT environments. Stay connected!

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