Written by: Lateef Khan
Business Development Executive | General Manager Digital Services & Solutions | P&L Leader
In the age of digital transformation, large scale program deliveries taking upwards of 1+ years are no longer practical and is all but becoming a non-starter. Executives are challenged to constantly innovate but yet deliver new products and capabilities to market with speed. As such, transforming product development processes and enterprise platforms must be done consistently and continually in “reasonable chunks”, in order to align and support new business growth targets and initiatives.
To meet this demand, utilizing Agile methodology provides the means to deliver capabilities fast and with early business feedback that is incorporated into the development process. That said, Agile can also be too fluid where requirements are never locked down, project plans are not established and organization change management is lacking resulting in simply IT work delivering features every couple months.
This is where Hybrid Agile or what I like to call “Scrumfall” (Agile + Waterfall) strikes the right balance. It leverages the best of both methodologies in delivering real business value that is widely adopted, with early and frequent business engagement, which locks down requirements in a reasonable manner, and that ultimately stays the course to a project plan. It also offers a methodology that is not too rigid or too loose, rather provides the flexibility for doing what is logical and what makes sense.
So what fits this Hybrid Agile framework? The type of projects whether it’s deploying off the shelf (OTS) enterprise applications like PLM, ERP, etc. or whether in developing custom software solutions and products, hybrid Agile is an effective methodology to deliver value fast, often and accurately. Even with OTS applications, it’s very practical to split up sprint cycles and releases by high level features, which also enables a more gradual business transformation to the organization versus a major “big bang” implementation and deployment.
So how do you get started? My philosophy is:
- try starting with something small, manageable, and not complex
- achieve some learning and findings
- get a small win or two under your belt
- readjust your methodology to fit your business
- only then embark on a more sizable project.
In the age of disruption, it’s imperative to constantly innovate and try fresh methods of project delivery whether it’s:
- Design Thinking
- Fast Works
- Lean Six Sigma or
- Hybrid Agile
Stay open to change as it will drive your organization to excellence and safeguard against disruption.