Friday, August 23, 2013
Missed Going Agile, While Going Agile
Sometimes going Agile is harder than it appears. Working at Scrum Inc. I see this all the time. Companies want to become more efficient, create more customer centric products and accelerate time to market, all necessities in today’s business climate. Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad Scum out there: only 42% of Agile projects are successful and 49% are late and over budget. About nine-percent of all Agile projects fail completely. This is three fold better than Waterfall projects but there is still a lot of room for improvement.
I was reminded of these statistics when I stumbled onto a New York Times article about how a web-based marketing and communications company in Tennessee wanted to up-grade their systems and processes to stay competitive. They were inspired by a talk at the SXSW Media conference given by Google. The CEO wanted to be Agile like Google’s Gmail team. After 18 months and millions of dollars the results were not good:
Late in the process, [the CEO] said, he realized they had underestimated the amount of testing some of the new features required. “When we launched, some applications were buggy,” he said. “We found there was a lot of follow-up and cleanup work to do.”
[The CEO] also concluded that they could have broken the project into more manageable chunks. “We realized we were terrible at project management and scoping out time frames,” he said. “This doesn’t bode well when you take on the biggest project of your life.” In retrospect, he said, they should have “launched one service, tested it, seen its execution, and learned from it before going on to the next piece of the process.”
Not Agile. It’s important to remember that Scrum and Agile methodology are not a one-time look at a companies process, it’s an on-going philosophy based on continuous improvement.
If your company is looking to become Agile, Scum Inc. is holding a Webinar next week on some of the more common pitfalls companies find themselves in. This is a follow up Webinar to our Scrum Pitfalls I. We also hold monthly Scrum Master and Product Owner certification classes as well as providing assessments, consulting and coaching. Typical implementations shouldn’t take more than a few weeks depending on the culture of the company and its commitment to change. Don’t miss going Agile by trying to go Agile.
-- Scrum Inc. Staff