Responding to KPMG’s survey, 85% of Dutch companies stated that in the coming years most organizations will operate in a hybrid environment. The results suggest that business experts will blend Waterfall, Critical Chain (CC), and other PM practices with Agile to respond proactively to up-and-coming innovations. As Agile is expected to become the leading methodology in project management, we’ve compiled recommendations on how to find middle ground between extremes.
Short Guide to Fostering Agile Values
If you intend to deliver projects through the prism of innovation, quality, and a volatile business environment, you shouldn’t disregard what lies at the heart of the Agile manifesto:
Individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Accepting this value in Waterfall would mean a focus on the next level of resource management – continuous face-to-face and shoulder-to-shoulder collaboration with your team. This does not mean, however, that you should adopt a completely tool-less approach, confining yourself to a dashboard and a few stickers. There are perfect project planning tools with high-end features that show you how to optimize capacity in real-time and prevent overload from appearing on the horizon. Opt for the best PM software and leave enough space for prioritization meetings.
Read more: How to Prioritize Like World-Class Leaders
Working software over comprehensive documentation. This is your rescue from a mess of papers. Ask yourself what’s more important in your industry: product quality, planning accuracy, or both? The purpose of integrating this agility into the development cycle is to reduce the thousands of hours required for collating planning lists, providing documentation, getting approvals, and so on.
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation. Driven by this value, you can reduce many uncertainties. Following up with your clients along the way enables you to instantly modify projects based on new requirements. You can also get rapid feedback on products and easily shift priorities without unnecessary meandering based on intuition.
Responding to change over following a plan. Imagine you’ve finally developed a long-term construction plan after investing thousands of planning hours in a project. You thought your plan would create perfect flow, expecting your team to sparkle with productivity and your business to perform efficiently. But your plan is now falling apart at the seams because of two, three, or ten uncertainties you couldn’t predict because you were relying too much on intuition. The issues continue with re-planning – endlessly and inevitably – unless you blend agility into your approach. Agile methodologies leave space for changes and improvement.
Also explore these project management techniques that have proven effective with hybrid methodologies.
Universal Agile Principles for Every Industry
Some of the overarching principles behind Agile apply to any business. In History: The Agile Manifesto, Jim Highsmith states:
We embrace modeling, but not in order to file some diagram in a dusty corporate repository. We embrace documentation, but not hundreds of pages of never-maintained and rarely-used tomes. We plan, but recognize the limits of planning in a turbulent environment.
Here are some insights collected after studying industries other than software development:
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The Journey to Agile in the Midst of Development
There’s an intelligent business performance tool, Epicflow, that can integrate all of the above principles without knocking your planning paradigm out for good. Epicflow suits such industries as shipbuilding, construction, manufacturing, finance, software development, especially if they operate in multi-project environments.
“We increased our output by 200% and reduced lead time by 50% in 2 years. We are also able to give our customers a realistic commitment nowadays.”
Hans de Boer, R&D Director, TKF
Epicflow is a unique tool to help you with multi-project resource scheduling. Backed by years of research into PM challenges, this software provides you with clear task and project priorities and predicts resource bottlenecks. It helps you face the uncertainties and prototype a solution to react immediately. You won’t need to replace your PM system as Epicflow integrates with MS Project, Jira, Primavera, and Clarity and is easy to implement even if you’re in the midst of development.
Here are the benefits of Epicflow for each role:
Sign up below for a live Epicflow demonstration and we’ll do our best to cure your methodology with innovative practices.