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  • Sylvie SERRE

Agility, what's that ?

Dernière mise à jour : 22 févr. 2021

Agility here, agile there, these are the new fashionable words that we hear everywhere in all the corridors. But basically what is agility?

Agility is a new approach to project management. The very notion of "project management" is set aside for the term "product management".

In "traditional" project management (V cycle, waterfall):

  1. the scope is generally well defined by the client from the start, (needs expressed and validated, specifications validated). The cost and the deadline are fixed, leaving little or no room for changes and developments.

  2. The production is launched and the customer collects his finished product for the acceptance phase.

Sadly, due to the lack of discussion between the different actors, the project manager and the contracting authority, it happens to note a gap between the initial need and the final product, which can lead to conflicts in the customer relationship / provider. This is called the tunnel effect. On the other hand, some of the implemented functionalities ultimately prove to be useless, while others, discovered during the production phase, could not be realized. In the end, the product does not provide the expected value.   The Agile approach is focused on satisfying customer needs. It is based on the implementation of an iterative and incremental process, involving the client from the start to the end of the project, thus avoiding the tunnel effect.

  1. At the start, the customer has a more or less precise idea of ​​the product he needs. The goal is to gradually establish the needs which it is sure of and which bring the greatest added value.

  2. Every x weeks (between 2 and 6 in general) a usable deliverable is provided to the customer, this allows him to see what has been put in place and possibly adapt the product to changing needs. The customer therefore has a vision of his product as it's progresses. he therefore has better visibility, which avoids miscalls.

  3. The budget is validated as the project progresses.

The deliverable is a product, a service, a new organization, etc. This purpose, called deliverable, is the tangible result of real production. It does not correspond to the final result, in agility there are several deliverable.

Wanting to be agile is first of all adapting. You have to adapt the corporate culture, change work habits and this from one end of the chain to the other:

  • The financier must agree to finance a project whose scope is not fully defined.

  • The project manager will have to understand that his role as such no longer exists and that he will have to think differently.

  • The development teams will now be empowered, autonomous in self-management mode.

  • The client will have to be involved in his project on a daily basis.

The mistake is to adopt agility without believing in it or adhering to it. There can be no agile transformation without membership. A successful agile transformation is a co-constructed transformation. Agility means involving the actors. Be aware that this transformation can take time.   -> I recommend that you start on agility with a simple project and that you be supported.

Stephen Hawking wrote "Intelligence is the ability to adapt to change". So that's what agility is.

In a future article we will detail how to apply agility via the Scrum method.   At CreativMinds we can help you build agility in your business or strengthen your agile teams (BA, Scrum master).

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