When Agile is Evil

In software development projects, the Waterfall method which instructs a sequential and tollgated flow of project activities has been used for ages until research and case studies showed that an alternative iterative and hence more flexible approach (widely known as Agile) is more suitable, promising higher chances for project success.

In fact, statistics and surveys showed that agile delivery methods (with numerous flavors such as Scrum, Kanban, XP, etc.) lead to higher stakeholder satisfaction, especially because it accounts for the dynamics of today’s business environments and the resulting fact that the initial project scope usually does not stay the same during the lifecycle of a project, and therefore allow to accommodate changes along the way.

With some clear benefits, the Agile methodology became quite popular and I often hear IT folks proudly saying “We are agile now!” which kind of sounds like they advanced from the traditional waterfall model to the modern agile method and now can be more successful with their project deliveries.

This however is a dangerous way of thinking which actually could lead to the opposite, to project failure.

Agile is not a “one-fits-all” methodology but rather just another method that could be chosen for a given project. The emphasis here is on “could” since a project manager should have the skills and capability to analyze various factors in a project environment, to determine the most suitable methodology that promises a successful outcome of a project.

Continue Reading

Marcus Glowasz
Marcus Glowasz
Marcus Glowasz is a project management specialist, coach, and advisor. He works with leaders and organizations to build data-literate and evidence-driven project teams and pave the way for data-informed and AI-supported project work. He is the author of the book "Leading Projects with Data", which provides invaluable insights on overcoming cultural and behavioral barriers to achieving success in data-driven and evidence-based project delivery.