I found an article on Forbes dubbed “The End of Agile,” and boy-oh-boy did it resonate with me. However, in the Digital Transformation world of project management, one must be open-minded and flexible, but also stubborn as hell. Opposing thoughts, you say? I don’t believe so. Let me walk you through my thinking on it.
“I’M STILL LEARNING.”— MICHELANGELO
Being a bit long in the tooth affords me a couple of great things — first, experience on what does and doesn’t work. Second, the simple fact that I don’t know everything. What struck me about the article is that it expressed how I felt, as working on an extensive implementation that is utilizing Agile as their chosen methodology, I have seen it stall out, and there is minimal if any movement towards measurable progress to completing a successful implementation.
The Agile Manifesto, in the beginning, was an excellent idea. Agile was hip and the new cool kid. When applied within its correct ecosystem, it will succeed. However, its ecosystem is one of lean and mean, smaller groups for SMALLER projects. Agile doesn’t apply well as the single methodology to rule them all when trying to accomplish a large-scale or enterprise DX initiative. On the flip-side, this also does not mean that it cannot succeed within a program of that scale. It just has to be a correct fit for the ecosystem to which it is applied.
I do believe that there is no “one and only” methodology for all, just as NO single digital transformation is the same.
“TELL ME, AND I FORGET. TEACH ME, AND I REMEMBER. INVOLVE ME, AND I LEARN.”— BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
When a client takes on a large-scale or enterprise digital transformation initiative, one thing is almost always inevitable. Employees organization-wide begin to freak out silently. It is understandable. From top to bottom, this is a change that affects EVERYTHING. Uncertainty abounds, and the push-back, dynasty crashing, silo-busting begins. And because of this, the organization’s future state is uncertain, and people want to know where things will fall and where they will be when the dust settles.
Communication and Community building are keys to a successful initiative. But careful thought MUST go into account when not only creating the future business processes but in the communication mediums to be utilized. In a DX program, there is often the rushed desire to apply previously unused or tested apps to be implemented org-wide, to increase or further communications for the betterment of the program. More often, the critical analysis of the environment and human dynamics are seldom taken into account. More simply, EVERYONE is learning all kinds of new apps and processes. Not just in getting through the transformation, but also when go-live hits, there is a whole other set of skills to be engaged. Analysis of the culture, demographics, and goal setting of the future state will dictate what and what not to introduce. Or at the very least, the when.
I have found that application of a RACi matrix is one way to be stubborn of the plan, instructional through community interaction while involving varied individuals and teams for understanding their worth and place within the big picture. (It also keeps massive snafus from decimating one’s budget.)
“ANYONE WHO STOPS LEARNING IS OLD, WHETHER AT TWENTY OR EIGHTY.”— HENRY FORD
Just because something is shiny, new, or the latest and greatest, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right thing. Learning is not a linear construct. The past offers us just as much as the present or future for that matter. EVERYONE matters, as that is what makes a community successful. Communities are what make digital transformations successful. Looking back on DX failures, it is littered with disconnection and inability to communicate or gather as a community to overcome the challenges that presented themselves.
The young offer a fresh perspective. The old offer sage wisdom and battle scars. Both can learn immense amounts from the other. Both are valuable and needed. Especially when both parties respect and learn from each other. It’s the only way to get across that finish line, together.
The “methodology of the month” has and will continuously change within project management circles. There will always be the next “new” thing that will be “The only way” to do things until it’s not. Methodology agnosticism is exceptionally beneficial and applicable. It more often is the same goals to achieve; it’s just how you look at it that can get in the way sometimes.
A truly Methodology Agnostic approach is the heart of Platinum PMO‘s AMIGO platform. AMIGO gives program clarity, unlike any others within the industry. The core Platinum PMO is an advocate and advisory in the ever-challenging world of DX. Experience, knowledge, and expertise in guiding clients through programs with relative ease, while providing the needed clarity during crucial decisions is a core value we provide to our clients.
Do not hesitate to contact us, and see for yourself how we might be of assistance to you. We revel in solving (often avoiding) problems by providing efficient solutions that help YOU WIN!