In the same way that Agile approaches protect the organization from the risk of large upfront commitments, they also do not require a large upfront commitment from the organization in order to be used.

Agile approaches are not highly regimented management structures that require hundreds of staff to attend workshops (and receive doorstops of documentation) before they can be used in the organization. You can immediately apply many of the core Agile approaches (and principles) described in this book to your current business activities, without attending week-long training courses, acquiring mounds of manuals, or enlisting the services of high-end consulting firms.

That is not to say that organizations cannot benefit from more formal guidance on adopting and applying Agile approaches. The IT industry, for example, has benefited greatly by having formal training and certification courses to teach people how to more effectively apply Agile methods (such as Scrum) in their software development projects. As the adoption of Agile approaches grows and matures in your organization, you can refine your use of Agile by enlisting qualified consultants, attending training courses and reading industry-specific resources, such as those listed in the Bibliography.

Equally, Agile approaches do not require a significant upfront commitment from internal and external stakeholders. For Agile approaches to succeed, stakeholders minimally need to be available to guide and review the outputs of each iteration. Generally, this is no more than eight hours of their time each iteration (i.e. every two to four weeks). Their active involvement throughout the delivery process can substantially reduce the time that is normally required of them at the end of the process to address problems in the deliverables that they received. All of this can make trialing Agile approaches in an organization a cost-contained activity, which the organization can opt to extend (or reduce) without having jeopardized a significant upfront investment. The downside, of course, is that employees will not have the opportunity to bury their “certificates of completion” for the latest cure-all management trend in the mounds of paperwork on their desks, but that is a risk that most organizations will happily absorb.

Source of Information : IT Governance Publishing-Agile Productivity Unleashed 2010


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