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When not to go Agile

Agile methodologies are not a silver bullet. While we champion Agile as a methodology that consistently provides results, by no means do we claim that Agile works for every organization and every situation.

Agile may not be the way to go if:
The organizational culture is not conducive to change. If the organization cannot accept the possibility of delegated decision making, the Agile methodology will not work.
Regulatory processes prevent self managing teams . If externally mandated or regulatory requirements necessitate a structured, rigorous development methodology with fixed milestones and scope, then a methodology other than Agile should be deployed.
• The project demands an emphasis on schedule, cost, and scope over quality and customer value.
• Agile Methodologies are Value driven – if the core organization aims are at variance with providing Customer value, then Agile is not the answer. It’s possible that some soul searching regarding the aims of the organization maybe required instead!
The Product vision is not clear. Merely implementing Agile software development methodologies will not work in the absence of clarity on the Product Vision.
If skilled personnel are absent : I do not mean that you must have experienced Product Owners or ScrumMasters. It is just that the team members selected for these roles must have an interest and commitment to changing the status quo.
The Project is very large. Smaller parts of the project can adopt Agile but trying to introduce it at a very large scale is not generally conducive to success.
The Project is critical and stable with low need to change requirements. If Waterfall methodologies are working well for your Project, there is no need to go Agile!

It may be useful to apply some of these criteria to check if you are ready to implement Agile. Of course, once you decide to “Go Agile”, then pick the right project, staff it with the right people, train and coach them and go full steam ahead!

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