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Lessons Learned Delivering Successful Agile Projects

Some lessons are learned the hard way; some from careful observation and analysis of other people’s mistakes. Agile Project Management is no exception. Statistics show that Agile software development teams – using “Scrum” or “XP” approaches – are more productive than teams using traditional waterfall, PMI, CMMI, Six Sigma, or others. In some cases, Agile teams are hyper-productive – somewhere in the 500- to 800-percent more productive range.

One of the keys to this extraordinary productivity lies in the reduction of Work-in-Progress (WIP). The fact of the matter is that, while humans can think of many things at the same time, they can only do one thing at a time. There is no such thing as “multi-tasking” productively, especially while developing software. The Agile method, if properly implemented, follows the LEAN principle that the team should maximize the amount of work NOT DONE through extreme simplification and elimination of unnecessary tasks. In manufacturing, for example, being “LEAN” means allowing the assembly line to request what it needs, having it delivered just in time, rather than stockpiling such items in advance and risk the waste due to continuous specification changes.

Agile embraces continuous changes, delivers working software early and often, and does it in a way that retains team passion and excellence without the “burnout” normally associated with other methods. However, Agile is not without its challenges!

Dan James has posted a PDF of his recent presentation on the subject of dealing with those challenges, titled “Practical Agile Project Management: 11 Critical Lessons Learned From Actual Software Development Projects Delivered Using Agile Principles.”

If you’re struggling with the implementation, execution or championing of Agile methods in your enterprise, let LarkinSoft help you! Experienced consultants are available to mentor your teams and and help them become hyper-productive.

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