by Margarita Carrasco
We are living in a time of increased marketplace volatility across a global economy. Consumers and business clients have high expectations and shifting demands; working virtually is no longer an anomaly. Changes are happening faster than ever before.
On the one hand, it’s a tough environment for government agencies and businesses to serve their constituents well. On the other, these times can spark innovation and resilience for the organizations that identify new products, services and solutions to meet customer demand. As project managers, we have a key role in helping our organizations navigate this accelerating pace of change, so they can thrive in a challenging, competitive environment. As "agents of change" and "drivers of change" in our everyday roles, we have the skills and knowledge to support our companies through volatility.
As project managers, we have a key role in helping our organizations navigate this accelerating pace of change, so they can thrive in a challenging, competitive environment.
In fact, today’s most important project management methodology, Agile, helps us deal with volatility every day. Agile development teams expect requirements to change. It’s how Agile works. The design, problem-solving and “not-done-before work” are exploratory. Project managers, software systems engineers and product designers doing Agile work are all used to working through high-uncertainty work as part of their jobs. By contrast, with a Waterfall approach, we know the requirements – and the relative priorities of the requirements – in advance. The end customer defines exactly what they want at the beginning of the project.
Too often, “Agilists” assert that Agile can only be done in a co located environment. Yet, with many of our customers, we are successfully using a “Hybrid Agile” approach for virtual project teams.
One important aspect of an Agile approach is applying it with a virtual team. Too often, “Agilists” assert that Agile can only be done in a co-located environment. Yet, with many of our customers, we are successfully using a “Hybrid Agile” approach for virtual project teams. We know that one process or project management methodology does not fit all situations!
Certainly, Agile is not a panacea for all projects. We believe that many projects are large enough and complex enough that some parts are best suited to using a predictive (Waterfall) planning approach and other parts are a fit for Agile.
Especially in these turbulent times, we should consider hybrid project management methodologies – strategically combining the traditional Waterfall and Agile approaches – to support our organizations for long-term success.