Transition from SDLC to Agile

Transition from SDLC to Agile
I gave this presentation at the Bangalore PMI meet, titled PM Footprints. It was exceedingly well organized. Close to  50 people  attended the event. The topic I touched upon was the pain-points  in the transition from SDLC projects to Agile projects. My essential argument was that there are three aspects to an Agile transtion.

  • Process:- Stand-ups, Retros, Huddles, Velocity, Burn-downs
  • Platform:- This is when you put the money where your mouth is. It requires investment in test automation, continuous integration, taking up a test driven development approach and so forth. Many organizations do not see this facet. We will require to have very high QA to Dev ratios to support automation. The traditional 1 QA to 4 developers will not work. Similarly, we will need machines for Continuous Integration, a stable test environment as well as staging environments. All this requires money.
  • People:- While we give lip-service to empowering the teams, how we do it is very important. Teams need to speak to the customer regularly. They should be in a position to take feedback as well as push-back to the customer where required. Without this element, one will never have an involved team.

While most books and articles discuss on the process-side, the other two Ps to my mind is far more difficult to get a handle on. 

Overall the talk was well received. There were many questions around handling the customer, handling senior management reviews and handling quality function requirements around metrics. All of this tells us, that the transition will not be successful. We cannot transpose Agile into the existing framework of how organizations manage projects. One needs to think inside-out.
What surprised the audience was when I mentioned that we need to have the customer  involved with us on a daily basis for about a couple of hours. Many members said, their customer cannot invest so much time on the project. Then Agile is not for them.

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2 comments on “Transition from SDLC to Agile”

  1. Subash

    Good one Vinod. Added to the 3 P's the culture plays a very major role in Agile. Agile to me will bring in a Behaviour change in the organisation and as Fogg Behaviour Model suggests it will happpen if there is right amount of Motivation, Ability and Trigger .

    People always do Agile for the sake of doing it. Thats where I see a huge challenge

  2. Vinod S

    Thanks Subash. One of the things I mentioned in the presentation was 'you cannot DO Agile'. ' You can only BE Agile'. Being Agile means – you have completely bought into it. Doing Agile means, you still are in 2 minds.
    In any case – I believe, its not necessary for everyone to be agile. There is nothing wrong in continuing with SDLC.


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