Agile will not save your project

Agile does not mean faster

If Agile meant faster, we would've called it Rapid.

The aim is to get a better result.

Obviously, getting a better result avoids the need for costly revising later.  That will save time.

You can't switch to Agile because you're behind

An Agile project needs regular input from key stakeholders on a project.  If you're not getting that already, something is already wrong.

By going Agile, make sure you're switching cost models to a time-based approach.  Otherwise you're simply handing your client infinite inputs and revisions for no cost.

An Agile project is basically the repeated improvement of a prototype.  If you haven't got a prototype ready, starting Agile might mean you have to step back in your project plan.

If you've been through a whole bunch of project definitions and deadlines which you have to stick to, then you have already missed the boat.

A meeting with the client every week is not Agile

I have seen people suggest that we "go Agile", by having a weekly meeting.  This is not Agile.  This is a weekly meeting.  If you don't understand a word, don't use it.

If you can't say no to your client already (which surely is a blog post in itself), then giving them extra input will increase your workload.

If your client is interfering rather than assisting, then maybe less input is what you need.  Maybe full definitions are needed to avoid scope creep.

Agile is not always better

"How much will it cost?" is the question ever-present in your client's mind.  Unless you have built up the trust by delivering on projects and timelines already, or have wowed them with case studies on the concept, then your client is right to be suspicious.  What guarantee have they got that your Agile project will complete in budget?

A waterfall process can be slower because you have to continually define what you're building.  But this definition should not be wasted.  Know the audience for your documents, and make sure they're read.  Don't complete documents just for process checklists.  Make them useful.  Make them short.

Then introduce Agile for your next project.  Make sure you know your stuff on this.  Go Agile early.  Make sure you can deliver to cost, and make sure you know who's paying if you don't.  A clue:  it's your client. (extra flexibility costs money)

Agile will not save your life.  But it might just deliver your client a better result.

Use it wisely.

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