Bimodal delivery adopting Agile

Use the best of Agile for delivering software solutions, together with proven approaches for delivering complex projects

Evolution of Agile

Agile has matured over the last five years into a proven approach for delivering software projects, in particular. Through user collaboration, rapid tangible delivery cycles focused on value, and a commitment to better ways of working, Agile has encompassed both an approach and a philosophy to provide much needed Business Agility. It values:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

Agile culture

In the Agile Manifesto, where the values are quoted, there are 12 key principles covering the need for customer satisfaction, welcoming change even later in the lifecycle, shorter self-contained development lifecycles with daily interaction, highly motivated people communicating face to face, self-reflecting, and importantly producing simple functioning software.

There is a culture within Agile that is highly motivating and leads to high-performing teams, if done well.

Clash of cultures

For some, however, Agile can be frustrating or difficult. This is the case with some ‘traditional’ project managers who like certainty: to plan, then action, and along the way try to avoid or control change.

Traditional schedules and spreadsheet-style controls will need to change, with a focus on functions and stories (scope). Timebox sprints will see schedules simplified and resource/cost plans set, and the variable becomes scope.

The finance group, especially those who manage annual budgets, will also find Agile difficult. Business cases for an exploratory project, or one where ‘finished’ cannot be defined, will challenge decision makers. Procurement may struggle, unable to engage vendors where scope cannot be fully defined.

IT operations may also face challenges, demanding robust, fully documented solutions rather than a progressive, evolving product. The evolution of DevOps, or Continuous Delivery, has come about as a result of this conflict, aligning Program Increment Planning (PI Planning) to Project and release Plans.

Integration – bringing together the best of both worlds

Agile practice has been captured through the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), which has helped define standardised practice and terminology. At some point, Agile software development must integrate to projects, work packages, and business as usual activity. Our Bimodal model explores how this may occur.

The roles of Project Manager, Iteration Manager and Scrum Master blur in terms of roles and responsibilities. Reporting can be challenging, as can governance gates and the like. Our Governance page covers the best approach top decision making on Projects, Programs and major Change Initiatives.

Building client capability

CCG has explored many aspects of Agile and the interaction with more traditional project delivery. We can share knowledge, provide advice, and also assist clients with their change journey.

Case studies

Further reading

White papers

Need help with integrating Agile into your work practices?

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