Time For Change A large number of software and information technology (IT) companies use the Agile project management framework in their projects. However for effective implementation of Agile framework in the organization a cultural change is required. Companies tend to start applying Agile without changing their culture.

 

One aspect of the cultural change required for Agile is to continuously track the Work-in-progress (WIP). WIP here refers to those modules or activities of the project that have still not been completed. By tracking WIP continuously companies are able to complete these activities in lesser time. Backlog of work is minimized because of this and projects are delivered in time. Due to the iterative nature of Agile methodology project managers sometimes think that there is no need to keep a continuous watch on WIP.

 

Agile requires managers to stop asking team members to do multi-tasking. Multi-tasking results in confusion in the team with regard to the specific responsibilities of team members. It results in wastage of time and causes delays in delivery of projects. Multi-tasking can also have an adverse impact on the quality of deliverables of the project. It causes ineffective collaboration between team members. Human resource is inefficiently utilized because of the tendency to multi-task. Team members lose their focus when they work on a number of project tasks simultaneously. Organizations that have a culture of multi-tasking are therefore less effective in applying Agile.

 

Agile requires team work; it requires a focus on minimizing WIP backlogs. Adaptive planning that focuses on early delivery and continuous improvement is one of the key elements of Agile methodology. In order to achieve adaptive planning the culture of the organization should be flexible and fluid, with a commitment to quality.The reliance on cross-functional teams means that communication in the organization should be free-flowing and continuous. Without effective communication, collaboration between cross-functional teams, working together on a project, cannot be effective.

 

The organizational culture should be responsive to change. Agile is being so widely used in software development because it strives to respond to changes in a quick way. These changes, in case of software projects, usually come in the form of changes in client requirements.There should be a fit between the objectives of Agile framework and the culture of the organization. If this fit is missing then the objective of the Agile project management framework cannot be achieved.

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