Tales from the Trenches: Conquering the Challenges of Transforming to Agile


We didn’t have this template when we embarked on our agile mission. It evolved out of a realization that there are both benefits and drawbacks to any methodology.

Final Thoughts
In agile, the heart of success is in the end result—working code that can be evaluated by customers. However, a fully optimized process will include efficiencies that come with regular review, analysis, and improvements to the process itself.

The most important thing we’ve learned is that it was great to try “pure” agile, but we needed to tailor our process to ensure we could operate as effectively and efficiently as possible in our particular environment. My parting advice to you is that there is no need to adopt agile principles blindly. Take them and customize them to what makes sense for you. Don’t be afraid of waterfall or hybrid projects. Creativity in your approach—thinking outside the box for any process or principle—will improve the likelihood of success in your environment.

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About the author

Alison Jacques's picture Alison Jacques

With over 20 years in both software development and IT project management, Alison Jacques brings a wealth of experience and learning to bear on challenges in the PM discipline. In addition to being a practicing PM, Alison has tailored process methodologies from CMMI to waterfall to Agile at several companies. Of latest interest to her is the shift from waterfall to agile methodology and how PMs can adapt and leverage this new approach to improve project delivery. Alison holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Georgetown University and a graduate management certificate from Babson College. She was certified as a PMP in 2005 and became a CSM in 2012. She is currently working on her PMI-ACP.

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