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Is Agile the Best Fit for Your Organization?

A decision-making framework for multiple product development models using requirement and technology constraints

14 September 2015

Kapil Goel


Brief story

Organizations often jump on the Agile bandwagon just because other organizations are doing well in this area. My first question to senior leadership is, "Why Agile?" Many times, even they don't know. They respond with a counterquestion: "Why not?"

After gaining some basic understanding of the product or project requirements and the technology used, I ask multiple stakeholders to spot a plot point between the x-axis (Requirement) and y-axis (Technology). The position and pattern of plot points gives the coverage area (as illustrated below).

We are quite familiar with the following decision-making framework (a comparative assessment chart), using requirements versus technology as constraints. Let us reexamine it.

Defined range with a better-fitting model and fewer attributes

The Cynefin Model has four domains:
  • Simple: Waterfall (Sense-Categorize-Respond; planned, predictable, static, controlled)
  • Complicated: Agile -- Kanban (Sense-Analyze-Respond; knowns, decision making)
  • Complex: Agile -- Scrum (Probe-Sense-Respond; unknowns are outcome driven, empirical)
  • Anarchy: Hybrid (Act-Sense-Respond; chaos, disintegration, uncertain, dynamic)
The People axis is an evolution stage, which passes through various listed development models.

Note: In Agile, Kanban is simple to implement, with less overhead than Scrum. The above agreement-and-certainty model can be used for organizational transformation. I hope to further address comparative studies using additional constraints in the future.

The model quoted in this blog is also known as the Ralph Stacey Model.

Opinions represent those of the author and not of Scrum Alliance. The sharing of member-contributed content on this site does not imply endorsement of specific Scrum methods or practices beyond those taught by Scrum Alliance Certified Trainers and Coaches.

Article Rating

Current rating: 4 (2 ratings)


Ramakrishnam Raju Mudunuri, CSP,CSM,CSPO, 9/16/2015 2:54:30 AM
Nice one Kapil,

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