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 Why Transition  Why Transition   Why Agile   Why Agile

Reactionary responses in the form of agile initiatives are an immediate stopgap manoeuvre and early attempts have worked well using SCRUM, XP and DSDM. However while these methods concentrate on the central development activities and the platform for commercial project delivery becomes more agile, the wider costs of organisational project delivery are being examined in more detail.

We see this happening already as companies seek to uncover and quantify the cost savings of deploying agile methods. Their pronouncements of financial reductions are strangely silent. Our investigational summary of the marketplace reveals that the wider project costs are not being borne by the agile projects. This is why at first glance they appear financially attractive. Add together wider organisational costs for project delivery and share them among all projects and the attraction is diminished. In a cost conscious environment any lacklustre project accounting is unsustainable.

We mentioned elsewhere in the Toolkit a project of just six months, with a burn rate of £19,000 per day will develop £1 million worth of business features that are never used. If you deliver twelve projects a year, that is a waste of £3 million per quarter or a £12 million per year loss.

If you have a larger project portfolio, and we need to remember that single departments of not so large organisations can operate a portfolio of more than 250 projects in one financial year and if we say that 50% of them are around the six months mark, we will do the sums. It equates to over £123 million of waste on a single project portfolio. Larger projects have a tendency to broaden the opportunity for waste so the numbers grow exponentially and get very large indeed. In this way you can see that a medium sized organisation with a mix of larger as well more typical projects will easily deliver up to £150 million of waste on a single project portfolio. Following these calculations logically is not a warranted waste estimation technique. However it is still a concerning amount even if the waste is ten per cent or even one per cent of this figure. Writing off £1.5 million is a tough trick for anyone to pull off.

There is a solution to stop building all this unnecessary waste and to enable the organisation to use and take advantage of the released capital it generates. The deployment of bespoke agile practices and methods are the first part. However, blanket bombing an organisation with agile projects without the appropriate transformation of an organisation is a mistake.

Governance is good and standards make sense, not in the old sense but in a new sense. The Toolkit shows you how to deliver transformation via an agile project and how to make sure your business only demand features that are priority and deliver real realisable benefits. Also, it has a method for benchmarking your projects to make sure they are delivering results and returning the financial benefits back into the safe hands of the organisation.

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