Articles

Agile for Non-Software Projects

July 12, 2019



you good day everyone I appreciate you all joining in from across the globe here we're going to be talking about agile this morning one of my favorite topics I'm going to take a slightly different view of it and see how it is being catered to and being looked at in the non software world so you know those of us who have exposure to agile would typically perceive it to be in the software space which for good reason that's where it's really taken off and build quite a presence but at the same time now there is a need for seeing our other projects and seeing whether we can leverage some of the benefits and the value of the you know the agile manifesto can be used to not introduce reconstruction healthcare nonprofit projects and things of that nature and I'm going to walk you through and some of the top 10 reasons of seeing where the 9ag and non software projects can also benefit from leveraging agile and I'm also going to mention to you some specific case studies where non software projects have benefited from lean and agile principles all righty so this is our agenda we're going to quickly look at a history introduction of agile project management and that were going to step right in to discussing the strategies for leveraging agile and not soccer approaches so a little bit about me as Jessica said I have had the opportunity to travel across North America in the last six seven years doing consulting work as an OPM tree consultant did some work in government Newfoundland so these are some not so beautiful scenes I guess from Newfoundland but it's a gorgeous part of the world up in Northeast Canada and I've also had a cage to go in Saskatchewan very flat lands spend a lot of time in Southern California of course I'm doing some work in Dubai I'm a judge there for some of these international awards and doing some research in Paris right now in France with the schema Business School and we'll be talking about a couple of professors there who are actually looking at agile in the non-software space Rodney Turner and Paul Gardner a couple of my colleagues were doing some work out of schema Business School and I've also been doing some work out of Doha Qatar in the Arabian Gulf and Vancouver so these are some of the areas where you know my a July bows have taken me in the last few years so obviously we would we think of agile we tend to think of the typical startup headquartered in Northern California that's what you would think right some sort of e space type of organization like this is an Ed you tech would you call his company nada me where I'm happy to be an adviser for and they obviously would fit the norm or what you would think you know you think that I did they would leverage agile obviously doing prototyping they are you know involving all stakeholders in their feedback loop they're looking to shorten the time to market to deliver their product again a technology product they're very adaptive to market changes so this is this you know an organization like nada me is one where many of us would feel that agile really fits in perfectly right but there are other places as I said where you know agile can be used in that being in the non software space I want to go through ten of the sort of key lessons that we can get from agile that would apply to the non software world as well the first thing is decomposition we want to break things down so you know the pinball guide out of the PMI teaches this concept of decomposition right up front chapter 5 is totally loaded with the concept of decomposition as is chapter 6 the scope and time chapters where we are taught that breaking things down into smaller pieces makes it more manageable in my class I frequently my lectures I will mention to students and participants that the composition enables us to you know accomplish amazing things I would venture to guess that the way the pyramids were built were so effectively was because of decomposition when I today when I travel to Dubai I'm amazed at the world's tallest building the world's tallest building that isn't Dubai it was built by the world's most unskilled labor if you think about it right I'm not a very educated labor force typically from the third world some of them may not even be able to guessing maybe not even able to read and write yet they are able to put together and build the world's most amazing building is because of decomposition senior management project managers technical experts were able to break the work down into more manageable pieces and there you have it the world's tallest building has been built so you know decomposition allows us to do amazing things again you know there's this comment about you know how you eat an elephant of course one bite at a time you prioritize tasks you work on the most important ones first that's what we learn in agile right whether it be scrum or FDD or XP or crystal any of these methodologies require us to prioritize and focus on the important ones for the value driven delivery concept again we deliver the smallest most valuable items as soon as possible this can apply to non software projects as well get feedback and adjust our plans as needed a long way so this is these are principles that have been used by this particular principle is being used not just in the software well there's a venture capital company called openview Venture Partners and they use scrum in projects and management and sales and marketing and Finance customer support you know so they're doing you know all kinds of value-add projects they're performing due diligence using this approach of breaking things down into smaller pieces key principle that we learn out of the agile world is to focus on on outcomes stead of just outputs so this one is an important one I want you to think about it for a second we want to focus on outcomes instead of outputs so you know we many-a-times make the mistake of measuring I guess quantity as opposed to quality right and what we really need to understand here is you know instead of how many features did we release the question is out of these features what impact did we make just because we're at least 150 features in the last six months doesn't necessarily equate to valuable outcomes so the focus in the agile world is really on what impact did we have on the customers lives what constructive positive impact it we have and that's something that again transcends beyond just the software world obviously so we want to focus on minimizing output while maximizing the outcomes this is where we will talk a little bit about eliminating waste as well a little later what things can we do to have the biggest impact in our customers lives moving on we want to make our work visible and transparent right again a very good job principle that can be used across the board it's a good idea to have some sort of physical task board the military has been doing this since the 1950s 1940s CAD bond style boards are their port hueneme here in Southern California I've seen them and they've been used for ages you could have a here's a sample of a task for being used by a family to run their home effectively you know so we want to create columns for things to do work in progress completed tasks we want to create too many categories to confuse the the the choices but you know we we want to be able to communicate openly right we want to be able to collaborate in the open we want to make our work transparent visible we want people to appreciate the work we're doing this is great advertising marketing frankly speaking for people to realize what we're doing and it's an opportunity for people to give us feedback if we're missing something if something's not it's obviously amiss in our list then the fact that we are being transparent allows others to quickly step it and provide us feedback so this is the use this particular task board I've seen interestingly some nonprofits adopt this you

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4 Comments

  • Reply 05AquariusNova July 12, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    Here are key points of the video (saving you 10 minutes of your precious lifetime):

    1. Decomposition is key (break complex work in small manageable chunks);
    2. Focus on outcomes, not outputs (doing a lot of work doesn’t mean making impact on the client, so measure what matters and find ways to improve it);
    3. Eliminate waste (any work that doesn’t contribute to value add for client experience).

  • Reply GconduitYTubeAccount July 12, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    It sounds like either you cut your video short or you're intentionally giving half the info.

  • Reply Venkata Pusuluri July 12, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    It's too much about you mate. Have to get into the point/information very quick.

  • Reply Jesse Romeijn July 12, 2019 at 1:15 pm

    I'd like to recommend a complimentary read on this subject: https://kanbantool.com/blog/bringing-agile-into-non-tech-environments – combining that and this video introduction of agile into a software-dev-less environment should be easy.

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