Change is Good for Agile Projects

Kelley Hunsberger interviewed me for her article “Change is Good: For agile projects, redefining scope isn’t such a creepy thing”. It is great to see agile thinking in a mainstream project management magazine such as PM Network. And the article was a very nice little summary of why it is good to embrace change.

I took the opportunity to reiterate some of the points I’ve already made on Agile Project Scope and Agile Change Management, namely that all projects experience changing requirements and it is better to embrace this than fight it. For example legitimate sources of change include:

  • The customer learns as they see working functionality emerging of the development effort.
  • The technical team is also learning as they discover what works.
  • The environmental context might also dictate changes, such as changes in the market or legislation.

Ignoring any of these sources of “scope creep” would be foolish.

But on the other hand as I told Kelley “Embracing change will lead to disaster if uncontrolled. In agile, the change management decisions should be delegated to the people on the ground – the team, product owner or project manager – unless the project is threatened in terms of cost or time” (p. 53).

The final say went to Jeff Smith, the CEO of Suncorp Business Services, who simply said “Change is the only constant, and agile is a great way of handling it”.

References

Hunsberger, K. (2011, Feb). Change is Good: For agile projects, redefining scope isn’t such a creepy thing. PM Network, 48-53.

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