Mr. Teixido. “When we pit agile against waterfall, it casts waterfall as old, bureau-
cratic and rigid,” he says. “But sometimes I see more rigidity in agile.”
The best project teams aren’t those that adopt, say, Kanban or scrum and then
close their minds to all other options, Mr. Teixido says. Rather, standout project
leads tailor the approach to the team, project and organization—even if that means
reaching beyond agile. “You need to know both worlds. Every project manager
should know the traditional methods, like critical path and critical chain,” he says.
When Mr. Teixido was overseeing projects using scrum, the daily stand-ups
became burdensome and began to feel like micromanagement. So his team
sometimes shifts to weekly review meetings. “And we’re still doing sprints,
we’re still doing agile—it’s simply tailored to our needs,” he says.
The upside of that flexibility can’t be overstated. “Scaling agile means choosing the right combination of agile approaches for large teams based on the
organization’s needs and tailored to the team’s experience, not just adopting
a blanket approach,” says Rahul Sudame, PMI-ACP, PMP, program manager,
Persistent Systems, Pune, India.
Mr. Moores, who has spent more than a decade working on agile projects
across a handful of global tech organizations, says customized approaches are
surprisingly common. “Many companies love the idea of agile but are building
their own frameworks with more upfront planning and an upfront approval
phase,” he says. The level of governance is largely tied to the organization’s risk
appetite, but it also tends to be tied to the project scope and team size.
“If you’re doing a project like a prototype with, say, four people and it won’t
affect many teams in the business, then pure agile is fine and often works really
I returned from Snowbird and watched from the sidelines as software developers got excited by the manifesto. They started try- ing to apply its values to their daily work.
Over time they experienced successes, gained credibility and built momentum.
At some point, maybe three or four years in, things
changed. What was a discussion among practitioners
and an exploration of possibilities became rules and
frameworks delivered by consultants. Companies,
unnerved by the pundits who claimed that agile
By Dave Thomas
for large teams
based on the
—Rahul Sudame, PMI-ACP, PMP,
Persistent Systems, Pune, India