Home > Uncategorized > Agile in a Waterfall Enterprise – Agile and PMP

Agile in a Waterfall Enterprise – Agile and PMP


If you’ve been working in software development and system implementation for large enterprises like I have, you can probably relate to the tension between knowing that Agile approaches really do have good results, but the governance processes of the enterprise are Waterfall.

I’ve recently been working with a team who have been trying to adopt Agile methods, but who rely funding from our central Project Approval Committee (PAC).  The PAC submissions and governance processes such as Information Security Certification and Architecture Certification are designed around Waterfall, not Agile.  So, we have something of an impedence mismatch.

This is not the first large enterprise I’ve worked for where we had precisely the same challenge.  I spent 13 years at Citigroup (first Salomon Brothers, merged into SalomonSmithBarney, merged into Citigroup).  In my role as an Enterprise Architect and member of the Global Architecture Team, I worked with many development teams to attempt to align their desire to move to Agile with the waterfall based governance process.

Since I think there are many other organisations out there who could benefit from what I’ve learned and hope to achieve at Westpac.  I know there are thousands of developers who are pationate about their work and know adopting Agile methods would greatly improve their outcomes.  I hope through some research, collaboration and cooperation, we can reconcile this mismatch and release that pashion and power in our organisations.

One avenue to start with is to look for work in the area of reconciling PMI processes with Agile.  Along these lines I found this presentation InfoQ: Mike Cottmeyer on the Agile PMP.  I’ll summarise interesting bits in a later blog.

If this topic is of interest, please leave a comment to encourage me to continue.

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  1. February 3, 2010 at 7:07 pm | #1

    Definately keep working on this area and sharing what you learn. I have been doing some work with large corporates lately and they increasingly seem to have a central funding body for all projects … which they take to mean that all projects will need pretty hefty business cases to get off the ground.

    I think that the project funding groups can learn a lot from agile AND that the agile community (by which I mean anyone taking an agile approach I guess) can learn a lot more about integrating into organisational processes like central funding that apply across the organisation and not just to IT

  2. February 12, 2010 at 2:54 am | #2

    I found this article useful in a paper I am writing at university. Hopefully, I get an A+ now!

    Thanks

    Bernice Franklin

    UGG Boots

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