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What Clients “Want”
09/10/2015
Steven McKissick's picture
Author:
Steven McKissick

The past 12 –18 months have provided me with some great “learning” moments. EBIZ has developed an “agile-like” implementation methodology that leverages the best ideas from Waterfall and Agile methodologies. I could easily blog all day about our successful implementations using this methodology. I could even have some fun with our competitors and their alleged agile implementations. However, the focus of this blog is on clients and the new expectation they all started adding to their “want list”.

Over the last couple of years, every client, at some point tells us that they want, their implementation to be:

  • Out of the Box (OOTB)
  • No customizations were going to be allowed

The new expectation from clients, as you could probably guess, is for us to use an Agile methodology for the implementation. Clients believe the Agile approach will “speed up” implementations and strive to leverage this for their organizations. The challenge, like the OOTB and no customizations expectations, is less about the consultants or even the technology solution. The success of implementing an Agile approach lies overwhelmingly within the client’s organization and their respected Agile skillsets.

Agile methods do provide the means to consistently manage projects while working with changing requirements. However, the approach requires an evolution of the organization’s culture and mindset. Leaders need to go beyond establishing Agile as the approach, but proactively work to establish and increase the Agile management skillset while embedding this mindset throughout the organization. 

Since most companies do not have the Agile skillset, EBIZ blends Waterfall and Agile, allowing clients to plan for and organize themselves before going into the design, build, construct iterations. Our ability to adapt to the client’s culture helps them realize the “time to value” component of Agile.

Finally, if you proceed with an Agile implementation and require a partnership with consultants it is important to find consultants with actual experience in Agile implementations. The Agile approach works and clients have experienced real increases with “time to value”. However, the clients ability to understand, accept, and evolve with the Agile approach can either be a success enabler or success barrier.

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