I recently presented at the LAST (Lean, Agile, Systems, Thinking) Conference in Melbourne about a project where I was asked to test if it was feasible to use Scrum to help a lifecycle management team manage their projects whilst also juggling their business as usual activities (maintenance, help desk support etc).
The team had found it challenging to get “all their work done” as there were constant interruptions and new work requests coming in from the business. The team were trying to “please” everyone and get a bit done of all the projects, however the results was that they were behind on delivery and their reputation of being able to deliver was not great.
Scrum gave them a process to help them manage these competing workloads but more importantly gave them the Power to Say NO!
Why do traditional, waterfall style projects fail? Some claim its a requirements problem and point to the need for more planning, user research, and design. The truth is we’re not looking at the problem the right way and complex environments require a different way to collecting information and delivering using that knowledge.