The Agile Triangle

I have recently been thinking about this whole concept of Agile, and how to best transition from the “old and tired” to the “new and exciting”.   In other words, how to take the best of what agile has to offer and implement it into our professional, and even personal, lives.

For one, there are clear advantages to embracing the agile mindset, even if all of its tools and approaches may not be applicable.  To be more nimble, personally and organizationally, and facing the inevitable change with an open and ready mind is a survival skill, again personally and professionally.

So I began to think about what’s needed for a person or an organization to become “agile”.  As my thoughts began to take shape, I also came upon the need to convey the concept to my project management students.  In preparation for the class, I finally came up with a model that I think works well.  And so, an Agile Triangle was born.

The Agile Triangle

Agile triangle

The way I see it, you need three things to be agile – Agile Team, Agile Customers, and Agile Situation.  The reason why the triangle works for me is that it’s reminiscent of the PM’s triple constraint triangle – I see it working in roughly the same way.

The Agile Team

What I am essentially saying here is that for an agile environment, the project team must have an agile mindset.  In broad strokes, it means they should be open to change.  Getting down to the team level, that may mean different things and different tools may be used to achieve that agility, but at its core, the team must display the qualities, and reflect the values, of agile manifesto.

This also works for personal agility – whatever qualities an agile team possesses, they can also be applicable to an individual.  In fact, if the individuals within the team are not agile, the team will likely suffer from low agility.

The Agile Customers

This one is easy to understand, but for most teams, I find, is the one considered most difficult to achieve.  It essentially means that the customer must also have an agile mindset, and most importantly be willing to work with the team in an agile way.

The Agile Situation

I have been going back and forth with this, not knowing if I wanted to call this situation, or solution base, but what I am essentially saying here is that the thing you are engaged in must be agile-friendly.  That means the project must be agile-friendly (how do you organize an event in an agile way?), the tools you have must be agile friendly (sculpting a statue from 100 ft piece of granite is probably not going to give you much agility), and so on.

Triple Constraint

Much like the PM’s triple constraint triangle, I believe this triangle works in exactly the same way – if one of the areas of the triangle is less agile, then at least one other area, and possibly two, will have to be more agile to make up for it.

While I continue to refine this model, what do you think about it?  Like, no like, hmm, meh, etc?

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Agile Triangle by Vadim Gorelik is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.



About Vadim

I'd like to have something really impressive to say here, but it's just not in the cards. Maybe later.
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