A rescue makes sense. This kid is miserable.

A rescue makes sense. This kid is miserable.

Projects run into trouble for an infinite number of reasons. Assuming a rescue makes sense, why does applying or reapplying Agile make sense as a rescue technique? Agile can help address all of the more common problems that cause projects to fail.

How would common Agile techniques help address these issues?


Not all of the reasons a project becomes troubled can be addressed. Sometimes the right answer is either to use other rescue techniques or to terminate the project, redeploy the assets and let the people involved do something else. For example, if a true product owner can’t be found or deployed, Agile is not an appropriate rescue technique. A second example, a number of years ago the company I was working for had a project to modify the company’s product delivery methods.  The organization was sold to a competitor that had a different business product model that conflicted with the goal of the project. We spent a month trying to smooth out the clash of goals before shutting the project down.  This was not a project that could or should have been rescued. The assessment step answers two questions. First, can or should the project be rescued. Second, what is causing the project challenges. Once we have idea of what is causing the problems we can decide on whether using Agile to rescue the project makes sense. From there we can decide which Agile techniques should be placed on top of our process improvement backlog.