Does Agile fit in Functional Organizations?

There was an argument between me and a friend of mine, and it was a very hot one.

The argue was “Is it possible to apply Agile Methodologies in a Functional Organization?“. I was telling him that with some customization to Agile Processes & commitment from the Senior Management, we can apply Agile in such organizations; definitely it will take more efforts & time to do so than other type of organizations.

His point of view was it’s impossible to do that “use Agile in Functional Organizations“, because they are usually strictly controlled; and employees are not fully allocated to projects, and these reasons are fair enough to be destructive for any team trying to implement Agile. So in order to overcome this disagreement I have create the below Poll to collect some feedback & Ideas. Please add your comment once you answer. Thanks.

About Wafi Mohtaseb

Software Development & Management Specialist, Technology enthusiast, Project Management Professional PMP, Agile Certified Practitioner PMI-ACP, & Certified ScrumMaster

2 Responses to “Does Agile fit in Functional Organizations?”

  1. Why wouldn’t it? As long as you don’t use ‘Agile’ as a prescription (like: you >have< to do so and so), but use the essence of Agile, of course Agile Methodologies can be used.
    The Evolutionary approach (Evo, one of the longest existing agile approaches) uses continuous Plan-Do-Check-Act to adapt to any specific circumstances and hence adapts 'itself' to any situation.
    Actually, being 'Agile' or not isn't the issue. The issue is: Can we deliver the Right Results at the Right Time, as efficiently as possible. Some Agile methodologies help you to achieve that. As long as you're agile (= continuously adapting to the circumstances), the results will be better.
    Questions remain:
    – What do you mean by 'functional organization'?
    – What do you mean by Agile?
    – What's the alternative that does provide better project results in shorter time?

    • Hi Niels,

      Thank you very much for your comment.
      I totally agree with you, the main goal of using any methodology is to get the best possible result, regardless if it’s Agile or not. The argue here is can we use SCRUM or XP for example in IT Department in a organization/Company that IT is not their main business “a Bank or Telecomm company for Example”. I my opinion is YES we can, but it will not be as easy as an IT company.

      Wafi Mohtaseb

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