A Microsoft Dynamics partner that is Agile is a better choice than a partner that delivers projects using a waterfall approach. Here are five good reasons why:
- Agile maximizes business value to you the customer throughout the life-cycle of the project. The reason you engage a partner in a project is to make your organization better. The Agile approach focus on steering a project towards high value business targets as they become clearer during the life-cycle of the project. On the other hand, the waterfall approach plans the project and associated business targets at the beginning of the project. Unfortunately, the beginning of the project is when the project team knows the least about the project. The risk to the waterfall approach, is the team will ignore new business targets during the project life-cycle because they are marching to a plan created at the start of the project.
- You, the customer know what is going on with an agile project at the same time as the partner. Agile project teams consist of customer team members, as well as partner team members.
The customer is considered a valued team member. Customers attend planning meetings and daily stand-ups. Customers engaged in waterfall projects must wait until the partner’s project manager reports on the status of the project. Depending on the partner, a customer may wait weeks or months to find out the status of a project.
- Agile projects get done faster. Getting done faster means less cost to you the customer. Agile projects get done faster because 1.) customer is on the team, and this provides an incentive to partner team members. 2.) Agile projects have a much more regimented and structured approach to getting things done. In contrast, waterfall projects are notorious for being slow, and tend to run long. The result of running long is greater team confusion and greater potential for re-work. Long project often lose team members, which in turn causes even more cost and confusion during transitions.
- Customers take ownership of agile projects. As I pointed out earlier, the customer is on the project team. Taking ownership helps drive the project to a timely completion, and helps increase the quality of the project. There are no customer team members on waterfall projects. Therefore, there is a lack of ownership, as the customer is often removed from the daily activities of the project.
- Agile projects are more fun than waterfall projects. There is no rule that says you cannot have fun on projects. Joint customer and partner teams are a great way to deliver value to a project. Customers have creative ideas that can be used on the project. Waterfall projects are generally far from fun. The customer provides the partner team requirements, and the next time you see the partner team is often weeks or months later during training or testing. What fun is that?