This quote comes from a nicely argued case -- from the agile blog 'leading answers' -- for mixing agile methods in rather traditional businesses, like the oil and gas exploration/production business
If ever there was a business that benefits from Boehm's Spiral Model, OGM (oil, gas, minerals) is certainly one. (Disclosure: I hold some OGM leases in Texas, so I've a bit of personal experience with this)
So, what have we got here?
- A lot of risk acknowledged up front (can't know everything -- thus the opening quote)
- A need to run with pilot projects before committing to production
- A need to tie into legacy systems (in the OGM case, distribution systems)
- A lot of deliverables that can be done -- indeed, should be done -- incrementally, and then integrated
- Small (it's all relative re small) teams, co-located, personally committed, with risk hanging on every move.
- A degree of local autonomy required to meet the challenges of the moment
Of course, there's "one big thing" in many traditional businesses:
- You can't go around self-organizing (agile speak) willy-nilly! Especially in OGM, there are regulatory constraints everywhere, and safety-first doctrine hanging on every move.
What you can do, taking a page from Agile and Critical Chain methods, is
- loosen dependencies;
- insert buffers;
- define interfaces carefully; and
- commit to incremental success.
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