The world has truly become a “global economy” and the forces of competition and economic conditions combined with intertwined financial markets drive the economic conditions. Although competition and economic conditions are unique, they can exert many of the same influences on your cost and schedule of your projects.
Competition is the force that most often causes organizations to launch new projects, and propels a new project into the strategic initiative category. If we did not have competition there would be a reluctance to spend money on new projects. When competition is nonexistent, organizations seldom kickoff strategic initiative projects. When competition is strong (and global) more projects are launched to fight the global competition, and many of these projects become strategic weapons, that’s why agile frameworks are becoming increasingly used in organizations. Current numbers from survey’s respondents indicate that about 51% of companies use agile and about 44% use waterfall. That’s why in most of my posts I combine the frameworks; I believe that you can use tools, and techniques from both frameworks to accelerate your projects timelines, schedules, and costs. I never advocate that you ONLY use one or the other, in my experiences I have seen a morphing of both methodologies successfully used together in one project. Know your competitors, go to their sites, competitors operate very much like your own organization does. Competitors are individuals, groups, or other entities that may compete with your organization for funding, profits, customers, and influence. Try to take notes on the three most important competitors; it helps give you an extra measure of reality when you kick off your agile/scrum project. Agile/Scrum frameworks give you a competitive tool, SPEED. Winning the race to bring a new product or service to market often means the difference between profit and loss because SLOWER is not an option for those organizations that want to remain competitive in the global marketplace.
The other driving force, economic conditions assume an important role in the development of your project. It becomes very apparent what effect economic conditions have on your project speed. Read your periodicals that represent your industry and access Internet online news reports, business and technology change daily you must keep your team, yourself and your business in the loop. In thriving economies, there are plenty of projects to go around. But when the economy shifts into a sluggish mode (like we currently have) and appears to be in a downturn condition, the number of projects shrinks, many organizations used to deal with a slowdown by assuming a low profile and waiting out the bad times, now that is a BAD MOVE. Bad economies increase not only competitive pressures but budgets tighten and resources get cut. Projects developed during a downturn in the economy are expected to finish well under budget, with fewer resources, and far ahead of schedule, and that’s where the agile/scrum framework comes into play. Speed to market, speed in development all translate into cost savings and that translates into a happy customer. Because customer demand is ultimately the reason your project was even undertaken in good or a bad economy.