Big 4 Consulting and Agile Methods

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Tags:
Agile methodology
IT career planning
IT Consulting
Life cycle management
Software Development Life Cycle
Wow! I am so happy to come across this site! Ok, here's my question to other Big 4 IT consultants: I've been a Big 4 consultant for 5 years now. My last project was a cutting-edge digital growth initiative for a major motion picture studio where we operated under a radically different paradigm called Agile. I'm sure you've heard of it. It's got lots of buzz, but from what I can tell, no dice from the professional services firms. They talk alot about Agility, but I'm not hearing much about its actual implementation on projects. Anyway, I saw the power of Agile in a big way (unfortunately, before I was laid off) and I'm considering the Agile Scrum Certification. My problem is, I'm not giving up Big 4 (I'm one of the ones who LOVES the travel - I know, weird!) and  I'm wondering if going for Agile Certification would put me out there as a small-scale gig gal. I'm not all for that. Besides, alot of people in traditional firms see it as "faddish" but in my heart of hearts I know its got staying power.... If you were firm on going back to Big 4, would you do an Agile Certification? 

Software/Hardware used:
Agile, Waterfall, SDLC

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So what did you end up doing? Its been a few months now… did you get your certification?

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  • Chippy088
    Never heard of Agile, ran a few google searches, and I'm none the wiser. It sounded very much like an acedemically thesis on software development. Anyone else heard of it?
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  • Meandyou
    Are you referring to agile development / methodology? If so, it is indeed just another fad, IMO. Half of IT is reselling old ideas with a new name. Waterfall, RAD, FORD, SaaS, new paradigm, geez I am sick of the way these things come and go ... Now, agile does bring a few things to the game. But unless the WHOLE TEAM is on board and UNDERSTANDS then it will fail like all the rest.
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  • carlosdl
    There is a lot of talk about Agile these days. I know nothing about Big 4, but I think an Agile certification will definitely be good for someone wanting to remain in the software development area (and looking for a new job). However, certifications don't guarantee anything, and OTOH, many organizations don't use agile methods ( yet ?).
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  • Well, I've spent a lot of time researching this and looking at it from a leadership perspective. Never assume that everything you have been taught is going to remain the same. There is a lot of focus and attention on this for good reason - business has fundamentally changed, and that shift is rippling through businesses and organizations. Everything is changing and a change-embracing paradigm has huge appeal for organizations looking to remain competitive and agile in an ever-changing environment. It also fosters creativity and innovation - what is taking us out of the recession. Its the nature of transformation to have the dead weight fall off.... I think you have to have an understanding of what's really occurring in our world to have a true appreciation for Agile. Wake up people. Its a different world. I fought it exactly like you are Meand you - "oh its a fad - but when you see it in a much larger context, that's where LEADERS are seeing the benefit. It serves us to see things as leaders do. Not techies. When organizations are looking for Agile people, they are turning away from those people standing on the soapbox saying "its a fad." Just be aware of that. I wouldn't try to convert someone when I just need to keep my business thriving... I'm looking for people who've already accepted it.
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  • Also, the Big 4s are embracing this. I'm starting to see it as a requirement in more and more job profiles. Just remember, the first steam ship carried in its cabin a book carefully explaining why it was that a ship could not be powered by steam. Question your beliefs.
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  • TomLiotta
    Agile is a very useful and productive methodology. It is the primary methodology in use at my employer, a software development company. I personally would have considered it faddish up until a few years ago, but it indeed has staying power and is still making inroads. I'm not so sure it will be strongly embraced within the Big 4 for a while, though. There are fundamental conflicts. Where Agile is at its best is in the rapid LAMP world where requirements cannot be closely defined ahead of time and may easily change daily. Picture a web presence that needs continual updates and refinements -- adapting to new browser features (or new browsers), integrating new technologies as early-adopters, presenting multi-media views into a database that was created the day before, etc. Not much chance of negotiating waterfalls when it has to be up and running by the end of the week. Lots of open-source components bound together by scripting "glue", taken apart and recombined overnight. I'd highly recommend strong study, significant experience and also Certification in Agile. For you, I'd also suggest sighting an objective. Perhaps plan forward to become a lead in implementing a hybrid waterfall/Agile methodology that spins the smaller project tasks off into a number of Agile-implemented blocks; something along those lines. Go for it. Take the lead, since it's probably inevitable. Just be prepared to adapt to whatever Agile morphs into five or ten years from now. (Perhaps you'll help create it.) Tom
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