The iterative and incremental processes of Agile Project Management process helps teams in an evolving landscape while keeping a focus on the rapid delivery of business value. All the various methodologies of Agile project management, like SCRUM and KanBan follow the Agile Manifesto which is based on continuous improvement, flexibility, the productivity of the team, and delivery of high-quality products.
Quick Review — How Agile Methodology differs from Traditional Development
Traditionally, software development followed the Waterfall Model of Project Management. This model is not iterative — it is more a sequential process, that flows through different phases — from requirement analysis, design, implementation, testing, to maintenance.
Agile frameworks were designed to recognize and meet the needs of the customer. Development teams using the Agile Methodology tend to deliver adaptability, accountability, and value at the beginning of the process that minimizes the risks during the project. The iterative and incremental process cycle encourages user involvement, maximizes visibility and transparency, demonstrates real-time progress.
The continuous planning through the Agile cycle gives Design/Build teams the ability to start delivering business value right from the start of the first Sprint. The Agile methodology has been proven to increase productivity and deliver significant business value while minimizing the risks related to site development.
The Benefits of Agile Project Management
Ripple-effect efficiencies are generated by the collaborative culture of Agile Project Management. It is easier to get work done when everyone understands their role in the team and can focus on critical tasks. The whole team works cooperatively in regular cycles of work-production. The characteristics of high functioning Agile team can be described as a holistic set of habits that form a relationship between efficiency, collaboration, and predictability.
Project testing during the design/build cycle alerts Agile development teams to potential problem areas. The continuous improvement that is an integral aspect of the agile development process allows opportunities for project stakeholders to request needed changes to ensure that the optimum product is delivered.
The Development Team’s Scrum Master (Keeper of the KanBan Board) is responsible for:
- Explaining and elaborating requirements just in time so that the knowledge of the product features is completely relevant.
- Promoting continuous integration and regular testing into the development process, enabling the development team to address issues before they turn into profit-eating-problems.
- Use of automated testing tools.
- Doing Sprint retrospectives that allow the scrum team to attain efficiency in work processes.
- Development of software in incremental, rapid cycles —resulting in small incremental releases with each release depending on previous functionality.
- Rigorous testing of each release to ensure that the website meets the required functionality and coding quality.
Stakeholders calculate the value of a project based on cost and return of investment(ROI) — predictability is important to Stakeholders. One of the advantages of the Agile methodology is that stakeholders can invest in Project Discovery. With that project intelligence, they can predict the probable cost and make an informed decision as to whether or not they should continue with the project.
Agile project management includes many practices, processes, and tools that improve predictability:
- Maintaining the same Sprint length and development team allocation throughout the project enables the project manager to predict the cost for each sprint.
- Based on past Sprint Retrospectives, the Project Manager can predict budgets, timelines for releases, the product backlog, or any other requirement by calculating the development team’s normal production speed.
- The project team can predict performance for individual Sprints with information from daily SCRUM meetings, Sprint Burndown charts, and task boards.
The adaptability of a Software Development Team
Project managers cannot look into the future, but their guidance at every step of product development helps a team adapt to changes whenever they require.
Experience Project Managers can help teams adapt to:
The ability to adapt to change is a cornerstone of Agile project management. When design/build teams become more comfortable with the Agile process, they become more quality-oriented as they know that client satisfaction with the product is the result of their efforts and skills.
As agile development is iterative, it means that the features are delivered incrementally which gives early benefits while the product is in the development process.
- Development is fast and early.
- A few iterations ensure a functional ‘ready to market’ product.
- Speed to market equals happy clients.
Agile means faster product delivery, the ability to understand customer requirements and modify work processes accordingly. Markets and opportunities move quickly — make sure your team can not only keep up but get ahead by being agile. Start working today to develop a flexible approach to delivering projects to become more Agile. Invest in Agile and SCRUM training for your team and start the process of enhancing your business value to future clients.
You will still have corporate clients where traditional Waterfall project management processes still the norm and who do not understand the informality of the agile approach. For them, at this time, Agile is challenging and considered too risky.