The Agile Methodology was born two decades ago. It is definitely a game-changer which revolutionised the way software companies create their projects. When to use Agile Project Management? What exactly is Agile Project Management, and what should we know about Agile processes? In this article, you will find everything you need to know in order to get started with your Agile Project Management practices!
Agile Project Management – what does it actually mean?
Agile Project Management is an iterative approach to managing software development projects. This approach helps teams deliver benefits to the customers much more quickly and smoothly. Agile Project Management methodologies are better than traditional project management methodologies because they are associated with innovativeness, fresh look, and problem-solving.
Choosing Agile means working in sprints, which makes it possible to apply regular changes and corrections in the service. Thanks to that, project managers can predict the exact timeline, cost, and resource allocation that is necessary for each sprint. With Agile projects, there’s more focus on what really needs to be done, because focusing on planning and documentation isn’t considered overly important.
Who benefits the most from Agile Project Management?
This system of working is particularly beneficial for teams which have to respond to challenges by ever changing requirements. Usually, plans and results undergo continuous evaluation, so using flexible Agile is the best possible choice enabling rapid response to changes. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.
The concept of Agile is not a set of events or specific programming techniques. Agile is more like a set of methodologies strongly focused on short development cycles. Agile Project Management relies on continual improvement.
Agile teams – how does it work in practice?
The Agile Project Management approach assumes that interdisciplinary teams shall cooperate with each other. Agile is based on open communication, the ability to adapt to any situation, mutual cooperation, and mutual trust between team members.
Typically, there’s a Project Leader or Product Owner who determines work priorities, but ultimately, the other members of the development team are the ones who decide how to work in stages. Project teams organise work on their own, in accordance with detailed and specified tasks.
Their job is to deliver working software with each sprint or iteration. To be more precise, they do their best to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of the most valuable software.
What’s the secret of Agile teams? Why are they always successful?
Agile teams are always united by a common vision. Team members are the ones who know best how to put their visions and ideas into practice. Each team sets its own standards of usability, quality, and completeness.
It may seem a bit irresponsible and dangerous at first, but it really pays dividends. Team leaders quickly realise that it’s worth trusting their Agile teams, taking into account that team members always meet their expectations, sometimes even going beyond those expectations.
alt=”a member of a software development team during work”
When should Agile be used?
The best answer is: the sooner, the better, actually. Agile should be used when companies decide that they want to respond flexibly and quickly to market changes and the customer reviews. It’s reasonable to use Agile when companies do not want to hang on to inflexible long-term plans. Agile is needed when businesses want to adapt their plans on the fly.
What’s more, Agile should be used when companies are inclined to put human interaction before rigid processes. Indeed, cooperation with customers and other team members is much more important than pre-defined arrangements.
According to the Agile Manifesto, such an approach should be adopted especially when companies realise that delivering good solutions to the customer problems is far more critical than gathering comprehensive documentation. Customer collaboration is what matters most.
What types of businesses should use Agile Project Management and why?
Agile methodologies will work in many different types of businesses, especially in the case of companies which want to introduce new products. Agile Project Management methodologies systematise all the wealth of information that can be found during doing research. Agile focuses on looking for innovative business solutions that are supposed to make the work considerably easier, quicker, and more efficient.
Companies from information technology industry
There is no denying that Agile is perfect for the IT industry. Actually, it was initially assumed that Agile Project Management was designed mainly for the sector of IT services. The goal was to build various pieces of software. Agile allows IT teams to develop new codes or scripts in a way that generates better results. However, after some time, different industries adopted the Agile methodology as well.
Advertisement and marketing companies
Marketing and advertisement need constant updates, bearing in mind unstable market trends. It’s perfectly understandable that companies and agencies want to attract the attention of the customers.
There are businesses which sell software for the purpose of supporting marketing. What’s more, firms use Agile in order to automate their workflow. We cannot forget about the fact that Agile methodologies always improve the communication within the project.
Getting proper treatment is a bit of a tedious process in some countries. The truth is that the whole healthcare industry should use technology, create portals, platforms, and apps that could increase patient satisfaction. Indeed, patients want easy access to their healthcare practitioners. So, basically, Agile is very much required in this kind of business.
Banking and Finance
Businesses from banking and finance sectors are continually being improved. Ten years ago, there were no internet banking services. Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine life without them. The Agile approach made it possible to create software for dealing with customers’ transactions.
Agile handles risk management systems and payment processes. Thanks to Agile, it’s so much easier to meet customer expectations. Banking and finance industries would not function without technology platforms in today’s world.
These kinds of organisations don’t have significant financial resources, but still they have to be Agile in order to successfully serve the society. People who work in non-profit organisations can benefit a lot from resigning from long-term planning, which consumes much time. With Agile, it becomes possible for those organisations to generate more donations based on their target audience.
Agile Project Management is a great solution for companies from the service sector. The industrial sector can benefit from Agile, too. Government agencies, product engineering and product development, aerospace industry, and pharmaceutical industry – implementing Agile Project Management will pay off for them as well.
Agile Project Management should be used when companies want to see a significant rise in their productivity. Companies should implement the Agile approach when they want to reduce time needed to market their products or services. Agile is needed when firms expect an early return on investment. Using Agile is the best way to maximise the business value and to enable effective communication among the stakeholders and the employees, not only in the IT industry, but also in advertisement, marketing, healthcare, banking, and many other sectors. It’s worth managing projects in this way!