What is Agile Project Management?
Simply put, agile project management allows managers and team of developers to break down large undertakings into smaller and more feasible tasks. With more manageable assignments, team members will be better at focusing their efforts and getting things done.
Essentially, the methodology uses shorter development cycles than usual. Developers call the cycles “sprints.” Most of the time, there are weekly sprints to be accomplished. These can be a set of features or bug fixes that are badly needed by the project.
History of Agile
Computer scientist Winston W. Royce published a paper regarding large software systems in the 1970s. In 2001, 17 software developers published the agile manifesto. It showcased 12 principles that aim to guide the people-centric software development. The developers wanted to use lightweight development methods that were formed from their collective experiences in the software industry.
Agile Project Management Principles
- Customer satisfaction is the top priority.
- Changing requirements are welcome for Agile, no matter how late in the development stage.
- Functional software should be delivered frequently in the shortest span of time
- Both the business managers and developers must work together every day to finish the project.
- There should be trust in the developers and other team members to get the job done. Proper tools should be given.
- Face-to-face conversation is still the best way to exchange data and information.
- The primary measure of progress is the functional software itself.
- Agile project management allows the team to have a constant pace for the software development process.
- In order to enhance Agile, continuous attention to technical quality and excellent design should be given.
- Everyone should maximize the amount of work not done as it is still essential.
- Self-organizing teams provide the best designs, requirements, and architectures.
- The team should regularly reflect on their effectiveness and efficiency and re-adjust accordingly.
Effectiveness of the Agile Project Management
Originally, software developers use agile project management methodology. However, it can be adjusted to be integrated into other industries as well such as finance, education, construction, and more.
As long as the project can be divided into smaller tasks, the agile project management methodology can be used. The end result is a product that can be continuously improved through more development cycles.
Advantages of Agile
One of the obvious benefits of the agile project management methodology is a leaner development cycle. There is less time wasted and more attention is given to features or tasks that warrant more manpower. Urgent tasks are also prioritized more.
Agile aims to get a functional product immediately. There might be bugs and incomplete features, but they can be worked on while the product is released. Updates will be rolled out throughout the lifetime of the software product.
Since there is a faster development rate, it essentially means that there is more work done for less cost. Business owners would then benefit from hiring teams or outsourcing those who know how to implement the agile project management methodology.
Customers or users themselves get the benefit of having a viable product laid out for them. They will also be receiving regular updates for new features and bug fixes.
Agile is aptly-named because it delivers fast compared to the traditional software development cycles. There is less time wasted and more work is done. Developers will not be worn out since they will only be focusing their attention on the tasks that need immediate supervision.
What Agile Is Not
While it is true that using agile project management can do wonders for applicable projects, it is not a magic pill for everything. The project manager and the team members should be familiar with the methodology.
Applying the project management method late into the project is possible, but one cannot expect it to be a miracle worker. Agile is better set at the start of the project to put everything in place before tasks are set in motion. Just like all things, it is better to have a plan compared to running in blind.
Agile project management can do wonders but only if everyone is on board with the methodology.
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