Agile Project Management

Agile Methodology is a development method in which requirements and solutions evolve in cross-functional teams through a collaborative, self-organizing effort. The approach aligns project and product development with requirements between customer and delivery team goals. It is a methodology based on iterative development. This process encourages frequent inspection and adaptation which helps in rapid delivery of high quality software. Agile methodology is developed for products and projects that require flexibility, speed, and instant verification and inspection. This helps to control costs, and ensure a focus on shippable, value producing code and solutions that actually work.

Benefits of Agile Development

  • Quickly Adapts to Organizational Change

Agile methodology provides a rapid response to change in an organization. It supports the dynamic characteristics of business processes and helps manage changing requirements within projects. One of the important principles the Agile method stresses is welcoming changing requirements, even if they occur late in a project.

Agile methodology enables stakeholders and the delivery team to provide and receive feedback on the latest iterations and newest features sooner rather than later: stakeholders can rethink requirements and features, add new ones and the development teams can follow them quickly. Development teams innovate and implement features according to the requirements of the customer since they are constantly in the loop. Adapting quickly to changes saves time and resources, keeps everyone in fidelity, and helps set reasonable and effective expectations that drive projects to completion one approved step at a time. The team pivots quickly to value, and then proves it by demonstration.

  • Encourages Individual Interaction

Agile methodology depends in great part on its stand-up meetings. Every team member has to come prepared with answers to these three questions.

  1. What have you accomplished since the last meeting?
  2. What are you currently working on until the next meeting?
  3. What is getting in your way from doing your job efficiently?

Answers to these questions describe the primary scope of projects, profiles and schedules and specify each team member’s role. Everyone knows who is responsible for what. This eliminates the chances of any kind of duplication of work and clarifies confusion if any, among the team members ensuring good communication.

  • Installs a Culture of Cohesive Work

Interacting with peers on a daily basis to discuss ongoing projects and ensuring as a group that projects are on schedule and on stay on track promotes teamwork – a sense of belonging with a clear sense of responsibility. Teams discover each member’s strengths and weaknesses and can collectively decide the role that optimally utilizes individuals’ expertise.

  • Agile Development Boosts Quality

Agile Development is a methodology that has been demonstrated to improve overall operational and product quality. In agile development cross-functional teams eliminate bottlenecks through constant communication. Developers depend more on quick feedback from stakeholders regarding requirements rather than on formal documents that often have been prepared months ago. It brings immediacy and dynamism to projects. Teams use artefacts like DoD –The Definition of Done, to assess whether or not a list of requirements is complete. Early testing in the development process identifies problems so they can be dealt with as they arise rather than at the end of the process. Integrations become much easier when the concept of Continuous Integration is applied: it prevents show stopper issues from cropping up.

  • Saves Time and Effort, Fostering Resourcefulness

Agile methodology ensures projects remain within budget, on schedule and are completed without hitches. All organizations work with limited resources; Agile development ensures optimal use of resources: teams are smaller and work cross-functionally. Agile is really a project execution mindset. It relies on constantly adding value to deliverables by managing constraints. Feedback is gathered from customers and the project’s agile teams then perform work in small sprints all guided by feedback. When compared to waterfall methodology, agile methodology provides more transparency in the processes and ultimately, deliverables reach customers faster helped by the sprints based development cycles. Project development guided by customer feedback and iterative cycles also ensures there is less waste of resources.

  • Enables Diffusion of Knowledge and Cross-Training Throughout Organizations

Daily meetings (Scrums), the stand-ups, ensure all participants know what everyone else in the team is working on at all times. There is diffusion of knowledge and by sharing the details of the development process together team members know and understand even the parts of the components they aren’t directly associated with.

  • Keeps all Stake-holders in the Loop

Many times key stakeholders are not a part of the actual development process. Agile methodology is aimed at promoting sustainable development while ensuring all the stakeholders – such as product owners, developers and end users – are in the loop.

Scrum, a part of the agile methodology, helps achieve this continual communication process. Instruments of scrum like burn down charts and product backlog charts serve the purpose of demonstrating progress to all the stakeholders which tells them more than the list depicting which features have been shipped can tell. All this information is very useful for founders of the lean start-up who need to think quickly and decide the course of action quickly too.

  • Faster Time to Value

The faster a solution can be scaled and offered to internal customers or external markets, the better it is for all the stakeholders involved.

Agile methodology is an effective approach for start-ups and established businesses alike. It ensures faster project iteration, optimizes resources management and ensures business gets on track at the earliest possible moment. By adopting agile methodology businesses can reduce costs, keep the teams closely knit, keep their projects on schedule and provide stakeholders better returns on their investments.