Considering the rapid pace of progress in project management, we are seeing an update in the project management frameworks and techniques used by organizations the world over. Agile project management is a new framework that has come to the helm on the back of incremental development and sweeping changes across the board.
Agile is a relatively new framework that oversees project management and is used primarily in software development. Agile relies on the use of cyclic processes that are continuous in nature and border on experimentation, flexibility and adaptability across the board. The approach is based on cross-functional teams that work on developing different iterations of a product. The product is then finalized using the feedback from customers and the evolving needs of the market.
Business developers and stakeholders work together to follow the agile methodology and create a product that aligns well with the needs and requirements of the customers. Agile combines all pieces of a project to create effective products that are comprehensive in nature.
In this article, we take a detailed look at the Agile project management framework and study the context behind it. We look at the phases, values and advantages of the project to reach a conclusion.
Agile Project Management Phases
Agile project management is made out of six phases. However, just like the phases of project management, these phases aren’t set in stone. The phases evolve with time and overlap each other so that they can be processed concurrently. The steps of a typical Agile development framework include:
1. Requirement Analysis: The first step or phase in the Agile project management process is requirement analysis. This step is where all projects are crafted, envisioned and prioritized. The needs of all customers are followed and the goals of the company are kept in mind.
2. Planning: The planning process is of utmost importance as this is where the funding is finalized. The initial requirements for the project are considered.
3. Design: The third step is where the design is tested and documented, and organizations work together to deliver software output based on the feedback of users and the requirements they have to follow. The design process includes multiple teams.
4. Implementation: Once the planning and design are finalized, the process moves on to implementation. The process includes Quality or QA testing, along with documentation, internal and external training and final release of the project.
5. Testing: The next step is testing, where the process is troubleshot and a support mechanism is developed.
6. Deployment: The final process is deployment, where the product is delivered to customers for them to use.
Values of Agile Management
The core values of Agile project management can help project managers to better manage prospects and get the high-quality outputs they crave. These values include:
1. Individual Interaction Over Processes and Tools: As per the Agile manifesto and project management framework, all people should be held at a higher pedestal than tools and processes in the firm. People drive innovation and creativity forward, which is why they should be held in higher esteem.
2. Customer Collaboration: The Agile methodology values collaboration as the best form of communication. Instead of saving discussions for later in the development process, Agile follows a headstrong approach.
3. Responding to Change: Changes to development and projects in the software domain are usually considered time consuming, unnecessary and expensive. Agile project management can change this through detailed iterations that prioritize change over following a set plan.
Principles of Agile
Besides the values mentioned above, there are also a few principles that Agile methodology goes by. These principles include:
1. Customer satisfaction is to be achieved through continuous software delivery in a timely manner.
2. Frequently oversee the delivery of software in a working manner.
3. Organizations should oversee the frequent delivery and provision of operating software.
4. Collaboration should be enhanced across the board to assist developers and business stakeholders.
5. Enable face-to-face interactions with people.
6. Support and motivate the people involved to give them trust.
7. Consider the end working processes in software as the primary measure of development and progress.
8. Agile processes should support and assist a continuous and consistent pace of development.
9. Agility is enhanced through attention to design and technical detail.
10. Simplicity reigns supreme.
11. Regular reflections should be organized to achieve optimal efficiency.
12. Self-organized teams can help build better designs and architecture.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Agile
Agile project management comes with a long list of advantages and disadvantages. These pros and cons determine the use of Agile today and have a major role to play behind its popularity and success.
The advantages of Agile include;
· Changes are Easy: It is extremely easy to run changes on Agile methodology. Since the project isn’t rigid, changes can easily be incorporated.
· End Goal is Flexible: There is no set end goal in Agile management. Project managers know that the end goal is flexible and can be updated.
· Speedier Operations; Agile allows operations to be completed faster than usual, because of which delivery is faster as well.
· Strong Communication: The Agile methodology fosters strong communication.
· Constant Improvement: Lastly, the Agile methodology is based on constant improvements. These improvements lead to strategic and long-lasting changes.
There are a few downsides as well involved in Agile. A few of these downsides include:
· Less Concrete Planning: Since there is room for flexibility, the planning process isn’t as concrete.
· Members Perform Multiple Roles: Agile teams are small in terms of members, which is why the members wear multiple hats in the team.
· Complete Dedication: Complete dedication is required from managers and team members.
Agile is growing in popularity in the software development field. With the information in this article, you can also jump aboard the Agile Express and learn more about the methodology.