Agile Project Management Methodology – Manifesto, Frameworks and Process
What is Agile?
Agile is a project management methodology that uses short development cycles to priortize on continual improvement in the development of a product or service where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams.
What is Agile in Project Management
Agile project management is an approach based on delivering requirements iteratively and incrementally throughout the project life cycle. At the core of agile is the requirement to exhibit central values and behaviours of trust, flexibility, empowerment and collaboration.
Agile is characterized by the division of tasks into short phases of work and frequent reassessment and adaptation of plans.
Agile reduces difficulty of planning the project, building requirements for the project, executing the product and then testing the product for flaws by breaking these big cycle into small cycle or segments. These small, usable segments of the software product are specified, developed and tested in manageable, two- to four-week cycles.
The Agile Manifesto in Project Management is a formal proclamation of four key values and 12 principles to guide an iterative and people-centric approach to software development.
The four key values of Agile are:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
Principles of Agile
There are 12 key principles that guide the agile project management.
- Customer satisfaction is always the highest priority and is achieved through rapid and continuous delivery.
- Changing environments are embraced at any stage of the process to provide the customer with a competitive advantage.
- A product or service is delivered with higher frequency.
- Stakeholders and developers collaborate closely on a daily basis.
- All stakeholders and team members remain motivated for optimal project outcomes, while teams are provided with all the necessary tools and support, and are trusted to accomplish project goals.
- Face-to-face meetings are deemed the most efficient and effective format for project success.
- A final working product is the ultimate measure of success.
- Sustainable development is accomplished through agile processes whereby development teams and stakeholders are able to maintain a constant and ongoing pace.
- Agility is enhanced through a continuous focus on technical excellence and proper design.
- Simplicity is an essential element.
- Self-organizing teams are most likely to develop the best architectures and designs and to meet requirements.
- Regular intervals are used by teams to improve efficiency through fine-tuning behaviors.
The Agile Project Management Process
The goal of agile is to produce shorter development cycles and more frequent product releases than traditional waterfall project management. This shorter time frame enables project teams to react to changes in the client’s needs more effectively.
There are a few Agile frameworks you can use but the most commonly used ones are Scrum and Kanban.
Despite of the frameworks being used, a project management only has the usual 5 phases which are
1. Project Initiation.
2. Project Planning.
3. Project Execution.
4. Project Monitoring and Control.
5. Project Closure.
The only thing that changes is how these frameworks approach these five phases.
Popular agile methodologies
Within agile there are some frequently used with Scrum, Kanban, and Lean being the most popular. Some agile methods include:
- Lean (LN)
- Dynamic System Development Model, (DSDM)
- Extreme Programming (XP)
- Adaptive software development (ASD)
- Agile Unified Process (AUP)
- Crystal Clear methods
- Disciplined agile delivery
- Feature-driven development (FDD)
- RAD(Rapid Application Development)
Differences between Agile and Traditional Project Management Methodologies
In a traditional project management methodology such as a Waterfall model, managing project scope, cost, quality, personnel, reporting status to stakeholders, managing risk, and adapting as requirements change all falls under the responsibility of a project manager. Agile project management divides these huge responsibilities among three agile roles:
- Product Owner
- Scrum Master
- Team Members
The Product Owner handles setting up the project goals, managing the schedule against the scope, adapting to the change in project requirements and setting up priorities for product features.
The Scrum Master helps the team in managing the tasks and resolve any issues involved in the execution of the task.
The Team Members manages the tasks assigned to them as well as managing daily details. They report to the Scrum Master regarding the progress of their task and coordinate with them for quality control.
Traditional Project Management Methodologies can be quite rigid, whereas the Agile methodology is known for its flexibility. Also agile lets you can change the requirements after the project execution has started which is usually not possible in Waterfall methodology. Other project management methodologies does not focus on involving the Customers in development life cycle but agile software development approach focuses on customer satisfaction and thus, involves the participation of customers throughout the development phase.
Benefits of Agile Project Management:
These are some of the benefits in choosing Agile over other methodologies.
- Better product quality
- Higher Customer Satisfaction
- Higher Team Morale
- Increased Collaboration and Ownership
- Customized Team Structures
- Improved Performance Visibility
- Increased Project Control
- Improved Project Predictability
- Reduced Risks
Popular Agile Project Management Software Tools
Here are a Agile Project Management tools, that would help you in the Agile transformation for your projects management.
6. Active Collab