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Agile For All: An Introductory Guide

September 14, 2021
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Shubhangi Choudhary

Marketing Manager @ Radiansys

The dynamicity of information technology has majorly affected the aspect of project management for all businesses alike. Its cascading effect has led to the rise of many project management methodologies out of which, the Agile Concept is wheeling fastest.

Agile project management has become the darling of most IT companies today. This owes much to the special attributes of Agile that focus on the democratization of project management. Agile calls for flexible management by democratizing participation and encouraging innovation. This is the reason why agile is gaining attention more than any of the classic and modern methodologies combined.

This article is an introductory guide on the Agile Project Management methodology. It will cover the major aspects of the agile method, its components, origin, and advantageous prospects. While it will give you a right and informed start on the Agile methodology, you will also be able to judge the utility of this concept for business purpose.

As many industry leaders have adopted it, praises are heard of Agile’s flexibility, adaptability, and scalability quotient. If you want to know more about agile and how its steering success for IT projects, we can help.

Let’s begin with knowing about Agile.

What Is the Agile Project Management Methodology?

Putting it very simply, agile methodology is a refined version of the iterative development process.

The ultimate aim of the agile method is to deliver projects during their life-cycle. This means that results are generated throughout the development process and not just at the completion. An agile project cycle follows a flexible and adjustable path till the desired result is achieved.

The Agile Process

The cycle involves breaking down the whole project into smaller agile or iterative life cycles. These units can be considered whole in themselves that accept modifications till perfection on the go. The agile teams keep delivering the iterations in the decided order to the final receiver.

All of the above happens through sprints that are project meets regarding planning and deployment. The agile teams are allowed to keep on changing the project course in the desired way to achieve the best and final results for the end customer.

How Did the Agile Methodology Got Shaped?

Despite being seeded in the 1990s, the agile methodology could formallyconceptualize later in 2001. This year saw the release of the Agile Manifesto, authored by few brilliant software developers at a meet in Utah. Their goal was to constitute a methodical framework for achieving- faster product delivery and cost-effective product modification.

A discussion on agile project management cannot be complete without mentioning the following two crucial components of the manifesto

Core values

The agile philosophy can be seen emphasizing the 4 core values of trust, flexibility, empowerment, and collaboration. This can be understood well from this excerpt of the Agile Manifesto:

“Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan”

The 12 principles

These principles are mandatorily applied to a project following the agile framework. Let’s see what they are:

  1. The first principal targets supreme customer satisfaction through continual software supply starting early.
  2. Changes are welcomed in the development process at any stage to implement the customers’ goals.
  3. Working software has to be built and delivered at preferably shorter sprint gaps of few weeks or few months.
  4. All the project stakeholders including customers and project developers should stay in regular communication throughout.
  5. The right tasks should be assigned to the right individuals along with a suitable work environment, work support, and trust.
  6. Direct or in-person communication is always preferred for information exchange and distribution within and from the development team.
  7. Project progress is primarily measured with the working software units delivered.
  8. The establishment of a sustainable project life cycle is also another target. This includes the development of a steady pace and delivery frequency that can serve as a referential guideline for future use.
  9. Continual improvement with every iteration along with a motivation for innovation should be the main focus.
  10. Simplicity must be the key approach while implementing projects. Any activity or operation that doesn’t affect the output can be avoided.
  11. The teams must be allowed the space and freedom to perform their best in whatever capacity they find suitable. However, the aim should be to promote them for delivering the best.
  12. The agile team should address and review their performance periodically towards becoming more effective.

What Are the Major Advantages of Agile Methodology?

The meaning of agile is- moving easily and faster.

We can say that the Agile project management theory conceptualizes this meaning to the closest possible. The software companies adopting agile get enabled to adapt and deliver faster than any other company so far.

The following advantages of the agile method will give you a clearer picture-

Benefitting from customer success

Ensuring customer success proves benefitting to the development company too in many ways. Adopting agile makes it possible that mandates constant communication between the project team and customer. This proves helpful in laying the ground rules, exchanging feedbacks, and on-tracking the project to ultimately meet the customers’ objectives exactly as they are.

Higher adaptability to dynamicity

Agile methodology empowers both developers and customers to adapt with the lowest additional investment. The developers can easily accommodate the modification requests of the customer by picking the targeted iteration unit simply. Such adaptability further cuts down on efforts, time, and cost while injecting the changes.

Gradual yet speedier delivery

Agile only recognizes working software delivery which is made possible by the continual development process. The agile teams keep delivering ordered project units at shorter intervals. This allows the customer to process an idea about the final project model with the periodical project deliveries. Shorter delivery timelines keep the project on track and allow easy tracking.

Lower risk of project failure

With agile iterations, the development process keeps getting tweaked frequently. This allows easy spotting of errors followed by quick and immediate remediation of the same. The frequent reviews and feedbacks by the customers help timely modification of the project. It ultimately saves time and cost too for both parties as teams don’t need to start over for any loose project end.

Promotes team cohesion and cooperation

The iterative approach of agile promotes the project teams to deliver despite recurring changes and shifting environments. It allows them the space and opportunity to adapt and deliver consistently. Furthermore, periodical team meetings lead to discussions on skill improvement, idea modulations, and efficiency boost. The result is a more innovation-driven team at work.

Ultimately, Agile philosophy is all about initiating value addition to all the parties involved in any project. It does so by empowering all the project stakeholders by giving them input rights that can affect the course and outcome of the project.

A software company adopting agile moves towards efficiency, deliverability, accountability, and gathering the trust of customers. At the same time, the beneficiary customer can perform a direct check on project progress and achieve the exact results. Guess what, a win-win for both!

As per the 15th State of Agile report, more than 90% of the survey participant companies accepted the adoption of Agile methodology for their project management purposes.source
Who Can Benefit from Agile Project Management?

Choosing the agile method must only be a conscious decision for any enterprise. We say this because the Agile methodology is not a general framework and only harvests in the right environment. Businesses must pay attention to factors like project type, objective, and environment before selecting the right management approach.

Having said that, we can categorize certain project and business types as the right match for agile:

  • A dynamic project with unspecified goals, requirements, and scope at the initial stages
  • A project with multi-layered tasks and requires constant communication between stakeholders for successful execution
  • A project that moves with one-by-one execution of individual iterations and requires fast feedback for the same
  • Any technological organization that deals with fast-changing IT landscapes and events
  • A company that is closely interdependent on its customers and other parties for project management and execution
  • A company that prioritizes innovation and continuous improvement in projects
  • A company that wants to develop a project prototype for designing the final output

Rightly enough, Agile is the best choice for businesses that keep it realistic. It is made for the businesses that accept dynamicity as the possible truth, recognize room for changes, and focus on delivering over containing risks.

If you couldn’t find your business fitting in the list above, let us help find out if agile project management will be the right fit for your business goals or not.

Businesses put in both time and investment in managing a whole load of things. You can save both in project management by adopting the right methodology.

Adopting the agile methodology can bring a revolutionary change to any organization. It is a direct shifting of the work culture and can produce unexpectedly wonderful results if worked out correctly. Unignorably, there are plenty of doubts revolving around the utility of the agile concept. The best way to go about this is deciding carefully and performing the tasks faithfully.

We have the Agile experts at work who have helped plentiful businesses garner surprising achievements and success with cored efficient project management. You can discuss your ideas and projects with us and we will present you with the best strategy in return.

Wishing you the best results for your efforts!

Have a project in mind? Schedule a free consultation today.