Did you know that 97% of companies are now adopting agile project management? This data came from the recent 13th State of Agile report.
This means that agile is becoming the norm in the development community—and it’s not a surprise why.
It’s a unique method of software development that many businesses benefit from. Now, you may be wondering, “Should I jump on the agile project management bandwagon?”
Before taking the dive, you need to know exactly what agile does.
In this blog, we’ll dig deep into the process of agile project management, and why it may or may not work for your organization.
How Does Agile Work
The traditional design process starts at the beginning and concludes at the end. But agile is different because it uses an incremental approach.
An agile team completes any work in steps. Think of it as a movie that is often filmed scene by scene. You carve out milestones from a major task alongside with the goal for the entire project.
Now for the most intriguing question that you might think of: Is this the best software development method available to designers today?
Everything boils down to the specifics. Below are the main points to consider when looking at the pros and cons of agile project management.
What are the ADVANTAGES of Agile Project Management?
It makes the process of development more adaptable.
Because agile project management doesn’t use a linear process, developers are getting better at responding to any changes. Let’s say a project has been 98% completed. Any problem from the beginning of the process could force you to start over, just to make it complete. In the agile method, the changes are only made by the sole person responsible for that area that needs improvement.
Designers have more freedom during development.
A rigid structure constrains most project management models. One advantage of agile project management is that it allows for more flexibility. You, alongside with other designers, are free to work on individual models that are suited to each and everybody’s strengths.
This increases the chances of a project being completed in a shorter amount of time. How is this possible? Each designer is focused on what they do best instead of what’s coming next.
There are simultaneous feedback and testing.
This agile project management benefit can’t be overstated. If customers can offer feedback along the course of module work, the end result can be customized to meet their needs.
Upon the completion of each module, it can undergo testing to identify if the metrics were reached. This generates responses that are not only authentic but also quick, managing the project more effectively compared to other design methods. It does so by facilitating communication among stakeholders.
The review cycles are faster.
For teams to be responsive to changes and accept uncertainties, it’s important to have rapid iteration, and comprehensive reviews as work are completed. This ensures that any new discovery or existing efforts are evaluated.
Most agile practices control the amount of work in progress like Kanban or time-box efforts like Scrum. The goal behind these methods is to ensure all efforts are completed within a reasonable period. Then, they are reviewed with either customers or proxies (i.e., stakeholder teams).
Agile’s focus on prompt reviews and constant feedback from actual users solves the most common problems of waterfall approaches. Agile is unique in the sense that it creates a highly-valuable product using an efficient process that other frameworks cannot provide.
What are the CONS of Using Agile Project Management?
Collaboration is a key requirement for success.
If a client is not invested in the project, implementing the agile project management method is virtually impossible. For it to work, active user participation and consistent collaboration are necessary. This means that both parties should have ample time to commit throughout the project. Other project management models do not always require this.
It can be challenging to come up with actual project costs and development process timeframe.
Agile is not like a progressive system which has a natural beginning and end. Instead, it is composed of independent components that must be patched together to come up with a complete working product.
There is a designated individual who handles the transitions between individual models. This person is responsible for stitching everything together to create one cohesive system.
While this has some benefits, this also makes the development process challenging to predict. It’s harder to determine both the cost and time it takes to complete one project.
Related Content: How to Stay Within Your Budget When Using Agile Project Management
Losing a developer along the way can have devastating results.
For sequential development models, losing a designer in the middle of the process isn’t such a huge deal. You just have to instruct a new person to take over from where the former designer left off—no problem.
But, things are quite the opposite in agile project management. When a designer works on individual modules, his unique skill and talent become the foundation of that specific task. Introducing a new designer to the team often results in an entire module being scrapped to make way for a new one.
There is a vague course of action or plan.
Flexibility and the freedom to chart your own path is one of the best things about agile project management. But, it can also be a curse for some organizations. Moreover, it can lead to catastrophic results if your developers don’t have enough willpower to focus on the project.
There are instances when a set deadline or defined plan is necessary to inspire everyone to work. The agile method works best when everyone in the team is also agile in every sense of their word.
Agile Project Management: Is it For You?
Don’t rush into making significant changes to your development ideology without analyzing the project. Look closely at the beliefs and principles of your organization. What are the realities of the product you’re making?
To succeed with agile, you need to accept uncertainty and understand interaction value. Focus on delivering a working product at each stage of the process. Stakeholders must have a firm grasp of the advantages and drawbacks of their choices.
Still not sure if agile project management is the way to go? Contact your trusted managed services team today for more information.