Agile methodologies for project management are getting increasingly popular. You may encounter them in almost every industry. First and foremost, in the IT industry, where agile methods, in particular Scrum, bring expected results. They are especially effective when project implementation requires frequent and rapid changes during work.
Agile – what is it?
As we all know, there is no single methodology that can meet the needs of each project, just because every project is different. In general, the methodology can be defined as a set of patterns that help to eliminate problems and errors that occur during project implementation. They aim to deliver the project on time according to a certain budget and scope.
Agile is a group of methods such as Scrum, Lean, Kanban and many others based on an iterative and incremental approach. Simply put, Agile means fast, periodical and organized delivery of next functioning product components. This allows for greater flexibility, which is important for frequent and rapid changes to business requirements in the project.
Agile development methods are an alternative to the traditional project approach, where the final product was usually delivered after many months or even years of work and unfortunately often turned out to unfit the customer’s needs.
Is it worth investing in Agile know-how?
The reasons for choosing this type of management are the focus on the employees’ flexibility, modern organization of the entire team and efficient communication with the client, which are essential for the successful project completion.
Much depends on the company we work in, and the kind of projects carried out. In some of them using agile management methods for implementation is not an option. More and more companies from various business areas choose agile processes to efficiently manage projects and day-to-day operations in areas such as strategy, communication, sales, marketing, and HR. Thus, it is worth learning a bit about these methods.
The major project management frameworks
It sets the frames for project teams’ actions so that they can maintain control over the process and deal effectively with unforeseen complications. It is worth mentioning how important transparency is in Scrum. Feedback on the workflow is the key to achieving the desired result. Further project decisions are made based on the feedback given by the individual team members and the client. This makes it easier to control the course of next work steps.
It enables the management of workflows and the visualization of business processes. This method allows you to optimize workflows and processes for better efficiency, while minimizing wastes based on reports and analyses. The “Kanban” board can be divided into 3 columns: “To do”, “In progress”, “Done”. Innovative online boards automatically generate reports and analyses that allow you to quickly identify tasks requiring special attention.
This method is universal and can be implemented in production companies, service companies and offices. Using lean management brings many benefits, including:
- Reduction of lean wastes (In Japanese called Muda), i.e., eliminating activities that do not add value to the project and thereby allowing the employees to focus on activities that bring results and benefits,
- Increasing productivity and efficiency,
- Better use of resources,
- Increasing the competitiveness of organization;
- Optimization of operating costs.
In day-to-day practice, lean means constantly monitoring one’s own work and asking oneself how we can improve our products and services to meet customers’ needs.
Agile methods undoubtedly are popular because they allow you to increase work efficiency and effectively manage and monitor project changes. Likely, each of you has already utilized some of the agile project management methods (or will use them in the future). While deciding on agile methods, the scale of undertaking and business environment are the main factors to consider.
The better we choose the management technique, the more satisfactory the results are. It is a task of a project leader to assess the situation correctly. When selecting and implementing agile working methods, it is worthwhile involving individuals from the project team and, for example, taking advantage of workshops and training offered by external companies. Preparing well and defining principles, will allow for better efficiency in projects. And this may ultimately have a significant impact on the company’s profits.