Understanding Agile Project Management and Its Importance
Over the last few years, agile project management has gained so much popularity among project managers. Many more teams are beginning to adopt this method of project management. The question is this:
Why is the Agile process so important to project managers?
This is what we intend to lay bare in this post. However, we will begin by explaining what this phrase means. After this, we will delve into why it is so important.
Defining Agile Project Management
This process promotes one major idea, embracing change at all stages of project management. It focuses on providing features that promote the most value to a business first. After this, it communicates real-time information. With this, the project manager can manage time, cost, and project scope strictly.
In traditional project management, the whole load of the project lies on the shoulders of the project manager. As such, they are mostly responsible for handling the project scope, cost, quality, risk, personnel, etc.
Under agile project management, it is completely different. Instead of the project manager shouldering all the responsibilities, it is split among three stakeholders. They are:
- Product Owner — As the name implies, this refers to the individual that sets the goals and manages the project scope. This individual is also responsible for adapting the project to change should the need arise. Finally, the product owner sets the priorities for the different product features.
- Scrum Master — This individual handles the task of guiding the project team. They are also responsible for getting rid of impediments and prioritizing different project tasks.
- Team Member — These individuals are responsible for carrying out different task assignments. They are also in charge of quality control, daily reports, and detailed management of the project.
From the above, you can see that this project management methodology focuses on collaboration. Through this, it helps to break down the project management process and reduce complexity. By eliminating ambiguity, this methodology helps to provide better results. Already, you can see why project managers prefer this approach to project management.
Importance of Agile Project Management
One of the most important aspects of business today is customer satisfaction. Agile project management has made achieving this far easier because of simplicity and flexibility. Now, project managers, through this methodology can adopt several techniques to complete projects. Let’s look at why project managers regard this method of project management so highly.
1. Speeds up delivery of products to the market
Customers are not as patient as they used to be. Not even with the level of competition experienced in the market these days. You don’t have too long to prepare your products and deliver them to the market. Wasting time is tantamount to losing your customers to competitors that can deliver faster.
Thankfully, agile management cuts down the time spent on delivering products drastically. The process is broken down into smaller modules and responsibilities are distributed more efficiently. What this means is that project managers run product tests faster and get feedback quicker.
This method of management focuses on incremental delivery to achieve higher revenue. Through this, it helps the project team move the product into the market faster than in traditional project management.
2. Improves risk management
The project management cycle is full of risks. Under traditional project management, it may be difficult to identify these risks quickly before they affect the project. Since agile management focuses on incremental releases, it is able to bring such risks to bear during product development faster.
This way, the project team can respond to any potential risks very quickly. It equips managers with sufficient visibility to make decisions that are critical to the project early on. This means that project teams can make tweaks to the original development process quickly to avoid losses and failure.
In the end, agile project management helps the project manager to take as many risks into account as possible. With this, they can predict the response to products and make changes where necessary. The result of this is a better performance of the product on the market.
3. Allows project managers to respond quickly to industry changes
It is quite difficult for project managers to respond to any changes or incorporate them under traditional project management. Because of this, achieving optimal customer satisfaction is almost impossible. However, project managers don’t have to spend extra time implementing such changes under agile management.
Since implementing changes is easier and faster, the business can present a more viable product to its target audience. The result of this is a better position for the company among its major competitors.
This method of project management promotes a better relationship between consumers and the project team. It creates an avenue for constant communication with clients such that getting feedback is quicker and more efficient. Project managers utilize this feedback to infuse changes to the products for better performance.
While achieving this, agile management helps to eliminate organizational hierarchy that has proven to waste a lot of time. This means that the long communication chain that exists under the traditional method is replaced by direct customer-to-manager communication. Thus, new ideas can be adopted easily and at a quicker rate.
4. Improves teamwork and collaboration on projects
The traditional project management method has a very long development cycle. Asides from the long communication chain mentioned above, it also means an extended product release period. This is no longer applicable in the ever-evolving market these days.
Agile project management has made the development cycle shorter. This means that teams can now easily adopt changes to products without using up substantial resources. Because of this, it is easier for teams to quickly alter project scopes.
This method of project management has split the responsibilities of project management across three parties. As such, it encourages better teamwork. Project managers can communicate better and faster with clients and stakeholders to make decisions. This assists in the timely development of products and faster release into the market.
5. Boosts flexibility
This is one advantage of agile management over traditional project management that is undeniable. No wonder many project managers prefer this method. Under traditional management, to prevent projects from diving into infinity, there must be an initial specification process. The result of this is less spontaneity and reduced innovation since it curbs adopting changes during project development.
With agile management, project managers can finally breathe the fresh air of innovation and spontaneity. The process is so flexible that it allows managers to adopt changes at any stage of the development cycle. There isn’t a fixed requirement list or timescale.
Instead, it allows the project manager to evolve the process as the development cycle advances. As you can tell, it is easier to adopt this model when all the stakeholders understand the new scopes.
Other reasons why project managers prefer agile management include:
- Less waste in the product development process.
- Quicker project turnaround time.
- Increased project success rate.
- Better control of the overall development process.
- Better focus on customer needs.
With the reasons above, you can see why agile project management is becoming the order of the day. Adopting this method helps project managers become more efficient at product delivery. What other reasons do you know? Share them with us in the comments section.