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Importance of Agile Approach to Project Management

Importance of Agile Approach to Project Management

The traditional Waterfall approach to project management works well in more stable contexts. Several project frameworks like PRINCE2®, PMBOK®, and APM BoK derive from the same approach. The waterfall frameworks make working more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. Waterfall approaches are relevant where the requirements are predefined before the work begins and will not change during the life of the project.

However, in some cases where there are frequent changes throughout the project, with a waterfall framework, it means an expensive reworking of the plan. This leads the consideration of an Agile approach to numerous small deliveries with a continuous conversation with customers offers greater flexibility and therefore reduce the wastage. The success of an Agile framework depends on several factors. The 3 key elements are as follows:

1. A Self-Organizing Team

The self-organizing team is one of the important factors to start with the Agile framework. By moving away from the traditional working culture, team members are encouraged to utilize their overlapping skills and work together which results in greater empowerment and satisfaction.

2. Requirements Management and Time-Boxing

This factor includes the calculation of time and cost elements along with prioritized the requirements. The Agile concept is different from the expectations of Waterfall; within agreed parameters, the member can change the requirements, but time and cost cannot be changed. Customers always want to keep many requirements into the 'must-haves' section. However, Agile frameworks keep these to around 40-45% of the total effort.

3. People Engagement

People's engagement is a crucial part of the Agile approach and is proven more successful as it allows stakeholders of different sections to discuss what they do and the order of the work. This practice is recognized as a motivational approach than the traditional “command and control” approach.

Agile Is Not What You Think

Not everyone is ready to use an Agile approach and the common misconception about agile is that there is unifying Agile methodology. There is no standard way to organize and manage an Agile project, which makes it attractive to some and threatening to others.

There are people who think Agile practice is only relevant to the software industry, but that’s not true. The Agile approach can be used in other non-software fields, such as improving business processes, renovating a large building or improving job aids for customer-facing personnel. To learn how to utilize Agile practices in any project.

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