The way we manage projects has turned on its head. Earlier, we used to believe in the power of planning. More detailed the plans, better it is for the success of the project.
The concept of detailed planning has been thrown out of the window along with a number of traditional project management practices.
Agile project management has been a revelation because of the benefits it offers. Some of the benefits are listed in this article.
Power of Flexibility
The customer has once again become the king. Earlier the customer had to state what he wanted before the project planning started. This was documented and signed off by the customer and the supplier. Any change midway through the project would invoke the change control process that identifies the effect of requirement change and this goes into nested loops of activities.
Agile offers flexibility. Customers can change their requirements at any point in time, and the result – not circuitous processes to intake the requirements but rather open arms by the project team.
The customer has the flexibility to change requirements at any time and since the planning is not done in a detailed manner, it does not matter which requirements flow in. This, in the current environment where the market needs changes on a whim is the most beneficial aspect of Agile project management.
The overall productivity of the work products is delivered at a faster rate with Agile project management.
The reason is based on common sense. The feedback loop is smaller and faster. This results in fewer lines that need to be recoded, and hence the faster productivity.
Since the feedback loop is smaller and faster, the feedback gets that much faster to the developer.
This helps in defining and fine tuning the application based on the needs of the customer, rather than trying to fit the requirement to the solution developed.
Also the quality parameters are defined in advance and are standarized. This helps in setting higher benchmarks.
Higher Customer Involvement
Customers, through the product owner role, become part of the project management operational process.
Product owners are inherent to Agile development, and this puts the customer right in the center of development, as it should be.
When customers are involved day to day, they will find fewer things to complain about and act in a constructive manner in being a part of the solution.
It is a fact that project teams were earlier divided into development and testing teams. This put a barrier between them, and they competed against each other rather than work together towards a common goal.
Agile project management on the hand puts the onus back on the customer and the solution. There is no separate development and testing teams. They both form a common team which is responsible for delivering a software, and the best way possible is to collaborate, work shoulder to shoulder and deliver the best possible product.
The remaining benefits include:
- Controlling of risks is easier with Agile project management
- Customer satisfaction is easier to achieve as the customer is part of the process
- The product delivery is transparent due to product delivery in iterations
- Predictability of the project is better than what it used to be
- Development teams are motivated and are happier