Agile methods are widely seen as some of the best approaches to IT project management. They are designed in such a way as to work just as well for a company of 10 as for a company of 10,000. One of the appealing traits of Agile development methods is that they focus on balancing the interests of all stakeholders in a project.
Rather than provide benefit to one group at the expense of another, or worse set groups in opposition to each other, Agile development looks to find agreement between stakeholders where all will benefit. Project Management Consultants that work with an Agile approach have the potential to bring a number of distinct benefits to a project. Here we look at 5 key benefits of Agile Project Management.
Are you an IT Project Manager working with Agile?
By establishing agreement between stakeholders in advance, transparency and visibility are greatly improved. Even as a project is gestating, stakeholders have a much clearer perspective of how the project will look. More transparency in terms of end goals and expectations results in higher levels of trust and satisfaction amongst all stakeholders. It also reduces the likelihood of miscommunications that may result in errors or delays.
It sometimes seems counterintuitive to devolve power to individuals to create greater control but it works. Because the iterative approach provides so many opportunities to review and adapt a project through its development, Agile approaches ultimately produce a more controlled and high quality product.
Each group within the project is able to inspect the project and adjust it as necessary. The end product is a far more refined and more effective product than if one small group exerted total control over every aspect of the project.
Another approach of the Agile methodology that is sometimes seen as counterintuitive is to release a product early and work on it “out in the real world”. By implementing a functional product with limited features, developers can build on that core and see what is working and what is not.
This provides additional benefits of improved ROI and earlier establishment in the marketplace.
Being part of a self-managed team tends to create much higher morale amongst team members. Self-management can drive employees to push themselves further than they would under direct management.
It also provides greater collaboration and ownership for group members and stakeholders. The onus is on individual teams to coordinate communication between each other, between groups and between stakeholders. Stakeholders remain appraised of project progress and group members own their responsibilities.
More Successful Outcomes
With regular testing from the outset of a project, bugs and other problems tend to be filtered out at an early stage. This results in a lower density of defects overall. Short iterations also result in lower risk projects. If a project is very likely to fail this can be determined early on and the cost of failure mitigated.
More changes can be made with shorter iterations making a project more flexible, more adaptable and therefore more likely to succeed.
Working with Agile Project Management Consultants
Every project is different and not every approach is ideally suited to every project. However, Agile project management is a highly flexible, highly adaptable approach designed for use with IT project management. Having an IT consultant trained in such an adaptable methodology makes a big difference to the outcomes of your projects.
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