Implementing an Agile Project Management Approach -Opportunities and Challenges

The Agile Project Management approach is a methodology that is getting increasingly common and popular. Why? Because it is flexible and practical with the present market. Nevertheless, this flexibility and non-linear development style of an agile approach is also presenting a challenge for the organisation. Not least, if the team is used to applying a more traditional Project Management Approach.

Let’s find what are the challenges faced by the organizations during the implementation of an Agile Project Management Approach and how its integration with the traditional system can help.

Project Management with a process-centric approach

If we consider the traditional system models, i.e Waterfall Model, an engineering-based approach. According to Waterfall, the project related terms like results, problems, processes are predefined and completely based on assumption. Planning is done on the prior basis such that the variation in the SDLC cycle (Software Development Lifecycle) can be controlled.

In the traditional approach, the goal is to understand the need of user such that a fool-proof plan can be developed. The software must be developed flawlessly at least assumed to be which can satisfy all the requirements. A lot of attention is given on thorough planning of the project. This type of approach includes finding the different alternative and choosing the best one, which is implemented from the initial stage. In short, the traditional approach is extremely process-centric.

Challenges in implementing an Agile Project Management Approach

Agile is a combination of light-weight methods. It includes Scrum, XP. Agile involves various tactics such that limitations can be overcome by the dynamic nature of the systems. Agile resolves the two major problems using empirical process control, complex adaptive systems.

Agile resolve the complexities as it breaks the work into several chunks i.e iteration so that each iteration is thoroughly inspected, developed and delivered. It transforms the linear model to the evolutionary model. It can be identified as continuous integration, short iterative cycles, adaptations and periodic reflections. Since the stories and epics are short it makes the process flexible and quick because of the constant feedback. If you want an in-depth knowledge about the scrum agile manifestos and prepare your business for working in an agile project management environment, then you or your colleagues might want to consider Agile Scrum training.  

Despite all the benefits, there are the different type of challenges which a company faces and needs to actively address when working with an agile project management approach:

  • Agile involves all the team and is based on collaborative work which means the team have to learn to adapt and be self-organised. Agile is a methodology that needs to be learned both in theory and practice. Consider having an agile coach to help with the agile transformation, if this the agile management approach is new to your organisation.
  • Agile works best with the team members who have the tendency to compete for work. Om the positive side, these are often people with lots of talent and drive. On the negative side, the soft skills and empathy might not be in focus which can be a challenge. Make sure to have this in mind, when you set your teams.
  • Customer involvement is important to build the bond of trust, and that needs open communication. But Agile can reduce the chances of the customer to participate actively in the whole processes. Make sure to involve the customer in the feedback process whenever possible.

More opportunities by reducing the shortcomings

Agile method follows the empirical process control; useful where prediction is difficult. The main objective of the agile project management process is to maintain adaptation, transparency and inspection, while in the traditional life cycle, the processes are determined, measured and managed such that the variations can be reduced.  

In an Agile project management approach, the process is dependent on the assessment instead of making any prior measurements, it makes the process customized by continuous evolving, defined process control.

In the traditional system, the code is first written then tested whereas in Agile the test cases are predefined and make the quality assurance redefined. In many cases, if we amalgamate the positive points of both the methods to suit our specific context, then we can create a strong framework for project management.

What you can achieve with an agile project management approach

Companies who implemented Agile have seen the improvement in team collaboration by 54%, enhancement of customer satisfaction by 49%, increase in quality by 52% and much more. Tangible results that make it easy to understand why more and more organizations adopt an agile project management approach. It helps the team to respond at the perfect time and reduces the fear of risk. In the end, it always depends on your specific context, which project management approach will show most efficient. Based on your project size, complexities, customer keenness and speed requirement, keenness, tailor the approach that suits best – it might be a combination of a traditional and an agile project management approach that will show most productive in your organization.