Agile project management is a methodology that approaches the implementation of projects in ways that are quite different to traditional methods. This relatively new way of thinking uses an iterative approach that sees constant testing of smaller developments within the larger project. This testing is usually performed by both members of the project team and end users.

Agile project management requires that the various units of a larger project team work very closely together to create a synergy that drives the project forward at a faster pace, without compromising the quality of the end result. This week we look at how IT executives can leverage this methodology to implement projects with higher success rates and less time spent on resolving problems long after project implementation. The key to agile project management success is the constant evaluation of project developments and a stronger focus on knowledge sharing amongst the various units within a project team.

How does agile project management reduce the overall project timeframe?

Constant evaluation and testing by team members validate the success of completed segments of a project and also highlight potential problem areas. The iterative approach ensures that the overall quality of the completed project remains uncompromised and that all role players are kept in the loop on testing outcomes.

Here are a few more benefits of agile project management:

  • Early problem identification: The main benefit of agile project management is that it allows for early problem identification and rectification throughout the course of the project. Taking corrective steps at the right time saves resources and, ensures the delivery of a successful project. Early problem identification and rectification also minimises the financial impact.
  • Faster turnaround: Traditional methods rely on much more deliberation before decisions are made that involve project changes. Agile project management relies on the various units within the project team to identify and make calls on problem areas. This results in faster turnarounds and shortens the overall time required to complete projects.
  • Shared responsibility: The entire team shares the responsibility of ensuring that proper quality assurance are in place. With more frequent team meetings around developments, the information loop between the various units is tighter and ensures better knowledge sharing amongst the project team. The decision-making process usually involves the entire team, which takes into consideration the various angles the project is viewed from; making for more informed decision-making and a unified approach to project challenges.
  • Improves team efficiency: The inclusive approach adopted by agile project management results in knowledge sharing across the various units of a project team. This assists in giving greater overall insight to the end goal and creates higher team morale. Constant knowledge sharing and a democratised decision-making process creates more close-knit teams that inevitably benefits the project.

Testing in agile project management occur in what is known as “sprints”, which usually involve designers, developers and end-users. This allows for easier problem identification that in turn allows the project team to address any potential issues and ensure the smooth progression to the end goal. The involvement of the end-user is a crucial part of project agility since the final product will ultimately be experienced through the eyes of the user.

Agile project management eliminates many challenges that may cause massive delays in project deliveries by facilitating fast problem identification and resolution via constant testing and team communique around progress and pitfalls. The iterative nature keeps the entire team on the same page in terms of where the project is in its various development stages. It provides IT departments with an accurate measuring stick for the success of project implementations and allows for quick resolution of potential problem areas.

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