Thanks to the 17 brilliant minds that authored The Agile Manifesto in 2001, agile project management is overtaking waterfall and other methodologies as the standard development practice. Cost reduction, improved collaboration and higher quality of results as well as faster speed-to-market are a number of reasons agile is now considered the best way to approach software development and other IT projects. We thought we would take a deeper dive into the trendiest of IT terms and explore three ways the agile methodology can make you a better project manager.
1. Agile lets you continuously improve your model, which makes you a more successful PM –
The evolutionary nature of the agile methodology allows for teams to pause and make adjustments according to changes in scope or the influx of new findings along the way. A number of things could happen throughout the course of a project that change the nature and sometimes event the purpose of the final project. It is important to be able to pivot your team to meet new demands and improve upon feedback in real time. No one likes to think they are wasting their time and using agile will ensure the least amount is wasted for everyone.
2. Agile creates a running dialogue between your team members, increasing communication, which makes you a more successful PM –
Ever worked on a project as a PM or just part of the development team and realized that you have gone two days without speaking to any key team members? This can happen when the train has jumped the tracks and everyone is focused only on one thing: deadline. Working this way will probably get your job done on time but it will be filled with flaws, and probably a failure. Nothing creates more effective project communication than agile methodology because it demands collaboration. Having an open line of communication among team members is going to make your project a great success, and your team will appreciate you for it as well. It is so much easier for people to do good work when they know why they are doing it.
3. Agile allows your team to be more productive, which makes you a more successful PM –
Rapid feedback, increased communication, and the ability to pivot at shifting priorities makes for an uber productive development team. At first sight, agile project management can look like a million little stalls throughout the course of a project cycle. So many distractions, the project couldn’t possibly reach conclusion, but upon closer inspection you will see that all these pauses make for better quality and brings the project closer to successful end. After-all crossing the finish-line early doesn’t matter if when you get there you have to turn around. After working this way for a few projects it will become hard to imagine reverting back to waterfall when all the feedback and changes are exposed at the end of the project cycle.