Current Date:March 5, 2024
Agile methodology

Agile Methodology: How To Implement In Project Management

The Agile methodology is a series of practices that can help us to shape our approach to project management. We touched on this topic in a recent article. There we talked about a few of these methodologies applied to software development.

Today we want to discuss with more detail the Agile methodology. We want to focus on how you can implement its practices in your organisation. So we’ll go through the basics of the methodology, showing its core principles and values. Only then we are going to present a few insights into how you can use Agile to improve your current project management.

What is the Agile methodology?

The Agile methodology became popular among the software development company because of the 2001’s “Manifesto for Agile Software Development”. The original web article it’s still online. Seventeen software developers published this manifesto. They all came to agree on four main values:

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
  • Responding to change over following a plan

Not only that, but the Agile Manifesto also enlists twelve principles in its methodology:

  1. Customer satisfaction by early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
  2. Welcome changing requirements, even in late development.
  3. Deliver working software frequently (weeks rather than months).
  4. Close, daily cooperation between business people and developers.
  5. Projects are built around motivated individuals, who should be trusted.
  6. Face-to-face conversation is the best form of communication (co-location).
  7. Working software is the primary measure of progress.
  8. Sustainable development, able to maintain a constant pace.
  9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design.
  10. Simplicity—the art of maximizing the amount of work not done—is essential.
  11. Best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
  12. Regularly, the team reflects on how to become more effective and adjusts accordingly

So the idea behind the Agile methodology process is to have an iterative approach towards software development. Instead of having your team working in one single “block”, the Agile methodology divides the project into smaller parts. These smaller development cycles are called sprints. Sprints have a predetermined period to be completed, like one or two weeks. And once developers finish the current sprint, a second one will start right away.

The Agile methodology aims also to have a more flexible process in project management by emphasising the commitment of the whole team to find dynamic solutions for each project. Clients also have a fair share of participation in an agile process, through continuous feedback over the completed sprints making sure the current progress is meeting their requirements.

The next topic will be discussing how you can properly implement an Agile methodology mindset to your current project management process.

Get everyone on board

Collaboration is key for an Agile process. And this should come from both sides, from your developers and your clients. The interactions back and forth between them it’s what will keep the development running at a good pace.

Your team must be willing to adapt to an Agile process, shaping their skills around the principles and values shared in the methodology. And in the other side, you have to inform your clients about the culture of your organisation and the method you will apply to their project.

Having everyone on the same page facilitates the success of implementing an Agile methodology and elevates morale, making everyone feel they are part of the process. Daily meetings with your team and at least once a week with clients it’s a fundamental practices. Their goal is to make sure everyone is aligned in the current development process.

Select a methodology and go forward with it

It’s important to notice that the Agile methodology is not a monolith. Developers created different methods around the Agile values so we can find a good selection to choose from. There are a few examples such as Scrum Kanban, eXtreme Programming, Dynamic Systems Development Method, Lean Software Development, etc.

Each one of those examples has its own practices and way of thinking about software development. You should be the one you may find more fit with your team culture. But once you choose one method, stick to it. Do not try to mix different Agile methodologies in different projects because you are risking making confusing project management that can derail your current development.

Try one method in one project. If you are satisfied with the results, you can test it again. The idea is to slowly improving its aspects and building more confidence between your team and the methodology. If not, only then you should select a new method and rework the entire development process until you find an optimal one for you and your team.

Plan, review and adjust

Planning will always be a necessity. But a key aspect of the Agile methodology is to open a window for possible changes and new features in the future. So, although you need to define a scope and goals for your project, do not make them unchangeable. There must be always a space for adjustments.

A product roadmap helps greatly to break down features around the sprints. These shorter development cycles improve the delivery of features and services for the final project. It also facilitates the distribution of tasks for your team, based on what was defined for the current sprint.

The next most important step after planning your sprints it’s reviewing them. Once your team finishes the sprint, you should have a meeting with your developers, and even clients, to discuss the next one. That way you all can understand what worked and what didn’t in the last cycle and propose improvements for the methodology you are implementing.

The way to go is to start small and slowly build up your methods, adjusting them as your team and clients give you feedback. Do not close yourself to criticism. Keep in mind that the Agile methodology is an ongoing process. It must be adjusted continuously to your organisational culture.

Conclusion

The Agile methodology can be an excellent tool to evolve your business project management. But for that, we first must understand how this method works and how to prepare your team to engage with this new way of work.

In our article, we shared a few insights that help us at the beginning of our process of implementing the Agile mindset in our developers. Choose your methodology, get everyone on board, clients and developers, and plan, review and adjust the practices during the whole process are some of the steps you must take.

Have you ever worked with any type of Agile methodology? If so, please feel free to share with us your experience in the comments below. You can also contact us on our page or our website.

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