Transitioning To Agile From Other Methodologies In Project Management Environment

 

When it comes to project management, there is a number of methodology options to choose from, including: waterfall, scrum, agile, hybrid, Critical Path Method (CPM), Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM), Integrated Project Management (IPM), and PRINCE2 each method having its own unique quality, some of which have suitable qualities depending on the project involved, and the management team. Many teams are increasingly seeking to leverage Agile methodologies, as a break from other traditional methods.

The rise of smart devices and mobile applications have made traditional software development approaches unviable. This is practical knowing that development projects that use Agile project management methodologies tend to be more successful than those using other traditional methodologies. Having this knowledge, teams are looking to using Agile testing methods, to speed up the process while also ensuring that quality remains priority. However, transitioning from other methodologies to Agile can be beneficial to the project in many ways including:

  • Increase flexibility
  • Leverage automation
  • Emphasized the need for change of thinking
  • Staff Training
  • Foster collaboration
  • Constant communication
  • Integrate tools
  • Focus on the end products
  • Project complexity
  • Scope for feedback
  • Transparency
  • Ownership and accountability

Agile project management, as the name implies, is a method that favors a fast and flexible approach. This incremental and iterative method includes various methodologies in itself, including scrum, FDD, among others. They were all part of the “Agile manifesto “- Although Agile methodology had been in use for a while, it was released officially in 2001, when several IT representatives released the “Agile manifesto”. In approach and ideology, Agile is the opposite of the Waterfall method. Thus, it lowers risk, and improves flexibility.
Unlike other traditional methods, Agile, as a general approach used for software development, requires heavy collaboration, team work, flexibility, and time boxing tasks. Agile methods also involve carrying along all stake holders through the stages and process of the project. Since it uses an incremental approach where a sample prototype is discussed with the customer, clients get better experience, and fulfilment in project outcomes, since they got to be part of the process all through. Unlike other traditional methods, which is more rigid in structure, and doesn’t leave room for client involvement.

What Agile adoption really entails
According to the 2012 CHAOS report from the Standish Group (Cohn, 2012), ‘Agile projects are successful three times more often than non-agile projects.’ Its no wonder many organisations, business executives, and IT executives are transitioning from traditional methods to agile software development methods. Below is a list of strategies required when transitioning to Agile:

  • Acquire an Agile Coach and Train the Team
  • Develop a Roadmap and Initial Plans
  • Embrace Agile Methods
  • Understand the Collaborative Culture
  • Empower Your Team
  • Secure management commitment
  • Establish an Agile Working Environment
  • Create an Agile PMO
  • Retrospectives at Multiple Levels
  • Establish Agile Performance Measures
  • Create Agile Contracts
  • Adopt ALM tools to Facilitate
  • Interactions
  • Retrospectives at Multiple Levels

When many organisations have already been entrenched in the traditional processes, often times, some would find it difficult transitioning to Agile, which is most times due to their fear of change. According to Forrester Research, “More than half of enterprises that aren’t already using agile processes are interested in adopting them. The article above has aided in explaining why you should transition to agile, and also, the strategies required when transitioning.

 

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