What is Agile Project Management
The term ‘agile’ comes from the phrase ‘Agility’ which defines the ‘ability to quickly adjust and respond to changing business needs’. Managing projects using the agile methodologies is knows as the Agile Project Management. Agile is a mix of both iterative as well as incremental development.
Agile = Iterative + Incremental
The project life cycle is composed of several iterations in order. Each iteration is considered a mini project and after several iterations, a release happens which builds a stable, tested, partially completed system
System grows partially in each iteration adding new features to the project, hence the system is built incrementally.
In order to follow basic approach of agile, there are 4 general steps to follow.
- Make a list of features (Product Backlog) that need to be included
- Prioritize the list according to the value and the size of the feature
- Build the features from top to bottom until the fixed time is run out
- Repeat the process until the entire list is completed
Sometimes certain organizations feel that adapting to 100% agile project management is risky, hence they come up with a hybrid model that combines a part of waterfall methodology as well. This is a smart move since it doesn’t over-compromise both methodologies.
Agile projects are executed in several stages which include sprints and releases. (Refer below image for further details)
Agile Paradigm Shift
Agile methods are ready to welcome / embrace changes to the project (unlike waterfall methodology). Hence, instead of making the ‘Requirements’ a constraint, it works with fixed cost and time and allows the team to build as much as possible during the period of fixed time. And with few iterations and releases, the entire project is built.
|Waterfall Methodology||Agile Methodology|
|Requirement is a constraint||Schedule and Cost are constraints|
|Cost and Schedule vary||Requirements can vary|
|Plan Driven||Value Driven|