10 Compeling Benefits of Agile Project Management [#AgileBenefits #AgileProjectManagement #ProjectManagement]

10 Compeling Benefits of Agile Project Management [#AgileBenefits #AgileProjectManagement #ProjectManagement]

1. The ability to be wrong
2. “Baked-in” quality
3. Reduced guesswork
4. Faster releases = happier customers and employees
5. Clear priorities
6. Team ownership
7. A daily ritual
8. Better decisions – faster
9. Team motivation
10. A product that is more likely to succeed

1. The ability to be wrong

“I’m no longer making a one-off bet or decision that I’m going to have to live with forever. Consider how things worked before Agile project management. The management team might have spent six months in the back room working out a ‘perfect’ re-org plan. Then you’d have an all-hands meeting where they announce the re-org, and you’d go through six months of chaos getting it in place. More likely than not, you’d gloss over any problems that were baked into the plan just so that you wouldn’t have to talk endlessly about the re-org.
“With Agile project management, organizations gain the ability to be wrong. I can come up with my best answer right now, get a sprint’s worth, or a month’s worth of experience under my belt, and then fine-tune that decision or completely scrap it and come at it differently. I now have the ability to rapidly course-correct.”
– Bill Mayo, CIO, Broad Institute

2. “Baked-in” quality

“Agile methodologies and continuous delivery are particularly well-suited for dealing with the demands of the connected device. With Agile, testing becomes an essential component of each phase of the development process, with quality being ‘baked in’ at every stage. This is especially crucial for IoT development projects because real-world conditions are unpredictable. Continuous testing saves time, money, and frustration.”
– Ben Wald, co-founder and VP of Solutions Implementation

3. Reduced guesswork

“Agile benefits include speed to market, well-defined roles and responsibilities, and the ability to quickly pivot and change direction based upon user feedback. Estimating project scope is kept as objective as possible following the Fibonacci scale. Teams use a points system to gauge the amount of effort it will take to complete a specific amount of work. The numbers correlate to the size and complexity of the work. The higher the number a piece of work is assigned, the more complex and longer it will take to complete it. This system helps teams reduce estimates based upon emotion or pressure to deliver.”
– Holly Knoll, business coach, The Consultant Code

4. Faster releases = happier customers and employees

“I think the most compelling benefit that we recognized was the reduction in the amount of time to put new releases into production. Over a two-year period, we cut the average release duration by two-thirds. We went from projects that averaged over four months to a little more than a month.
“That means we were able to respond to changes much more quickly. Our customers were much happier because they did not have to wait months before projects were even worked. This improved velocity had great secondary effects, such as greater employee engagement and happiness.”
– Alan Zucker, founding principal, Project Management Essentials

5. Clear priorities

“Moving from our previous management approach to Agile project management honestly kept me from changing careers. I wouldn’t even call what we did waterfall. It was more like dropping a bucket of water off of a cliff. Before we adopted Agile, we didn’t have a real sense of priority in place. Stakeholders would bicker amongst themselves and managers were given multiple projects with vague priorities. There was no way to satisfy everyone, and everyone believed that shelving their project in favor of another was a personal affront.
“Moreover, we had no system to track work. Projects were broken down by task and those tasks were kept in a spreadsheet. Switching to Agile has breathed new life into our project management. The greatest thing is that we always know what we’re working on next. Priorities are clearly defined, and if they change we can simply shift in the next iteration. When you take small bites out of projects, you don’t have to chew for a long time before taking a bite of a different one.”
– Shayne Sherman, CEO, TechLoris:

6. Team ownership

“There is a famous saying: ‘Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.’ Team ownership is one benefit that we can’t imagine doing without. There are two aspects of this: estimation and predictable delivery. First, the team comes together to estimate user stories and then break them down into smaller tasks, resulting in increased collaboration. This helps to ensure all members of the team are on the same page and also gives them a sense of ownership so they are comfortable with the pace required to get the work done. Over a period of time, this leads to predictable delivery from a schedule point of view, which in turn aids the business so they can decide when to go live with the new features.
“In the traditional style of software development, the project was estimated, staffed, and scheduled by a project manager, who pushed tasks to the team. With no say in the project /mtask timelines, the teams did not have a sense of personal accountability. This also made it much tougher to predict a delivery schedule, since there was a lack of communication and ownership. Since the feedback loop is broken, inevitably this leads to increased cost and efforts thereby derailing business efforts to take advantage of the timing.”
– Sridhar Jayaraman, VP of engineering, Qentelli

7. A daily ritual

“I couldn’t imagine doing without daily stand-ups. All team members come together at a set time every day to discuss what they accomplished yesterday, what they are looking to accomplish today, and what barriers or impediments they may be having. This ceremony causes each person to think objectively in advance to set expectations for their day. It also forces the team to hold each other accountable for their actions in efforts to keep projects heading in a positive direction.
“In contrast to having team members siloed in their offices for days at a time, unaware of updates or issues others may be encountering, this practice allows all our developers to witness early and often matters that could impact them now or in the future on other projects. As a result, we see greater levels of collaboration across teams as we establish and foster an atmosphere of accountability. This ceremony is now part of our team culture as a highly valuable knowledge-sharing vehicle.”
– Aaron Horst, director of engineering, iHire

8. Better decisions – faster

“One of the biggest benefits transitioning to an Agile process is the speed of delivery and decision making a team can make. With Agile project management, product teams can be cross-functional and fully allocated to a singular product. When a team is working through problems and proposing solutions cross-functionally through development, design, and product management, you can see the biggest improvement to the usability and value of a product. Agile processes allow companies to deliver the ‘right’ product more quickly and empower the team to make stronger informed decisions.”
– Allie O’Connell, director of product, Carbon Five

9. Team motivation

“With Agile, the business sets goals they want to achieve with a new digital solution while the ‘how-to-achieve’ task is put under the responsibility of the development team. Thus, they become properly motivated to seek and adopt better tools and practices to improve the quality, speed, and efficiency of their work. Conversely, when the project team’s performance is measured as an amount of time spent or lines of code delivered, they have no vested interest in the automation of the delivery process or software quality improvements, and may even resist any innovation in the processes in case it may harm their KPI results.”
– Aliaksandr Ramasheuski, PM and .NET architect, ScienceSoft

10. A product that is more likely to succeed

“At the start of a major program like digital transformation, it is difficult to predict how working practices might change in the future or what innovations might be coming down the line – such is the pace of change. A business may find that what it commits to on day one is no longer relevant by the time the project is nearing completion. With Agile, organizations have the opportunity to flex and change as they go along, which means that they can adapt and reshape their project around changing user needs or to incorporate new technologies.
“If the project isn’t progressing as planned, it’s less about turning a large tanker (as with a traditionally managed project) and more about spinning around a speedboat. The net result is a project that is more aligned with user needs and current technologies and therefore more likely to succeed.”
– Jim Berrisford, chief operating officer, Step5

Adapted from
Agile project management: 10 reasons to use it:
The Enterprisers Project

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