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Agile Project Management: Definition And Methodology

To carry out a project effectively, the project team must choose the methods to adopt. The most used is the Agile method. The latter suits all projects and can bring much to the team and the client. Project management methodologies are derived from the Agile method. It is up to the project team members to determine the most suitable for their company.

What Is The Agile Method? 

The Agile method involves proceeding step by step to plan a project. This process allows the project to be divided into several iterations or sub-parts. The objective is to focus on a single iteration before starting another in an organized way. 

It is an approach that allows for changes and adjustments in project implementation. It is designed to be able to manage and analyze tasks. Each main line of the project can be planned and carried out over time, thanks to the Agile method.

Why Use The Agile Method? 

The Agile approach favors the relationship between the work team and the client. Communication is the basis of this method. As the project team cannot foresee everything, the Agile process leaves room for contingencies during planning. It also makes it possible to predict blockages and problems in project implementation. 

The Agile method is used for its ability to adapt to contingencies throughout the implementation. It requires the project team’s involvement, organization and responsiveness to meet the client’s needs. The Agile method aims to manage all sub-parts of the project optimally.

How Does The Agile Method Work? 

Unlike the traditional “Waterfall” methodology, the Agile method is more flexible and adaptable. She readjusts the project according to the client’s reality and opinions. It makes it possible to optimize the execution of the steps at the level of each iteration. This approach recommends taking sub-parts on a case-by-case basis.

 However, it is not a question of planning a project down to the smallest detail. Instead, it consists of setting short-term goals for each sub-game.  It adopts the stand-up meeting to advance and facilitate the realization of the project. This informal meeting is especially essential for the team and the client to discuss the project’s progress, the ordering party’s needs, and the difficulties encountered.

The Agile method aims to satisfy the customer with frequent and regular deliveries. The agile team thus favours shorter deadlines. This method makes it possible to change essential points of the work without hindering its viability. It is based on a daily exchange between the stakeholders while organizing the costs. It also reduces the amount of work, which promotes continuous project improvement. 

Types Of Agile Method

Several types of Agile methods derive from the Agile Manifesto. It is essential to choose the appropriate methodology because each approach has its specificities. Among these methods, four of them are the most used and recommended. 

The Scrum Method

The Scrum method is the best known. It is characterized by sprints which are, in fact, iterations. These sprints are often carried out between 1 to 4 weeks. Roles are assigned to the team. Among other things, we find the Scrum Master, the project manager and the product owner. 

Daily meetings, retrospections and planning are organized to carry out the project. At the beginning of each sprint, the team meets to establish the list of the tasks to be carried out. This is the sprint backlog. The Scrum method empowers each team member, which helps them be more productive.

eXtreme Programming (XP)

The eXtreme Programming approach consists of working in pairs. It is implemented at the same time as the Scrum method. The main missions are testing, translating expectations into metaphors, systematic code review, and continuous refactoring. It is oriented towards the realization of applications without neglecting other aspects of the project. This method’s bases are simplicity, feedback, and communication. XP aims to reduce the budget option following the changes. 

The Kanban Method

The Kanban method is used to correct defects and errors in a product. It solves problems to avoid tense flows in the production chain. She aims for the real-time and the visual while using charts and post-it labels for all tasks. In addition, it is distinguished by indicators, visual management, a cumulative flow chart and a kanban board. One advantage of this method is the speed with which missions are deployed without changing the process.

The SAFe Method

This SAFe method makes it possible to develop Agility in the company. It aligns with the strategy that the latter puts in place. It is used when there are personnel or team changes in a company. Thus, its goal is to set up fluid communication with a language accessible to all, especially for teams working on the same project. In addition, official certifications must be approved by specialized institutes for companies wishing to set up this process. 

What Are The Advantages And Disadvantages Of The Agile Methodology?

 It offers advantages in carrying out a project, but it also has limits. 

The Advantages Of The Agile Methodology

Already mentioned before, the strong point of the Agile approach is its flexibility. By taking the outline of a project on a case-by-case basis, the whole is not impacted. In addition, team members can react to every change and unforeseen event. This method effectively meets the expectations of customers who need their projects to be completed quickly. 

The other advantage of the process lies in cost control. Each stage of the project is assigned a well-defined budget. This method thus facilitates the control of funds. It allows you to adjust details and optimize work planning.

Another asset lies in the relationship of trust with the client. This is mainly about constant communication between employees and customers. Thanks to continuous monitoring, the client’s involvement allows him to have an overview of the project and its progress. It, therefore, becomes easier to manage. Risks are reduced through feedback and exchanges. 

The Disadvantages Of The Agile Approach

The Agile method leaves little time for documentation because communication takes over. This is a significant problem if there is a change of a team member or the whole. From a cost perspective, the customer must be prepared to assume flexibility. 

Indeed, given that we reason in terms of sub-sections, the initial budget planned for the entire project may experience a significant increase. The Agile approach also requires the client to be present during the planning and development of his project. In short, this method requires its involvement throughout the implementation. The client must validate each time a sub-part is completed. 

This approach thus complicates the task of the project manager insofar as he must constantly balance the outcome of the overall project on the one hand and the evolution of the client’s needs on the other. Finally, some large companies need to start using the Agile method. Indeed, the latter can become disabling since it is difficult to anticipate all the parameters at the start of a complex project.

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