Why Agile Project Management?

For organisations thinking about adopting agile methodologies there are some real advantages and benefits. If we look at the text book definition of Agile in this context it is 'Agile Management or Agile Project Management is a method of delivering projects in a highly flexible and interactive manner.

It is a variant of iterative life cycle[1] where deliverables are submitted in stages. The difference between Agile and iterative development is that the delivery time in Agile is in weeks rather than months. Since Agile Management derives from Agile software development, it follows the same standards defined in the Agile Manifesto when it comes to collaboration and documentation.

Several software methods derive from Agile, including Scrum and Extreme Programming (XP). So why Agile? With an agile approach development tasks are broken down into smaller chunks which will go for weeks (or shorter) rather than months.

The timeframes for delivery of features is shortened which gives both the business and development the ability to get features to customers (internal or external) faster and either validate or rework happens sooner rather.

So rather than a big bang release Agile gives the ability to get releases out there quicker and get feedback sooner, meaning that the focus of the project team can be much sharper and actually build on features that customers actually want and have validated.

Agile also means that if there are issues (technical or feature related) it is possible to diagnose and rectify them far sooner than with traditional approaches. Some may see this as an excuse to do the same amount of work with a smaller team, but it is really the opportunity to shorten the feedback loop, to have greater transparency on the project and far greater collaboration across the team.

That's what agile's really about.