Agile has nothing to do with someone's speed or ability to dodge a ball. Agile is one of the most popular project management approaches within the IT industry. We've discussed its concept, pros and cons, and its differences compared to other approaches. However, we haven't deepened the different frameworks it has.
Let's dive into the Agile project management frameworks maneuvers and find out why teams use it more and more nowadays!
What Is Agile Project Management?
Agile focuses on managing and organizing projects proactively and iteratively. It focuses on delivering small increments of work to produce fast results. Agile is an adaptable, collaborative, and communicative process key to achieving good results. Further, it's perfect for organizations looking to deliver their projects on time and within budget while ensuring quality.
How Does Agile Project Management Work?
Agile is a structured methodology that uses short, iterative cycles (sprints) to manage development and release times. Through this framework, teams can quickly address changes in the market, improve according to user needs, and even avoid technical barriers. The sprints' main idea is to divide projects into smaller and more manageable tasks to deliver them in rapid iterations. Each iteration typically includes planning, designing, developing, testing, and releasing a product.
Agile project management can be present in any software development project, from large-scale enterprise systems to small mobile applications. The key is using the right tools and processes to ensure teams focus on delivering value.y
What Are Agile Foundations?
Who Created Agile And Why?
Agile project management is a framework designed in the early 2000s by a software development group called the Agile Alliance. These experienced professionals encountered numerous challenges in traditional project management approaches and sought to create a more efficient and effective solution. The main idea behind Agile was to encourage development teams to take small, incremental steps to create the best product possible. Hence, one of Agile's main principles is avoiding redoing large portions of work down the line.
If you're a software developer and have to redo all your tasks during a project from head to tail, well, your project management framework wasn't agile at all.
Core Principles of Agile Methodology
Agile's core principles emphasize collaboration between cross-functional teams. They include:
Agile Methodology is a trendy framework for development and has seen growing adoption across various industries due to these principles.
Common Agile Terms, Explained:
There are some terms you might be unfamiliar with within the Agile environment. Having an unmistakable thought of them leads to mastering the Agile project management framework's practices, processes, and principles.
Agile is a term based on iterative and incremental development. It emphasizes adaptive planning, evolutionary development, continuous delivery, and continuous improvement while promoting flexible responses.
Iterative is a crucial word here. I've mentioned it several times already. This approach focuses on breaking down a large project into smaller, more manageable chunks and iteratively developing on each one.
User stories are short, simple descriptions of a feature told from the perspective of the person who desires the new capability, usually a user or customer. They capture requirements, such as user needs and desires. Hence, teams can give them what they want.
They're short, time-boxed periods of development in which specific tasks are worked on and completed. Typically, a Sprint will last between two and four weeks, although this varies depending on the project. During a Sprint, teams work together to create a working product increment that meets the goals established at the beginning of the Sprint.
Daily scrum, sprint review meetings, backlog refinement, and sprint planning meetings, just to name a few, are daily team meetings that aim to track the project's progress. Their purpose is to provide the team with a set structure for task review and planning, allowing each member to voice any issues they may be facing and helping to identify any risks or blockers that may prevent the team from reaching its goals.
Backlogs are lists of tasks or things the team needs to do to complete a project. They help prioritize teamwork and focus on the most critical tasks.
What Are Agile Frameworks?
Now's the time you all have been waiting for. Agile is a set of rules that teams can apply in different ways. So, from now on, you'll get the difference between the diversity of the Agile approaches.
eXtreme Programming (XP)
eXtreme Programming provides a fast and efficient process for creating quality software. It emphasizes the team's quality of life to boost morale and productivity over code quality. XP is for businesses that need help figuring out what to change within their projects or whose needs change swiftly.
Dynamic Systems Development Method
Dynamic Systems Development Method focuses on delivering the right solution at the right time. It emphasizes the alignment between a product and a business's strategic goals so the finished product has actual benefits. DSDM has four principles: feasibility, prototyping iteration, design, and implementation.
Adaptive Software Development
Adaptive Software Development focuses on quickly and effectively adapting to the project's scope. It tailors to evolve based on lightweight planning and ongoing learning through a three-phased process: speculating, collaborating, and learning.
The Crystal Method
Crystal focuses on interactions and individuals, stipulated in the Agile Manifesto. It's one of the most flexible Agile frameworks, as it centers the process around people and not tools or stages. It encourages teams to be imaginative, although this freedom gives space to scope creep due to the lack of an established plan.
Lean Software Development
Lean Software Development aims to reduce the time and cost of the traditional software development process. It reduces waste by eliminating anything that doesn't add value, such as rework and extra features. LSD follows the principles of continuous improvement - making small changes incrementally over time.
Disciplined Agile methods provide a holistic approach to agile software delivery that puts individuals first. Do you remember Crystal, XP, and Scrum? DA is a hybrid approach combining some of their elements. The framework also considers critical project stakeholders.
Scaled Agile Framework
The Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) is a comprehensive and highly-effective agile framework for software development teams. It consists of three key components: Team, Program, and Portfolio. These pillars provide the structure necessary to support larger organizations in successfully applying agile principles. SAFe offers product teams the flexibility to adjust their approach as needed.
Rapid Application Development
Unlike other approaches, Rapid Application Development focuses on achieving prototype creation by having the development team focus on specific tasks in parallel rather than sequentially, exchanging ideas.
What Are Agile Development Challenges?
At Capicua, we understand that managing projects can be tricky business. Therefore, we gathered some of the most commonly seen challenges so you can avoid the bullet and work successfully on your projects.
● Lack of Experience. Many teams may need more experience with Agile. Being unfamiliar with it can trouble its processes and methodologies, leading to unclear task management within the project.
● Undefined Requirements. Agile requires clear and well-defined requirements. Companies will often only go into an agile project with a defined scope, which can cause roadblocks and delays when trying to deliver results.
● Communication Issues. Agile project management relies heavily on communication between team members throughout the project. With proper communication, teams can manage tasks and be easily understood.
● Planning Shortcomings. One of Agile's core components is planning, which tasks forego another one for the project to move forward. Planning must be adequate, and it has to consider how critical each task is and how long it should take to complete.
● Limited Resources. Agile may require more resources than a traditional approach due to its iterative approach. It means teams need more people to develop features quickly without sacrificing speed's quality. These resources must always be available to meet demand as projects progress through their lifecycle.
No matter the size of your project, agile project management is a great way to keep things moving quickly and efficiently.
How To Get Started With Agile?
Getting started with Agile can be a daunting process for those who are new to the methodology. Here are some tips for successfully implementing it.
1. Start Small. Rather than implementing Agile across the board, begin with one or two pilot projects with a clear scope. It'll allow you to practice working with Agile techniques without risking too much at once.
2. Establish Scope. Agile requires strict guidelines for certain management aspects, such as coding standards, project reviews, and team roles and responsibilities. Ensure you have a defined scope before getting started so stakeholders know what is expected from them to succeed.
3. Prioritize Collaboration. Collaboration between team members is vital when using an agile approach as it allows one to identify and address changes quickly throughout the process. Encourage team members to share ideas openly to discuss issues or potential solutions.
4. Measure Results. Last, but not least, make sure to track progress throughout the project. You can use tools like the Gantt chart or project log to track tasks and progress to identify activities, decisions, and issues during an Agile project.
Although Agile processes are more challenging than people think, it's a great way to increase efficiency and finish projects efficiently. By following the tips outlined in this article, you can be sure that your agile projects will run smoothly. Remember to start small, establish scope, prioritize collaboration among team members, and measure results. With these steps followed successfully, you'll soon see the benefits of Agile for yourself!