What is the Agile approach to project execution?
If you’re in the project management space, you are probably sick of hearing the word “Agile” by now. So are we.
But it’s critical to project management nowadays — especially because projects in the modern business world are a little bit more complex and are largely based on customer needs. The Project Management Institute reports that up to 71% of organizations use the Agile approach to execute projects.
The goal of Agile execution is to be able to quickly respond to changes and new information as they happen, which can be difficult if you’re following a more traditional approach.
What is Agile execution?
The meaning of Agile execution is to continually provide value throughout the life-cycle of projects. It means that you are flexible and can change your approach to meet goals, produce results, and drive success for clients. Being able to do this requires a lot more communication between team members which helps everyone understand where they’re at in the process – it becomes very transparent!
In Agile execution, a feature is developed until it satisfies the customer’s requirements and offers value to them. It can be implemented by an individual or any sized Agile team at any given time depending on their skill sets. For this process to be Agile, the individuals with separate responsibilities must continuously work together to create a product that provides value to the customer.
What’s the difference between Agile execution and Waterfall execution?
The difference between Agile execution and Waterfall execution in project management lies within the fact that Agile execution adjusts quickly based on customer feedback whereas Waterfall executes using predefined requirements.
This means Agile project management requires continuous collaboration between Agile team members and Agile customers to succeed. On the other hand, Waterfall project management is suited for projects that have more clearly defined requirements with little room for changes.
The origin of Agile execution
The concept of Agile execution’s meaning in project management was created by a group of software developers in 2001. They got tired of traditional project management approaches (like Waterfall) failing and wanted to create a better solution.
These software developers found that the traditional systems were just not equipped to handle the complexities that come with software operations.
So, they created the Agile Manifesto — a creed to guide Agile processes and remind Agile teams of what’s important.
How Agile project management works
Due to Agile’s emphasis on delivering frequently, Agile execution in project management requires a cross-functional team that has all the necessary skill sets. The key aspect of Agile is its simplicity because it focuses on providing immediate customer feedback and executing changes quickly based on this information.
It is Agile’s process to rapidly respond to change by incorporating customer feedback throughout the development stage.
The Agile approach works in project management because it provides value for Agile teams and customers alike. Teams can take on the Agile mindset, adapt quickly, and work toward building products that satisfy their users’ needs.
Customers benefit from this method of Agile project management because Agile teams are able to build products that match the current market needs.
For example, an online retailer can create a website with features catered towards their customers’ interests rather than trying to predict what they want by researching over several months. This means Agile execution in project management is best for projects that have little information about the customer.
Agile benefits and challenges of implementing the process
Some benefits Agile project management offers are rapid development, increased team communication and collaboration, improved customer satisfaction, faster time-to-market for new products or updates to existing ones.
On the other hand, Agile also faces challenges such as a lack of structure in some Agile processes can be difficult for teams who have never used Agile before.
Another challenge Agile executions face is that some Agile processes require a higher degree of team commitment and buy-in than other project management methods. However, Agile also provides tools for overcoming these challenges such as the use of an Agile coach to help your company implement its own Agile process or by using Scrum boards to keep track of tasks and workflow.
The Agile values in project management
Agile is built upon four major values that serve as a guiding light to Agile teams and their processes. These values are:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
The Agile approach to project management places a strong emphasis on the people working on it. This is why individuals and their interactions with each other take precedence in Agile, while processes and tools do not.
Being able to adapt quickly and work together as a team is key for Agile teams because their output is based on the customer’s feedback rather than detailed requirements from product management. Whether it’s fixing bugs or changing small aspects, Agile teams continuously execute changes using an Agile workflow with daily standup meetings, Agile retrospectives, and other Agile ceremonies.
Ways to successfully use Agile execution for your organization’s projects
An Agile coach can help your company implement Agile into its current project management approach. Agile coaches are individuals with experience in Agile processes who work as a guide for the team and provide support at any point of implementation. They also have an objective view on if the Agile process is working or not, which makes them great assets to have during Agile Agile execution.
Another Agile tool that a project manager can use to help implement Agile is Scrum boards. Scrum boards are visual representations of Agile workflows and processes which make it easier for team members to understand how tasks, backlogs, sprints, and other Agile ceremonies fit into the bigger picture. They also provide real-time updates on Agile progress, Agile risk management, and other Agile project metrics.
In this article, we’ve covered all the basics of Agile execution. We hope that you have a better understanding of how to execute your projects efficiently and effectively by following these principles.
If you want more information about Agile execution in project management or would like us to help you with your next big idea, please reach out at any time!