Agile is the new golden standard for project management, first securing a foothold in software development, but also moving into other industries. Encompassing a number of different approaches such as Scrum, XP, and Kanban (to name a few), it has transformed the way many organizations do project management.
Of course, the million dollar question is not whether Agile is popular or not. The question is how effective it is and how it can help teams perform better. Today, we will be looking at the 7 most noticeable and impactful advantages of Agile project management.
Superior product quality
Agile model is geared toward delivering business value right from the get-go, by the power of rapid incremental cycles. Testing takes place on a regular basis and, often, in the form of automated testing. Besides that, most Agile teams also do frequent reviews of the increments they deliver and the product as a whole.
The goal of both of these concepts is to ensure that the product is really working and to minimize the risks involved in developing it. Ideally, any issues are identified as early as possible and then addressed by the whole team.
Better customer satisfaction
Furthermore, the environment of high transparency encourages user involvement. Thanks to the emphasis that Agile puts on making the product and the work done on it visible to external stakeholders, those same stakeholders can voice their concerns more easily and provide input that the team can put to action in the future.
This kind of an approach minimizes the chances of delivering products that have nothing to do with what the customers wanted in the first place. In addition to this, it ensures that new ideas coming from the customer direction are more easily implemented to the product.
Flexibility and control
Agile empowers organizations to maintain a high level of operational flexibility, at least in cases where it is adopted genuinely and not simply on paper. The costs of making changes at any point are minimal due to the frequency of new increments and sprint meetings. This prevents major overhauls that are notoriously wasteful.
Continuous improvement, planning, and feedback loops are built into the system. Thus, an organization is able to successfully adapt to changing environments and requirements. This also brings about a greater overall project control more often than not.
Product features are delivered incrementally and their benefits discussed at length. As a result, Agile teams can establish an order of priority of features and allocate resources accordingly. After only a handful of iterations, what you have is a market-ready product that can be released fast and then improved upon.
This makes it easier to make the initial moves on the market and start seeing returns from the product. In other words, the ROI tends to be greater than with conventional project management systems. On top of that, chances of a complete fizzle are significantly smaller.
The next on our list of advantages of Agile project management and one closely connected to the last one is the so-called first-mover advantage, which is gained by industry pioneers occupying untapped market segments. This position brings significant marketplace positioning advantages which can end up crucial.
Some companies have managed to tap into immense profit margins and establish a monopoly-like position. Forgoing agile project management and trying to put out a perfect product after three years of myopic development often results in a constant game of catch-up, provided that your product doesn’t fail completely from the get-go.
A result-oriented team
Agile fosters an open culture of idea exchange and cooperation within teams. It spurs lively team collaboration, boosts morale, and clearly defines all the roles and responsibilities. Each and every member is in-the-know when it comes to pressing tasks and priorities.
Together, they move in unison and work together to perfect the way they work. The benefits of such strong teamwork usually spill over into all areas of business and elevate the bottom line. It is a clear win-win.
A conductive team structure
There is one more advantage to having Agile-powered teams. The way in which they are structured allows for customization, environmental adaptability, and self-management. Those who are close to the actual work process are the ones who are making decisions, instead of having managers dictate everything.
In addition to this, most Agile teams will also have a formalized way of improving their individual and team skills. As a result, they will not turn into a feature-churning machine that only delivers lines of code.
Traditional project management is making way for a brave new way of doing business. Done right, Agile enables businesses to craft killer products and delight the customers. The tricky part is that implementing the methodology with minimum friction is no walk in the park.
Before diving in, get familiar with the basics and figure out if this is really the sound course of action. Then, find a way to empower the team to navigate and adapt to the fast-evolving landscape of development. It all revolves around the rapid delivery of business value and quality products.
Agile project management could be your vehicle for success, but only if done right.