Over the years, project managers have used multiple methodologies, frameworks, and approaches on various levels in organizations. From start-ups to multinationals, project management has found its way into every industry and organization type.
One such framework is the Agile framework, which has been proven to optimize project development cycles in terms of a more structured approach, better team collaboration, and communication along with timely delivery of projects.
Did you know that 88% of respondents in VersionOne’s 2017 State of Agile Report ranked “ability to adapt to change” as the number one benefit of embracing Agile?
Despite the fact that Agile has been around for a number of years, it still needs to be fully understood and implemented appropriately to yield the promising results it is designed for.
Here, we try to answer the top Agile questions on Quora.
The first question on our list of top Agile questions on Quora is about the definition of Agile.
Agile is an iterative and time-boxed approach for software development to delivery. Through this approach, software is built incrementally right from the start of the project, instead of trying to deliver it all at once near the end. It comprises breaking projects down into smaller sections of user functionality known as user stories.
These user stories are prioritized based on requirements and are then continuously completed or delivered in short two-week cycles referred to as iterations.
The most popular Agile methodologies include Extreme Programming (XP), Scrum, Crystal, Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), Lean Development, and Feature-Driven Development (FDD).
The second question making it to our list of top Agile questions on Quora is about the Agile Marketing.
Agile Marketing refers to a marketing approach that helps teams identify high-value projects, collaborate effectively for timely completion of these projects, gauge their impact and work towards continuous and incremental improvement in results.
Agile Marketing takes its inspiration from Agile software development and it aims at making marketing faster, more predictable, transparent and adaptable to change.
Agile implementation has proven to maximize efficiency and optimize project delivery. Some of the benefits of Agile software development include:
- Better project visibility
- Increased team collaboration and efficiency
- Increased adaptability to change
- Improved scalability
These advantages yield high product quality, increased customer satisfaction, more project control, reduction in risks and faster return on investment.
This is the fourth question on our list of top Agile questions on Quora, and it is an important one.
There are two sides to each coin. Where Agile brings about a lot of benefits to a project development cycle, there are some uncertainties and drawbacks as well. Some of the disadvantages are as follows:
- In the case of large-scaled software deliverables, it is tricky to estimate the amount of effort required at the beginning of an SDLC (software development life cycle).
- Documentation is usually undermined and can get side-lined.
- It can be tough to gauge development than in the Waterfall approach as it comprises several cycles.
- Projects can become ever-lasting because in some cases the ending point is not clear
- Due to continuous progress, it is hard for clients to work on a specific budget or timeline.
- When it comes to designing, short developments cycles may not give enough time for design thinking. Due to this, designers keep on redeveloping the experience until there is positive feedback.
With numerous project management tools available, it can be confusing to select the appropriate one for your team and organization. Essentially, the tool should cater to the Agile work processes in terms of the user stories or backlog, the team roles and time management for planning sprints and meetings. Here are some of the top tools that you can use to implement Agile development:
Another important question that we felt should be included in our list of top Agile questions on Quora is about Agile coaches.
In different organizations, an Agile coach can mean different things. The Scrum Alliance describes an Agile Coach as follows:
According to Scrum Alliance:
“Certified Scrum Coaches are experts in Scrum — in both theory and practice. They have an in-depth understanding of the practices and principles of Scrum and real-world experience in actual Scrum organizations. CSCs successfully guide organizations through the challenges of Scrum adoption. […] You will need to serve as an advisor to leaders and organizations, facilitate diverse stakeholder discussions, lead by example, and challenge the status quo.”
Essentially, an agile coach is an expert in the agile manifesto, methodologies, and coaching. Agile coaches may focus on processes and methodologies, issue tracking/story database and your workflow or on teams in terms of identifying core issues, guiding the team, managing conflicts and holding the team accountable.
Although it may seem Agile is the magic solution to all project management concerns, there can be many factors that contribute to an Agile project management failure. Some reasons may include:
- Lack of Market Research
- Impossible Deadlines and unrealistic expectations
- Lack of project vision/objective
- The poor relationship between the project manager and the team
- Undefined project scope
- Lack of risk management
- Lack of change management
- Lack of a project management tool
Do you have any questions regarding Agile Project Management we can answer? Let us know in the comments below.