An Agile Work Environment

In this article, we will be discussing what an agile methodology work environment is, why it’s beneficial, as well as some of the challenges companies face when using this approach.

Agile methodology defined:

Agile is the ability to create and respond to change. It is a way of dealing with, and ultimately succeeding in, an uncertain and turbulent environment, defined by the Agile Alliance.

There are different frameworks of Agile methodology. We are going to use Scrum for the purpose of this article, as it is the most used.

Agile, using the scrum framework, is a process in which projects are broken up in several stages known as ‘sprints’. Sprints are particular phases, or a duration of time, for a project. When the work begins, they cycle through these sprints with a goal of delivering the highest value to the stakeholder.

The teams must be adaptable and flexible, and always in collaboration with one another. When the teams communicate, they are able to solve problems. After each sprint, they check with the client for approval of the project, and make necessary adjustments between sprints. The team responds quickly to these changes, prioritizing the client’s needs.

It’s important to have a group that can rapidly adapt to change and always be evolving. The process is finished when the problem is solved; the client’s needs are fully answered.

So, how is this beneficial?

The biggest benefit of using agile methodology, is the client/stakeholders approval. Project managers typically create projects with a start to finish mindset, achieving the goal within the given constraints. The agile methodology, however, uses breaks within the development phase to provide consistent customer feedback, creating the best possible version of what the client wants.

Another benefit of agile is that is focuses on goal setting and planning, creating a much more efficient use of time. Focusing on each sprints objective encourages the team to be productive, thus using their time more efficiently. The end result is a valuable product delivered, quicker than standard project management methods.

The key benefits is that it caters more to the customer, creates valuable results, and is able to take on complicated projects efficiently. It changes the revolution of how companies run their business and accelerating profitable growth, as well as creating a new generation of skilled managers.

What are the disadvantages?

With every position, it’s important to hire someone whose skills match the job at hand. This is an incredibly important rule for hiring a team of collaborators for an agile project management position. The only way this methodology can be effective, is if the team is cooperative and collaborative. Using a large team can also cause disruption with this, so it’s more effective to use a smaller group of talented people. Without a collection of effort, the sprint runs short and time runs out.

Larger projects also come at a disadvantage when using the scrum agile framework.

This also goes hand in hand with training. Training for this role is crucial, and many companies find training to be a waste of time. This in turn, can lose much of the effectiveness in using an agile approach.  

Without a definite plan and a cooperative team, you get what is defined as scope creep. This is caused by poor communication and can hurt your relationship with the client.

Summary:

Agile methodology is an effective way to do business. It keeps a team and the stakeholders within constant communication, keeps everyone informed on progress and tasks, which helps manage expectations. To learn more, check out these articles:

http://www.my-project-management-expert.com/causes-of-scope-creep.html

https://www.scrumalliance.org/about-scrum/overview

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