Project managers might as well be tightrope artists as they try to balance the expectations of clients and the productivity of their team. Shifting priorities and sudden curveballs are also part of the course, with different variables that go into a project. If they’re not careful, challenges can jeopardize budgets and schedules, leading to a never-ending case of firefighting. It comes as no surprise, then, that project managers are always looking for effective processes that will help them cope with the chaos.
The agile methodology is one of the more popular project management approaches. Its promise of fast turnarounds, ability to ensure satisfied customers, and emphasis on innovation are tempting. Bureaucracy is exchanged for small autonomous teams that accomplish goals within a short time frame. There is not much resistance to change because, as stated in the Agile manifesto, it can be the linchpin to a product’s success.
However, not all businesses are ready to adopt an Agile framework. It takes investment, dedication, and commitment to apply its principles, which some are not ready for. Some companies are only agile in name but not in nature. Agile also has its shortcomings, like every other method. Project managers, whether they are responsible for web development services or programming software, should assess if the organization exhibits the right criteria.
Here are some questions they should consider to gauge if the business is ready for Agile:
Is the organization comfortable with undefined requirements?
Given Agile’s incremental and repeating nature, initial requirements only serve as a springboard for the team to start working. The final look of the product can be different from what was initially pictured. That is because new directions and features can crop up from customer feedback and demand. Having undefined requirements can suit teams that are comfortable exchanging rigid structures with innovation. The world of software development is the best environment for Agile because it can deliver marketable products while keeping the option of adding new features open.
Is every team member an active and dedicated contributor?
The beauty of Agile lies in the small dedicated teams focusing all their attention, effort, and resources into delivering a product or service. For Agile to work, everyone must be an active player from the beginning until the end. That is especially true for those implementing Scrum, one of the Agile frameworks, where teams follow a cycle of reiteration named sprints. The team must be able to deliver on agreed tasks they promised during their daily check-in meetings. If members also have other priorities, they can endanger the progress of the project, especially when conflicts of interest and time happen.
Is there a culture of transparency, innovation, and collaboration?
Organizations might say they value communication and collaboration, but favor rigidity and hierarchical policies. The disconnection between teams can hinder members to quickly respond to feedback and changes, especially if they must go through layers and layers of approvals. Information should be freely shared with everyone so that they can operate well. A culture of transparency and cooperation also improves trust, empowerment, and rapport, which are vital to a productive workplace.
The Agile methodology is famous for multiple reasons, but not everyone can benefit from the process. Businesses should ensure they are open to change, have dedicated teams, and promote a culture of innovation and collaboration.