Why Agile is So Popular in Project Management World
Agile methods, frameworks, and philosophies continue to involve more and more fans not only from the project management sphere. In fact, Agile is no longer associated with only software development.
Many companies and teams nowadays are thinking about Agile transformation. Its approaches have become popular with different companies, products, and services that need to be flexible and responsive as the quick changes continue to accelerate in business.
As we know, Agile traditionally emphasizes:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Professional software over comprehensive documentation
- Collaboration with clients over contract negotiation
- Responding to changes over the plan
Let’s define Agile as an amazing phenomenon as it has garnered its own subset of project management methodologies: DSDM (Dynamic Systems Development Method), ASD (Adaptive Software Development, XP (Extreme Programming), FDD (Feature-Driven Development), Kanban (depending on how you use it), Lean and Scrum.
Well, it is a rather big objective to describe all of these methodologies and we did it o partially in our blog, but the aim of this post is to answer the question: Why is Agile so popular?
Here you’ll find some relevant statistics about Agile and the detailed description of one of the methodologies – Dynamic Systems Development Method.
What is the secret of Agile popularity?
Agile iterative and incremental nature allows companies to focus on the main things and not forget the product or services they are looking to launch – while allowing development teams to adapt their approach as they go.
Typically, two-to-four week sprints contrast sharply with timescales of traditional project management that stretched into months and even years. This often resulted as the end product being obsolete before it was ready.
There are many benefits to using Agile. Here are 10 reasons why PM teams use this flexible project management process:
- Agile looks evolutionary. It gives teams an opportunity to learn with each new iteration or draft.
- Agile allows teams to deliver a prototype and improve it with every cycle.
- Agile supports regular and collaborative troubleshooting.
- Agile helps teams and individuals effectively prioritize features and work in general.
- Teams can make quick-course corrections based on stakeholder feedback.
- Team members may prototype a solution or process for the next project’s version.
- Teams get rapid feedback from each version or iteration.
- Agile empowers team members to work creatively and effectively.
- Stakeholders and clients can provide feedback as the project evolves.
- This flexible process increases team’s productivity.
Let’s dive to the relevant statistics (for 2018):
- Agile projects are 28% more successful than traditional projects.
- Almost 86% of 101,5 international surveyed software developers use Agile in their work.
- 71% of surveyed companies admitted using Agile approaches sometimes, often, or always.
- Almost 35% of projects aren’t baselined at the planning stage.
- In 2018, the most popular project management software is Microsoft Project.
- In 2018, the most popular Agile-specific tool is Jira.
- 27.4% of manufacturing companies rely solely on Agile. 56.6% rely on the combination of methodologies.
- In the USA, the average Agile project manager salary is more than $90K.
- The biggest roadblocks to implementing Agile are too many projects per team member, unclear project scope and the lack of company vision.
It is better to realize the strength and power of Agile, considering one of its methods. Let’s take a look at the principles of DSDM’s Agile Project Framework.
Here’s the short introduction of the method:
What is the Dynamic Systems Development Method?
This Agile framework consists of eight principles, a lifecycle and products, roles and responsibilities and several best practice techniques.
DSDM supports a philosophy of delivering strategically aligned business benefits as early as possible to give a company the best possible ROI.
- In 2007 there was a significant update connected to the DSDM approach. The version was called DSDM Atern.
- In 2014 another upgrade took place. It was decided to revert back to calling the method DSDM as this was the brand name that everyone recognized.
8 principles that support DSDM’s philosophy
Focus on the business need
During a project, every decision should be viewed in the light of the overriding project goal to deliver what the business needs to be delivered.
Deliver on time
It is very desirable to deliver a solution on time. Late delivery may often undermine the very rationale for a project, especially where market opportunities or legal deadlines are involved.
Collaborative teams are more successful and beneficial than the groups of individuals working only in loose association. Their collaboration encourages increased understanding and greater speed and shared ownership.
Never compromise quality
The level of quality to be delivered should be agreed at the start in DSDM. All solutions have to be good enough.
Build incrementally from firm foundations
The concept of establishing firm foundations for the project before committing to significant development is what really differ DSDM within the Agile family. DSDM means first understanding the scope of the business problem to be solved and the proposed solution. But not in such detail that the project becomes paralyzed by overly detailed analysis of requirements.
Iterative Development is the basement of the method. It is a combination of frequent demonstrations and comprehensive review to encourage timely feedback.
Communicate continuously and clearly
Weak communication can be often the main cause of project failure. DSDM is aimed to improve communication effectiveness for both teams and individuals.
According to the DSDM, it is crucial to be in control of a project, and the solution being created. High-level plans and standards outline the fundamentals of what needs to be achieved, how, by when, etc.
The method has been created to address common problems faced by projects such as late delivery, cost overruns or the final deliverable not being completely fit for the goals. It involves all stakeholders such as the business representatives throughout an iterative and incremental lifecycle.
Everyone who is involved in a project is given clear roles and responsibilities. They work together in time boxes to ensure the project is kept on schedule.
What do you think about DSDM and the other Agile frameworks? What are your favorites?
If you want to get more about Agile popularity, do not hesitate to read popular books! You may find the top list in our article 15 Best Project Management Books for Beginners and PM Stars