Why You Need Agile to Avoid Project Failures
Failures happen every day to businesses in all types of industries around the world. In some cases, problems are the sole fault of the employees or businesses. In other cases, they may be due to the customer, including insufficient, over-ambitious or unnecessary requirements, poor contract drafting and contract management… the list goes on. So the question is: can agile help IT companies avoid project management headaches?
The Main Reason Why IT Projects Fail
The main reason behind project failures is the disconnect between the business side (business unit stakeholders – marketing, sales, etc.) and the IT side. If they don’t sync, the project fails.
The business side and the IT side need constant communication – otherwise, they don’t see the larger picture and can’t deliver a product that meets both business and customer needs.
What every IT company should understand is that your business is only as agile as your software. If you want to be able to respond quickly to customer demands and simultaneously meet business needs, your software developers should have the freedom to build software quickly and efficiently, and the business stakeholders should have visibility into the development process.
This is what agile is made for! Agile teams shift their focus from a project to a product and emphasise collaboration and communication between all departments.
Why the Traditional Waterfall Approach Fails
- Software projects that follow the traditional Waterfall processes work with defined requirements that are too often written ‘in a vacuum’ and are not always applicable to the real world.
- Users don’t actually behave the way they are expected to, which may cause software challenges that should often costly and can’t be addressed quickly.
Why You Need Agile
- Following the agile approach allows for flexibility in the software development process.
- You get your idea in a minimal form out to the market and receive customer feedback so that you can adapt the product in real-time to customers’ needs.
- Project sponsors are actively involved – this allows to test the product as early as possible and validate whether it is heading in the right direction.
- Putting the code in front of real users and stakeholders on a regular basis is very motivating for the team and helps get direct feedback.
- Honest feedback at the early project stages allows to minimise risks – the teams and the business owner don’t waste time, money and other resources on a project with a low likelihood of achieving the desired business outcomes.
The agile framework emphasises flexibility, constant iteration and collaboration. It encourages the team to build the project in a way that it can be tested on a very frequent basis – and modified to meet the business and customer needs in the best way possible. Reason enough to go agile, isn’t it?