Project management is both simple and complicated. You’re working towards goals that must be achieved within the constraints of time and resources. It can be linear where there is a defined start, middle, and end. The trouble starts when there are a lot of variables to consider, moving parts to control, and stakeholders to please. The number of decisions and dependencies can make anyone go crazy if they don’t have a system in place.
From Lean Methodology to Waterfall, there are many project management frameworks to use in managing the chaos. But what has caught the eye of most businesses is an iterative and incremental approach called Agile. What led to the popularity of Agile was its emphasis on innovation and customer satisfaction. Bureaucratic processes were exchanged for shorter planning and working cycles so that clients can receive a working product faster. They can then give their feedback, which the team can use to develop the work further. No time and effort is wasted because there is an open and dynamic interaction between the creators and users.
Depending on the culture, project scope, and industry, businesses can have their pick of the different types of Agile methodologies. While they share the same over-all principles, these types differ in how they are implemented in terms of techniques, conditions, and strategies. Here are the four most widely used Agile methodologies:
Regarded as the most popular framework, Scrum is best suited for small teams, at most ten members, working on big and complex projects. It follows a cycle of reiteration called sprints, where the team works on the agreed tasks in a specific given of time. Every day, there are short 15-minute meetings, called the daily scrum, to discuss the previous day’s work, today’s to-do-list, and any roadblocks that can endanger the goals. This constant communication and transparency between the team ensure focus and quick solutions to problems.
The strength of Kanban lies in its simple visual organization of tasks. It uses boards with columns that show the different stages of the project — the most common being “To Do,” “Doing,” and “Done.” For example, if the team’s goal is to create a website for a lending company. They can list down the features the clients want, such as a mortgage payment calculator or a contact us form, then place them according to the task’s status. This method helps everyone see their total workload, where they are in the timeline, and what they should prepare for in the future.
Agile and Waterfall Hybrid
Sometimes sticking to one methodology is not enough to manage all parts of the project. That is where the hybrid methodology comes in, using the advantages of each process to make up for their weaknesses. Agile might be great for adapting to change and getting constant feedback, but the project can fail when there is a final deadline and the team can’t be dedicated entirely to the project. The latter scenario can be answered by the waterfall method, which is the traditional sequential way of project management, where a clear beginning and end is in sight. But purely using the waterfall process can take time, especially if delays happen and the team suddenly finds issues that could have been identified early with Agile. There are many ways to craft a personalized hybrid method, as outlined by the Project Management Institute.
Managing projects is a balancing act between satisfying customers and motivating team members. The different types of agile methodologies can help make the job easier.