What is Agile Methodology in Project Management?
Agile is a process by which a team can manage a project by breaking it up into several stages and involving constant collaboration with stakeholders and continuous improvement and iteration at every stage. The Agile methodology begins with clients describing how the end product will be used and what problem it will solve. This clarifies the customer's expectations to the project team. Once the work begins, teams cycle through a process of planning, executing, and evaluating — which might just change the final deliverable to fit the customer's needs better. Continuous collaboration is key, both among team members and with project stakeholders, to make fully-informed decisions.
Agile Methodologies Overview
The core of the Agile methodology was developed by 17 people in 2001 in written form. Their Agile Manifesto of Software Development put forth a groundbreaking mindset on delivering value and collaborating with customers. Agile's four main values are expressed as:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
Agile Methodologies Frameworks
Today, the word Agile can refer to these values as well as the frameworks for implementing them, including: Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming (XP), and Adaptive Project Framework (APF). So what is Agile methodology in project management? Simply put, it is a process for managing a project characterized by constant iteration and collaboration in order to more fully answer a customer's needs.
A project management methodology characterized by building products that customers really want, using short cycles of work that allow for rapid production and constant revision if necessary.
A visual approach to project management where teams create physical representations of their tasks, often using sticky notes on whiteboards (or via online apps). Tasks are moved through predetermined stages to track progress and identify common roadblocks.
A PM methodology where a small team is led by a Scrum Master whose main job is to clear away all obstacles to completing work. Work is done in short cycles called sprints, but the team meets daily to discuss current tasks and roadblocks that need clearing.
Adaptive Project Framework (APF)
A project management methodology that grew from the idea that most IT projects can’t be managed using traditional PM methods. Work is done in stages, and evaluated after each stage.
Extreme Project Management (XPM)
A PM methodology wherein you can change the project plan, budget, and even the final deliverable to fit changing needs, no matter how far along the project is.