5 minutes

If you’re still using traditional project management methods in running your business, it’s time to wake up and smell the coffee!
Thanks to modern technology, project teams now have the choice of adopting and implementing project methodologies that are more in keeping with contemporary business needs. Agile is a perfect example of this.
In this article, you will discover how Agile development best practices will help you dodge project failures.

Why using Agile development practices ?

Owing to the emergence and growing adoption of agile alongside the more traditional project management methods, companies are now able to take timely measures and bring things under control should their original plans go awry.

The objectives of Agile development are to:

  • Improve the quality of the deliverables
  • Cope better with frequent changes
  • Provide accurate estimates and spend less time creating them
  • Exercise better control over the project

Agile provides teams with opportunities to:

  • learn lessons from the problems faced,
  • experiment with problem-solving techniques,
  • figure out what works best from them,
  • tweak their strategies accordingly,
  • and work towards their implementation.

This approach is unlike the traditional one which follows a specific plan as the team focuses on achieving them, and conducting tests at the end, which limits the scope for mitigating unexpected problems.

5 Agile development best practices

Other ways in which agile works better than the traditional development models are as follows:

  1. Agile advocates that entire teams should function like closely integrated units. This includes teams like project management, developers, quality assurance, and the customer.
  2. The functioning method involves conducting daily meetings so as to decide on the day’s work and dependencies. This is because constant communication is considered as one of the most important factors essential to team integration.
  3. The typical delivery cycle ranges from two to four weeks. This implies that deliveries are short-term. They are commonly called ‘sprints.’ Sprint is a scrum terminology. Scrum is the most popular agile framework. Its approach entails assembling the project’s requirements and using them to define the project. The necessary sprints are then planned and each sprint is sorted into its own list of requirements.
  4. One of the most important principles relates to regularly inspecting and adapting at the end of each sprint. This means that the team inspects its own practices and then decides as to what to change and how to adapt to the change.
  5. Teams that follow agile management principles typically tend to have open communication tools, which enable team members and customers to put forth their suggestions and feedback openly and quickly. These remarks are considered and incorporated when shaping the requirements and implementing the product.

The reason why agile development practices are making waves is because they allow you to evaluate the progress of the project from start to finish. This is done through sprints, at the end of which teams need to present a potentially shippable product increment.

In every sprint, the development team creates and tests a functional part of the product until the product owner is satisfied with it and it transforms into a shippable product. When one sprint finishes, the next one starts. Scrum teams deliver product features in increments (two to four weeks) as each sprint concludes. A product is released at the end of a sprint or after several sprints.

Because its scrum framework repeatedly focuses on short work cycles and the final product, agile methodology is often called iterative’ and ‘incremental.’

In waterfall methodology, development teams get one chance to get the entire project right. In agile, however, every aspect of development is assessed repeatedly throughout the lifecycle.

Benefits of Agile development best practices

  • Agile development methodology opens up the possibility to change the course of the project, if required.
  • The results of such an approach to development are derived through lower development costs and less time to market.
  • The team can steer clear of analysis paralysis and the likelihood of meeting hindrances (as the project advances) reduces tremendously as they can create the product alongside collecting requirements.
  • With Agile, a team’s work cycle is limited to two to four weeks, which gives stakeholders frequent opportunities to standardize the final product for success. This goes a long way in ensuring that the company builds the right product.
  • Agile approach enables teams to continuously re-plan the release of their product and strives to optimize its value throughout the development phase. This is better than promising a product that hasn’t even been planned yet. This allows them to not only gain a competitive edge in the market, but also preserves its relevancy, and ensures that the team’s effort does not go down the drain with a redundant product.

In case you’re wondering about the scope of Agile project management, know that in an agile project, it is not only the manager, but the entire team that is responsible for achieving the desired result. The best thing about it is that common sense takes precedence over written processes and procedures, which makes flexibility, easy and ensures that there are no holdups in management decision-making. This way, things can progress faster.

The approach of Agile project management function is such that it motivates all team members to demonstrate team spirit and innovativeness. This helps the team retain the spirit of cooperation and collaboration, and gets the members to follow discipline.

An agile project approach does not try to override the traditional approach of development teams. Rather, this function facilitates and coordinates the activities and the resources required for efficient and rapid product development.

More benefits of Agile development best practices

Agile allows your team to:

1. Detect the Problem

Agile project management enables you to identify the problem that your business is trying to solve. It uses facilitated work sessions with business and IT to get to a collective understanding of the problem, the various solutions and the plan. Outputs such as low-fidelity prototypes and story maps help you arrive at the solution more quickly.

2. Grow Speedily

Agile project management helps you find the source of the problem quickly through frequent testing and adapt accordingly. Further, it arms you with the tools to implement the solutions, thus keeping your stakeholders happy.

3. It’s the Future

We live in an age where several teams across the globe perform virtually. Work, today, revolves around getting more out of self-organized teams and facilitating interaction between the members working towards the development process. This goes a long way in boosting collaboration and discovering innovative solutions, releasing the power of agile principles.

Conclusion about Agile development best practices

To be successful, a project doesn’t just need people with the right skills, but a proper methodology also needs to be followed. It is important that the methodology you choose has the capability to shoulder the project.

Agile has proven to be one such methodology. It ensures good governance and clarity in project specifications. Because it is driven by business objectives, you can provide your team and customers with a deep understanding of the end goal and a clear vision of the direction that the project takes.

Apart from that, errors in the project can be detected in the early stages and worked upon, which saves much time and resources. The above pointers and data make it amply clear that agile is a potent methodology that helps you keep project errors and failures at bay.


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image by Aflafla1 via Wikimedia Commons