As we’ve grown and take on larger, more complex website projects – spanning many months rather than weeks – it has become increasingly important that we have the proper processes and procedures in place to deliver projects on time and within budget.
That’s why we recently decided to embrace Agile project management – a structured framework often used in software development companies like ours.
Agile project management is a value-driven approach that allows Project Managers to deliver high-priority, high-quality work. It’s about embracing change, even late in the development stage; it helps to reduce complexity by breaking down projects in to manageable, two- to four-week cycles (sprints).
In traditional project management, the Project Manager is burdened with balancing project scope, cost, quality, personnel, reporting, risk, and adapting as requirements change. Agile project management divides these overwhelming responsibilities among three agile roles:
The Product Owner handles setting project goals, handling the tradeoff of schedule versus scope, adapting to changing project requirements and setting priorities for product features.
The ScrumMaster guides the team to prioritise their tasks and removes impediments to handling their tasks.
The Team Members directly handle most of the task assignment, daily detail management, progress reporting and quality control for the product.
Benefits of agile:
- Higher team morale: Being part of a self-managing team allows people to be creative, innovative, and acknowledged for their expertise. Having a scrum master removes impediments and shields the development team from external interference. Working cross-functionally allows development team members to learn new skills and to grow by teaching others.
- Increased collaboration and ownership: The development team, the product owner, and the scrum master work closely together on a daily basis. Daily scrum meetings let the development team organise around work completed, future work, and roadblocks. During sprint reviews the development team can demonstrate and discuss the product directly with stakeholders.
Smoother delivery of projects, higher quality standards, higher customer satisfaction, reduced risks and faster ROI – the fact that agile development is iterative means that the features are delivered incrementally, therefore benefits are realised early while the product is in the development process.