The Benefits of Agile Management

The benefits of agile management offers a different approach to project management. Fast feedback and ongoing adaptation are built right into the process. Large, complex goals are quickly broken down into useful pieces. Those pieces are then evaluated for value and impact, and goals are set a few weeks at a time in “sprints”. Costs and constraints are closely managed, and the project remains flexible throughout the development process. Rather than spending six months developing a product or service that may be outdated by the time it hits the market, a company using Agile project management could release the first iteration within two weeks. They could then continue to release updated, adaptive versions over the next six months, resulting in a much more effective, relevant, and useful final deliverable.

The benefits of agile management include:

Higher product quality – Because testing is integrated throughout the project development process, the team can perform regular checkups and find areas of improvement.

Reduced risk – Agile project management virtually eliminates the chances of absolute project failure. Working in sprints allows teams to develop a working product from the beginning or fail fast and take another approach.

Better visibility into project performance – Agile project management lets team members know how the project is progressing. Frequent Scrum meetings (sessions where stakeholders, management and teams hold as a unit) and sprint reviews provide increased transparency to everyone on the team.

Better project predictability – Breaking up the project into shorter sprints allows project managers to predict the exact cost, timeline, and resource allocation necessary for each sprint.

Focus on the customer. Agile focuses on wants and needs in real-time. In traditional project management, the customer is involved in the planning phase but then has little to do with execution over time. In Agile, the customer is involved in decision-making as the project moves along; changes can be made according to the needs of the customer throughout the project. This gives the customer the best possible result according to their needs.

Time To Market. Agile is fast! By quickly reducing complexity and setting short, frequent goals, Agile enables quick execution. Traditional project management has a lot of bloat up front, where the project manager tries to figure out every problem before it happens. In Agile, problems are addressed as they arise, without wasting time guessing before they exist.

Predictability and risk mitigation. Agile makes things more predictable. The project is more visible at every step, so risks are easier to see coming. It is also easier to implement plans to mitigate those risks quickly. An additional advantage to accomplishing many short goals is reusability. If something doesn’t work as intended, all is not lost. Through evaluating previous “sprints”, work that is still useful can be salvaged. Rather than losing months of time and energy at once, only a few weeks are lost if a new direction is chosen.

Flexibility. The real power of agile is in its flexibility. Due to the short bursts of work, feedback is constant. Changes can be made on short notice, giving ultimate control over the direction of a project. The cost of these changes is mostly small and short-term compared to traditionally large, pre-planned projects. Continuous improvement because of the short bouts of work in agile, lessons can be learned and then quickly implemented. Improvement can happen on the order of weeks instead of months or years. Mistakes become visible right away, and teams can collaborate on ways to learn from them rather than repeat them. The longer work goes on, the better each “sprint” is.

Morale. Agile teams self-organize and self-manage. As such, the people involved have more autonomy and authority to do their jobs. The project manager effectively keeps the outside world from disrupting their work. This leads to a more satisfying work experience. Since agile teams are cross-functional, this also provides learning opportunities for everyone involved. It leads to a variety of work for team members, which leads to greater job satisfaction and less boredom.