AGILE PROJECT MANAGEMENT

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1 AGILE PROJECT MANAGEMENT

2 (24 th, February, 2010) Agile project management This type of project management refers to a technique used in the development of softwares with increased efficiency and improved cooperation among key players. Agile project management is based upon the theory that perpetual iteration and increase of a software development team s goals and objectives eventually results in a better work environment and product (Chin, 2004). Agile project management is a development made on earlier project management techniques; has shorter incremental and iterative spans than could be in weeks instead of months. Most agile projects involve an interrelated and cross functional relationship among the relevant players. Fig. 1: Agile project management

3 Critics against this type of project management claim that agile project management tends to be bureaucratic, complicated and employs management practices on the micro scale. Scholars for agile project management claim that it is an effective means through which small scale projects can be run as this technique enables a software development team to be able to adapt to the constant changes that occur in the developmental phases of a software. There are four fundamental principles of agile software development as specified in the Agile manifesto that was agreed upon in 2001, by a team of software developers. These are focus on the individual and how he/she interacts with others in the project, development of operational and working software, working together with the intended customers and a flexible plan that is quick to adapt to change (Highsmith, 2009). Web page project case study Challenges of agile project management in project Agile project management was designed for small to medium scale projects that have a considerable number of people working under different departments. A major challenge faced in implementing this type of project management is that it results in too many divisions of responsibility and authority among the group. This is inappropriate considering the group size and thus results in a complicated management technique for a rather small group.

4 Starting the project under agile project management also proves to be a little difficult. This is in consideration of the numerous structures and iterative measures that are taken in such a management system (Schwaber, 2004). Coping with constant changes in the project plan also proves to be a major problem. This is particularly true when trying to judge and quantify the level of progress in the project. This is because there is no clear set of standards that are used to gauge the project s progress. The assessment of the project is purely done on a comparative manner based on the past or future. Agile project management also involves various stakeholders in the development of a software. This process is often taxing and time consuming as various players such as the customer have to be fully involved throughout the development phases of the software. This in some instances results in delays as some suggested changes had to wait until the customer had made a review (Chin, 2004). Strengths of agile project management in project The project involves a small number of people and thus there is a healthy relationship among the team. Problems such as lack of privacy and coerced relations that are common in agile projects are not experienced. Flexibility within the project is also experienced as the team is able to constantly change and adapt with time. A major change that improves the running of the project was caused by the

5 change in the time intervals for iteration to three days so as to match the size and mandate of the project (Schwaber, 2004). Suitability of agile project management in project Agile project management is not suitable for the web page project. The main reason for this is because of the small number of people in the project. This makes the micro organization principle of agile management impossible to apply. This type of management also results in excessive bureaucracy in the project and this hinders the smooth flow of activities. From the study it has been established that agile project management is only suitable for projects that have a substantial number of people who are categorized into separate hierarchies. When agile management is integrated into such a structure it improves the cooperation among the different departments and thus improves overall efficiency and productivity (Highsmith, 2009). Alternative project management style for project A traditional approach to project management is the best approach for the web page project. This is because of the size of the project and the relative simplicity of this type of management technique. A traditional approach would involve five phases namely the starting of the project, the planning/ design phase followed by execution and process monitoring then to completion.

6 In such a management style there is a distinct interrelationship between the three main phases which are planning, execution and monitoring. This ensures that the project goes as planned and that the plan can also be changed based on the feedback received from the execution and monitoring phases. Fig. 2:Traditional project management versus agile project management Conclusion Agile project management has been found to have various limitations that affect its efficiency and effectiveness. Based on the study it has been established that agile project management is unsuitable for the management of the web page project. Traditional project management

7 techniques have been found to be less bureaucratic and easy to implement thus the preferred style for a project of such scale.

8 References Chin, G., Agile project management. New York: AMACOM publishing Highsmith, J., Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products. New York: Addison-Wesley. Schwaber, K., Agile Project Management. California: Microsoft Press.

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