What is Agile? How it is Applicable in Project Management?

What is Agile?

The agile word meant for nothing on its own. But we can define it as “to move quick” or “able to move quickly and easily”.

This term was first introduced when Agile Manifesto was being formulated in 2001. That means it is a very young terminology.

The ultimate goal of every innovation is to deliver the best quality product, services, result or even a transition under given project constraints.

Is Agile a Methodology, Technique, Framework or else?

There are many misleading answers to this question already. To find the best answer to this question we need to visit Agile Manifesto. Here it is clear that it’s nothing but a value-based system. In Agile Manifesto, there are four values and twelve principles.

This manifesto does not describe Agile as a methodology, tool, and technique, etc. Its main focus is the added value by self-organizing teams.

How Agile Works?

Agile helps to predict the future but in the near future and this makes assumptions more probable as the near future is always easy to predict rather than what is going to happen after years.

In Project management, it helps us like rolling wave planning so as to make a plan for five years around we prefer to get a detailed a year plan and rest we plan later on once things get clearer.

Agile in Construction
Agile Approach Model

What is a Sprint in Agile?

In Agile we use “Sprints” that are of shorter duration (can vary from 1 week to 2 months) during which pre-determined features are developed and delivered.

A particular period required to complete a project-task is known as a sprint. Sprint can a single or multiple depending upon the complexity of any project.

Every sprint should be a value-added one. Sprint should be reviewed and assessed by the team and customer/client.

Use of Agile with other Methodologies

 Agile blends with water-fall method & it create a hybrid blend. A waterfall is good where rapid & repetitive steps are not required. Like in Planning where it needs a proper analysis of every aspect of the project – better to go for a waterfall. But once it goes to execution that is when companies prefer to use an Agile approach.

Agile is frequently being used and is taken with both hands when blends Scrum, Kanban, and Lean is the most popular. Some agile methods include:

  • Scrum
  • Kanban
  • Lean and Kanban
  • Extreme Programming (XP)
  • Crystal
  • Crystal Clear Methods – CCM
  • Feature-driven development (FDD)
  • RAD (Rapid Application Development)
  • Dynamic System Development Model, (DSDM)Agile Umbrella

Advantages and Disadvantages of Agile?

As every innovation around has strengths and weaknesses so does the Agile. It may work well in a project and may go terribly wrong on others. Let’s review some advantages & disadvantages of Agile approach.

Advantages of Agile Approach

  • The product is continuous as it will be done in chunks that add value to the project.
  • Client feedback is must on every sprint thus final approval is easy.
  • Changes are accepted at any stage of the project. This differentiates Agile from water-fall where a change at a later stage may lead a company to bank-rapt.
  • Final acceptance by the client is very easy.

 Disadvantages of an Agile Approach

  • Very Less documentation and mostly verbal which may lead to legal issue if not dealt with properly.
  • An experienced team is always required to handle the client’s requirement & in-experienced team have no scope in agile.

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