Research from the Project Management Institute shows that agile organizations:
- finished projects on time 65% of the time, versus 40% for non-agile companies.
- completed 75% of their goals, versus 56% for non-agile
- grew their revenue 37% faster
These all sound great but not every project benefit from Agile project management. Well, like any tool or method, Agile has its own quirks. And while it’s used by everyone from Google to Microsoft to Spotify, Apple, and Facebook, you need to know what’s beneath the surface before diving in headfirst.
Here are five confirming questions to help you:
1. You don’t know where you’ll end, still willing to start a project?
Are you comfortable with putting out a less-than-finished version of your product for users to test? Can you launch an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) or you want your project to be fully complete?
Words that well describes agile is ‘fail fast’. This means you will be moving quickly and continually testing with real users. If you’re a control freak, this can be super stressful.
2. How risk-averse are you?
Are you allergic to risks that you need to make sure everything goes perfectly right away? (this never happens) Or Is your culture a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants startup where risk is your middle name?
Take note. In Agile,you’re potentially taking on a higher level of risk than you would if you went with a more traditional project management style.
You’ll continuously deploy and learn from your mistakes.
If you’re going the Agile route, you’d better be prepared to take on any unknown issues that come up along the way.
3. Do you have a flexible team?
With agile, you work with your customers to make the product better.
But this doesn’t always fly with designers, developers, and makers of all kinds with an ego.
Are your key players flexible enough to put their ego aside and adjust their efforts and ideas based on customer needs?
4. How strict is your company hierarchy?
Is there a hard set hierarchy in place in your company? Or will those in the position at time gladly be a part of the development process?
Agile’s one key principle is not only to work with your users but for the developers to have access to key stakeholders on a daily basis. Some companies can’t do this. What is your culture like?
5. How do you measure progress and success?
Can you see that small, steady steps get you closer to your goal? Or Are you a fan of Shiny new object syndrome?
If you’re more likely to just run off after the next exciting idea and leave the last one to flounder, you’re not going to get the best results that Agile has to offer.
Agile project management is all about working to continuously refine your processes and better your product.
Agile might be a big departure from how your company or your teammates are used to working. It means moving quickly, which means not everything will be spelled out or planned beforehand. Therefore, you need to know whether or not your environment can handle this kind of change.
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