Sunday, May 29, 2011

Differences between Agile methodologies and traditional project management


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Agile management is about keeping the team energetic, empowering them so that they can deliver business values in a rapid and reliable fashion by engaging customers, and adapting to the changing environments/needs [2]. From the concept, there are a couple of key ideas worth noticing: rapid, reliable, user involvement, and adapting to changes. 

There are tons of tutorials and materials on this subject and this will not be discussed in detail in this paper because it is not the main topic. However, to assist readers in understanding, some personal viewpoints will be addressed based on the book “The Practical Guide to Enterprise Architecture” [1]. Agile has some interesting best practices such as short iterations, workable deliverables in each iteration, frequent feedback from users for each deliverable and “just barely good enough” documentation. They are also the differences compared to traditional methodologies. 

Agile is not about creating lengthy documents and the finest system architecture. Everything is kept at “just barely good enough”. On the other hand; in a Waterfall approach, a rigid documentation system is required, the best system architecture will be produced after the requirement engineering phase. Developers then move on with the implementation and testing. It turns out to be a one-way process that going back stages is not feasible or too costly to be performed, if new requirements are discovered or the team has missed key features when collecting users’ inputs.
 
[1] James, et al., The Practical Guide to Enterprise Architecture, Prentice Hall PTR, USA, 2003, chapter 8.

[2] Sanjiv, A., Managing Agile Projects, Prentice Hall PTR, 2005, p.37.

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1 comment:

  1. Yeah its a good article. According to you what we project managers do is communicating. And a lot of this communication is done during project meetings. It can sometimes feel like you are running from one meeting to another and that your time is often wasted. Meetings don’t start on time, the issues aren’t dealt with, there is no agenda, there is no focus, nobody assigns any follow ups or tasks and of course then they also don’t end on time. An efficient project manager is required for the good management of a project. I think a project manager should PMP certified. Looking forwards to apply what I learned in PMP classes in my company.

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