The Impact of Agile Methods on Software Project Management

When you have a project to complete, it's a challenge to decide which methodology is appropriate. You want one that helps your team perform at their best while delivering quality results. Many are promoting Agile methods because they are more flexible than most and promote efficient work through iterations. But, does it suit every software project?

The People Involved in Software Projects

Agile encourages collaboration as well as feedback and reviews from the client at each iteration. The client is also constantly updated and more time is dedicated to developing the product according to the client’s requirements and optimizing cost. There are a variety of people who work on a software project and form a team, including:

  • developers
  • testers
  • project leaders
  • the client or customer representative
  • end user
  • stakeholders

Role Breakdowns

Aside from being skilled in their work, developers need to communicate well during Scrums, adapt to change, and be willing to collaborate with the team if they choose the Agile methodology. Testers work closely with developers during the development process, so both must be willing to listen and adapt when necessary. Project leaders must allow the other members to take initiative and refrain from enforcing their leadership through control or commands. A project leader’s role is to facilitate discussion and collaboration within the team to overcome obstacles in tasks.

In traditional methodologies, clients were involved at the inception of the product and towards the end when it was in the alpha and beta testing phase. Agile requires a client to be involved at every stage and available to give feedback. If there is a customer representative, then, they must be collaborative, committed, and knowledgeable of what the end user requires from the product. 

Stakeholders focus on risks and opportunities during the project’s development, so they want progress reports, budgets, objectives, and detailed schedules to justify expenditure. This is problematic because Agile doesn’t use a structured framework, like the Waterfall methodology. Because estimations of cost and the setting of deadlines cannot be done with Agile methods, stakeholders may prevent the team from using Agile to manage the project.

The Solution

What’s important about Agile is that it allows the product to be developed faster and with better results. Agile has been proven as one of the best methodologies to adopt for project management. A team’s results improve even more with the use of Acute360. It is an intelligent and interactive web (cloud)-based project management platform that manages R&D projects and tasks based on the scientific method. Acute360 was developed as a solution to respond to the complexity of industrial and academic R&D projects and offers a coherent approach to doing R&D the right way. The platform is about metrics: quantifying, measuring, recording, and making sure that people track their progress towards goals by using a rigorous method for getting people to identify and report their results.

Get started now with a free 30-day trial

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