Project management has been used in business to develop and improve their structures and products since the earliest days of business, and we have seen various changes in "best method" it over time; with the latest change being the introduction of agile management. The IT industry initially used traditional management techniques to develop software, but these techniques did not account for the changes that were necessary throughout a project of this kind. IT needed a strategy that would allow them to make changes on the spot that would not mean going back to the drawing board (so to speak), and this is where the roots of agile project management came from. However, agile management has spread its wings, and businesses are using agile project management courses by changequest.co.uk and others to train their staff to embrace this more adaptable way to manage any type of project; and here is why.
Because of the way agile projects move forward (in blocks of development), the end user is always aware of the progress, and this leads to a greater appreciation of the developmental process. The ongoing testing throughout also means that the user can see that each iteration is appropriate to them and will fulfill their needs. Unlike traditional project management, where the user gets to see only an end result, agile management encourages collaboration between those involved in the project and the user; leading to greater satisfaction to all involved as the next stages can be addressed.
One of the greatest benefits of using an agile approach is the way that a project can handle change. No matter what changes are needed during a project, agile project management allows development to continue, and it is often a fact that the end product of the project will be different to that envisioned at the start. However, because of the user's involvement, these changes are known to have happened and what will finally be developed will be exactly what is required by the user.
The development of any project comes with risk, but agile management tries to lessen this risk through the incremental approach. Delivering a product or service that has taken a year to develop can be an extremely worrying time for a project team. There is a huge risk that the project, though viable and working, will not meet the user's needs. This could be a disaster for the team and the user as it could mean not only taking the time to reassess the parts that do not work, but perhaps even starting again. This risk is mitigated using the agile approach as the users have been involved all the way through the project. It is also the case that the testing has shown everybody involved that each part of the process will not only work on its own, but will work as a part of the whole.
Agile project management may not be the answer to everybody's problems, but the methodology behind it is being successfully incorporated into an increasing number of industries. It can be a low risk, flexible approach that gives excellent customer satisfaction; what else could you want?