It is not in doubt that for a project to run successfully, a considerable amount of time has to be spent on prior testing and piloting. Most conventional project management techniques have often emphasized on a formal approach towards piloting and testing. However, agile techniques usually employ a slightly different spin with regards to how testing and piloting is conducted. In this regard, unlike traditional project management techniques where a particular path of planning is followed, agile project managers emphasize on an ongoing process of testing and piloting that allows the project to adapt to ongoing changes.
A great deal of these adjustments stem from ongoing changes in the Voice of the Customer (VOC). It is worth noting that agile management techniques aim at meeting or exceeding the expectations of the customer. In order to achieve this objective, however, agile project managers use a quadrant testing measure matrix developed by Brian Marick developed in the early 2000s. These testing techniques form an integral part of the project management functions which are in tandem with other management processes involved.
Agile is best when requirements are uncertain. The Agile Methodology allows for development and testing to start sooner to allow the product owner and other stakeholders to provide needed feedback quicker. Quicker feedback means changes are made faster until you have a finished product.
The Four Values of the Agile Manifesto:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
Agile Tools and Techniques
- Agile project management utilizes a number of techniques which allow project managers achieve their objectives. It is worth noting that these techniques can be applied to any project. For instance, agile project management techniques can be applied to activities such as software development and large scale project undertakings. Some of the most popular methodologies include Scrum and Sprints (Stern, 2014).
- The scrum model simplifies some of the complexities involved in making a team effective at delivering their objectives. This model achieves this objective by effectively enhancing the collaboration amongst team players by emphasizing on meeting plans and reviews to assess the project itself and how it is being conducted. Ideally, the scrum methodology focusses on understanding the role that each player takes then uses this information to understand the work that has been completed and what remains to done in order to ensure that everything is in line and is going according to plan. This situation allows project managers to assess the stage where the project is at and how to get it through completion by meeting all the expectations of the customers.
- In the scrum model, sprints are used to confine work to a regular, predictable, and repeatable work cycle that allows project managers to have a robust schedule. In this regard, sprints allow the project managers to achieve their objectives in a shorter time as a repeatable work cycle allows for easy implementation of the project demands. Also, sprints allow projects to be implemented with a high degree of accuracy with unmatched focus on detail. In the long-term, this minimizes cases of errors hence projects are delivered within the agreed upon time.
Agile project management techniques introduce a new methodology approach in the management of projects. In the long-term, this allows managers to deliver their products in line with customer demands as this approach allows them to remain flexible throughout the project. In the end, this ensures that projects are a lot more successful as they match customer preferences.
Stern, T. V. (2014). Lean and agile project management: How to make any project better, faster, and more cost effective. New York: CRC Press.