To be Agile or not to be?

Agile software development methodologies (Agile Manifesto) are often compared with the traditional project management called Waterfall. People who do that, are trying to answer the question, which project management style is optimal and when we should use them. I recommend especially the infographic from  Agile vs Waterfall article.

The essence of the Agile are team and knowledge. The success of a project depends most of all on the skills, efficiency of communication and good team spirit. Manager should identify and eliminate the barriers to effiecient work. Often the most difficult are communication problems, for example lack of understanding the current needs. In Agile project we have to expect many, many changes. These are releted to current needs, often not inspired by company management.   In Agile, it is hard to create stable work schedule. For some people it might be very annoying. Moreover typical Agile team hasn’t got fixed hierarchy. Agile team is able to cope with any problem if people know each other and cooperate. Each team member tries to handle tasks that best suit its competency. This is the reason why knowledge is very important here. Agile management might be a good choice for R&D projects.

From the point of view of the company, Agile methodology might be in conflict with the expectations. Company management want to get an information about: when it will be ready and how much it will cost. It is required to start the advertising campaign or plan other activities. Is Agile project management possible and efficient?

It is thought that Agile = lack of deadlines = lack of motivation = unfinished projects and lazy employees. It is not true! The motivation in Agile projects is often greater than in Waterfall because of many, small, daily successful steps. Product grows and its quality is often better than expectations. Thanks to the continuous improvement many bugs might be fixed during the implementation.

Unfortunately, despite all of these benefits, Agile methodology doesn’t give the guarantee of success. Furthermore the word itselfs do nothing. The most important are always team, its knowledge and experience.

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