In previous posts, we have touched on some of the most popular approaches to project management. In this post, we take a closer look at Agile project management, from its origins to its applications. Keep reading to learn more.
The Origins of Agile Project Management
Agile project management has its origins in software development.
Until the 1990s, the dominant project management approach in the software industry was the waterfall model (which we discussed in a previous post).
While the waterfall model offers benefits such as providing a clear structure and clearly defined goals, it tends to be process-heavy, making changes difficult.
Software engineers began looking for ways to accelerate the software development cycle. So in 2001, a group of 17 people met in Snowbird, Utah, to discuss how to achieve this goal. That’s how the Agile Manifesto was born.
What Is Agile Project Management, Exactly?
The authors of the Agile manifesto concluded that software development was burdened by excessive planning and documentation.
They came up with a new process which they fittingly named Agile.
In Agile, the focus is not on documentation or the processes themselves, but on customer satisfaction. Agile is typically described as an iterative approach because it aims to create continuous releases that incorporate user feedback.
Although the word “manifesto” evokes a hefty document, the Agile manifesto is only 68 words long. However, those words would change software development forever.
Agile can be summarized in 12 principles:
- Satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.
- Welcome changing requirements, even late in development
- Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference for the shorter timescale.
- Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project.
- Build projects around motivated individuals.
- The most efficient and effective method of conveying information is face-to-face conversation.
- Working software is the primary measure of progress.
- Agile processes promote a sustainable working pace.
- Continuous attention to technical excellence enhances agility.
- Simplicity–the art of maximizing the amount of work not done–is essential.
- The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams.
- Teams should reflect regularly on how to become more effective, then adjust their behavior accordingly.
Although Agile began as an approach to project management focused on software development, it has been adapted to other fields.
For example, when applied to manufacturing, Agile allows companies to respond quickly to consumer demands.
Learn More About Project Management and Engineering Design
Engineering design is a discipline full of interesting stories and bits of information. Below are some previous posts you can read to learn more about this fascinating topic.
- Is project management a good career?
- What is a kaizen event?
- What is the engineering design process?
- Do good design engineers make good project managers?
Darnell Technical Services is an engineering design firm with extensive experience in a vast array of projects. Our headquarters are located in Santa Ana, California, and we have an office in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Contact us today by telephone (714-285-0082 (CA), 702-945-2899 (NV)) or through our social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to learn more about all the technical instruments and materials we put at your disposal.