agile

You’ve got a vision and lots of ideas on how to make it reality. You quickly conclude that the realization of your vision will include a software development project, so you begin researching project methodology and soon discover the growing popularity of Agile-run projects.

The touted benefits of Agile project methodology are many:

  • Higher Product Quality
  • Higher Customer Satisfaction
  • Increased Project Control
  • Reduced Project Risks
  • Faster Return on Investment

These characteristics are undeniably appealing and may certainly justify Agile over the traditional Waterfall approach to project management. But there are additional factors to consider before settling on the best approach for your upcoming project, and in today’s blog we’ll describe those additional factors.

Becoming Self-Aware

The following factors will ultimately impact any organization’s selection of a project management methodology:

1. Project sponsorship and executive visioning

2. The company’s or Project Management Office’s norms or historical approach towards software development projects

3. External influences and industry trends

Asking the Right Questions

The following questions should be asked when determining which project management methodology to adopt:

1. Is the upcoming project go-live an initial deployment of the application(s)?

Agile projects can often add value more quickly than Waterfall projects. One caveat to this is that the product being implemented needs to be robust enough to be utilized by a certain user group without unnecessarily adding an additional application to complete their job function(s). Furthermore, establishing a prioritized product backlog is essential to achieving success in an Agile project. Generally, the more refined a backlog is, the more effectively and efficiently the functionality can be implemented.

2. Do the project team members have a common understanding of what “Agile” means?

Level-setting what an Agile project entails should occur prior to the start of a project to ensure that all team members understand the project plan, user story lifecycles, and sprint ceremonies (all components of Agile).

3. Is the organization capable of providing the necessary overhead (staff time and resources) to maintain sprint ceremonies?

Agile project management methodology allows projects to pivot their focus, change requirements, and tweak design as the project ensues. However, this autonomy incurs a cost of resource bandwidth that can restrict productivity elsewhere in the organization.

4. Are there multi-layer dependencies or cross-team/cross-departmental dependencies involved?

Additional complexity should be considered as a project risk given the probable impact that inter-departmental coordination is inherently challenging in most organizations.

Once you’ve developed some self-awareness around your organization’s approach to project management and answered some critical questions about the project and your business, you’ve got a direction on what project methodology to leverage in your upcoming project. Your next step is to find a Microsoft Dynamics 365 business partner to help manage your software development project! We can help – learn more about our services here.

Happy Dynamics 365’ing!