Innovation Thy name Agile

“If I had asked the public what they wanted, they would have said a faster horse” – Henry Ford

“Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow” – William Pollard.

Whizible Scrum module is an agile framework equipped to address complex adaptive problems in dynamic business environments for delivering products and solutions of the highest possible value.

Customer and competitor led Innovation and continuous improvement in the way of doing business are the critical success factors in the dynamic business environment that we live in today!

The agile methodology of project management scores over the traditional step-by-step waterfall method of managing projects because these dynamic businesses need to redraft their project requirements often as a response to the changes in their competitor’s changed strategies, technological innovations and change customer preferences.

There is a popular belief that agile methodologies can be used in only software development industry. But according to many experts on this subject,

Agile is an attitude, a pattern of thinking and organizing work activities and can be applied to many industries and service businesses, that need to innovate regularly.

If implemented efficiently, agile methods of managing projects can generate many benefits such as

  • Reduction in the conversion time ‘from idea to product’
  • Reduced time and costs to market
  • Preference to the People over processes
  • Reduction in the need for excessive documentation
  • Faster response to change in the business environment
  • Collaboration with customers over rigid contracts
  • Increased team productivity and reduced wastage

Implementing Agile in project enterprise management

Before implementing the agile approach with daily scrum or stand up meetings of project teams and continuous iterations in the project scope and plans, the project team members need to be given proper training on how to handle the daily change.

The agile approach has to come from the top management of the company.

So the entire organization needs proper training on what to expect and how to handle the agile method of software and project management. This is a prerequisite to the success of agile project management.

What led the evolution of agile methodology?

Traditional step-by-step waterfall method of project management has undergone a lot of changes for companies engaged in software development, new product or service design or products with a focus on innovation.

These companies earlier spent a lot of time in doing meticulous project planning and scheduling of all the tasks sequentially. The tasks of resource allocation, assembling project teams and then work on the pre-planned project activities followed.

The two most important processes in the entire project management lifecycle namely – Project Planning and Resource Allocation – took substantial time due to the requirement for approvals at all stages of project creation, by the project managers and customers.

Once the approvals were in place and the project teams got assembled from various functional departments in the company, the development activities began. This process also involved a lot of documentation and any small change in the project scope or requirements, meant a lot of rework resulting in project delays.

The waterfall method is still used widely in software development and project management, when the project requirements are fairly standardized and technologies used are not expected to change frequently, for example – construction, mining or utility industries and Government departments involved in routine activities.

But for industries where there is rapid technological development, cut-throat competition and constant need for innovation are felt by the business leaders, the traditional low risk but rigid approach towards project management becomes ineffective.

Though the iterative and dynamic software development and project management methods evolved 30-35 years ago, the term ‘Agile software development’ was formally used by software developers in the year 2001.

Reality Check: Organizations have a mix of projects that use different methodologies.

A project organization typically works on multiple projects, following different methodologies. These are mix of Waterfall, Agile and several variations thereof.

As a result they face some of the following challenges:

  • A need to use different and unconnected tools for managing different types of projects leading to a plethora of tools that do not talk to each other or do not get used
  • Inability to follow an ‘organization standard’ in the way the projects are executed and monitored
  • Use manual methods, thereby adding overheads and not collecting the vital data

Whizible project enterprise management software allows for defining the process or methodology to be used when creating a project. This facilitates organizations to use a single integrated platform for managing diverse projects regardless of the methodology.

Using Whizible means

  • There is a single view into all the projects being executed in an organization
  • The project management modules connect with other critical elements such as Issues, Time Sheet, Helpdesk Requests leading to comprehensive management of the project enterprise.