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Agile methods

Agile does not prescribe a way of working. Rather it provides a framework which describes a collection of tools, structure, culture and discipline to enable a project or programme to embrace changes in requirements. 

  • Agile methods integrate planning with execution, allowing an organisation to create a working mindset that helps a team respond effectively to these changing requirements.
  • The agile project promotes collaborative working, especially with the customer. This involves the customer being embedded in the team, providing the team with constant and regular feedback on deliverables and functionality of the end product.
  • The best agile approaches are very disciplined and can, and should, be integrated into corporate procedures such as governance.

What are popular agile methods used?

There are several methodologies that can be used to manage an agile project; two of the best known being Scrum and Lean. An agile project's defining characteristic is that it produces and delivers work in short bursts (or Sprints) of anything up to a few weeks. These are repeated to refine the working deliverable until it meets the client's requirements.

Where traditional project management will establish a detailed plan and detailed requirements at the start then attempt to follow the plan, agile starts work with a rough idea of what is required and by delivering something in a short period of time, clarifies the requirements as the project progresses.

These frequent iterative processes are a core characteristic of an agile project and, because of this way of working, collaborative relationships are established between stakeholders and the team members delivering the work.

Learn more

What are the principles of agile working?

These four principles highlight the difference between agile and waterfall (or more traditional) approaches... Read more.

Agile project management glossary

Do you know your Scrum from your Sprint? Read our handy glossary of popular agile terminology to find out what they mean

Agile glossary

Why do you need agile in project management?

Agile approaches empower those involved; build accountability; encourage diversity of ideas; allowing the early release of benefits; and promotion of continuous improvement... Read more.

Difference between agile and waterfall approaches to project management

Agile and waterfall approaches to project management exist on a continuum of techniques that should be adopted as appropriate to the goals of the project and the organisational culture of the delivery environment. Read more about the pros and cons of the two approaches. Read more

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