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Why do you need agile in project management?

Agile is a philosophy that concentrates on empowered people and their interactions and early and constant delivery of value into an enterprise. Agile has enduring appeal and ‘proved’ itself in software development.

However, although the arguments are compelling, evidence that it is more beneficial than alternative approaches remains largely anecdotal.

What are the benefits of agile working?

Agile could be a project delivery ‘placebo’; working because those involved want it to. 

Agile empowers people; builds accountability, encourages diversity of ideas, allows the early release of benefits, and promotes continuous improvement.

It allows decisions to be tested and rejected early with feedback loops providing benefits that are not as evident in waterfall. 

In addition, it helps deliver change when requirements are uncertain, helps build client and user engagement by focuses on what is most beneficial, changes are incremental improvements which can help support cultural change.  Agile can help with decision making as feedback loops help save money, re-invest and realise quick wins. 

However...

Agile focuses on small incremental changes and the challenge is that the bigger picture can become lost and create uncertainty amongst stakeholders. Building consensus takes time and challenges many norms and expectations.

Resource cost can be higher; co-locating teams or invest in infrastructure for them to work together remotely. The onus can be perceived to shift from the empowered end-user to the empowered project team with a risk that benefits are lost because the project team is focused on the wrong things.

What is agile project management?
Agile Card 2
What are the principles of agile working?

Four principles that highlight the difference between agile and waterfall

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What are agile methods and methodology?

Read more about the methods and principles of agile.

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