Agile Principles and Mindset – Introduction

There has been a continuous discussion ever since Agile methodology was proposed for being it a better approach of software development methodologies. What we shouldn’t forget is that every methodologies that existed or is going to come, has their own merits and demerits.

Limitations of Traditional Project Methodologies (TPM)

  1. These days the project comes with vast, complex requirements with probabilities of vague requirements and very little knowledge of what is being expected at the very beginning.
  2. We have processes that helps to handle such unforeseen circumstances but there should be authority to practice them as well.
  3. It is difficult to change the plan once it is baselined. The customer needs to follow a change control system. The customer happens to pay even for genuine change.
  4. End users see the end product only at the end of the project.
  5. There is huge difference between the expectations of the customer and the end users of the product because of which most of the IT projects face problems in the user acceptance testing phase.
  6. Traditional Project is often isolated from the changing business scenarios. Once initiated, the changes are often very difficult to be inserted by the customer, however genuine the case may be.
  7. Most of the projects are scrapped due to change in technologies and business conditions during the execution stage.
  8. The traditional project tries to define the timeline and cost based on the scope of the project. But as the project progresses, the scope is changed but the timeline is not revised which leads to complications.
  9. Often the customer ends up paying more than what he estimated for the project in the beginning.
  10. As the team is not empowered to take decisions, the execution part is entirely different from the planning(mostly owned by the project manager). Most often, the execution does not happen as per the initial plan.
  11. The customer only sees the interim deliverables during the various phases of the project, which may not reflect the actual final product.

How to overcome the limitations of Traditional Projects?

  1. Involve the end user throughout the life cycle of the project to avoid conflicts at later stages.
  2. Try to produce incremental product at the end of every phase of the project( the concept of phase getting changed).
  3. Deliver important features first.
  4. Customers are given flexibility to add/modify/delete the requirements until the team starts actually working on it.
  5. Customers are given options to prioritize the requirements.
  6. Engage all the stakeholders. (In Traditional Project, generally only the team is involved and engaged).
  7. Get commitment from the team.
  8. Try to plan at multiple levels of the project.
  9. Encourage proactive risk identification.
  10. Allow open and transparent project communications.
  11. Continuously improve product, process, people.

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