Introduction of Agile Methodologies
A project management methodology is a system of principles, techniques, and procedures used by people working in the same discipline. The main methodologies differ not only in the way they are structured, but also in the nature of the deliverables, the workflows, and even the project management software.
The agile methodology is one of the most common project management processes. But the truth is that technically it is not a methodology, but is better defined as a principle of project management.
The Scrum methodology is based on short "sprints" that are used to create a project cycle. These cycles last from one to two weeks and are organized with teams of up to 10 people. This approach is different from the waterfall model, where individual tasks are divided and related by dependencies.
- Apply good collaborative work practices.
- Iterative and incremental life cycle.
- Regular and partial deliveries.
- Ideal for complex projects.
- Periodic correction of errors.
- Periodic meetings to promote communication and transparency of the process, which allows for reviews.
- The requirements and solutions evolve and adapt to the needs that arise.
- Facilitates optimal solutions to risks or problems that may arise during product development.
- Emphasizes teamwork.
- It only works with small teams that have specific objectives.
- It implies a clear division of labor for each stage of the project and a list of tasks with specific definitions.
- The members of the Scrum team must have a high qualification and/or training.
The Kanban methodology is a project management system that uses a visual board to organize tasks. It is based on the idea that the work of a team is a flow of tasks that must be completed in a certain order. The Kanban board is a tool that allows you to visualize the work in progress and the tasks that are pending.
This process also requires real-time communication from team members and is based on classifying tasks into sub-status, in order to determine productivity levels in each phase of the process.
- Planning and control of tasks.
- Transparency, since everyone knows their task and where they are in the cycle.
- High performance of the work team.
- More visual metrics thanks to the use of cards.
- It provides great flexibility, since it allows responsiveness to unforeseen tasks thanks to their planning and monitoring.
- Continuous delivery and less bottleneck.
Lean aims to streamline processes and create a simple framework to meet project needs. Ultimately, it means achieving more with less effort to maximize efficiency and teamwork.
While waste elimination originally referred to materials and products (dating back to the method used by Henry Ford and later by Toyota and Motorola), it now refers to waste in work processes. This type of waste is known in the Lean method as the three Ms:
- Muda (waste): practices that consume resources but do not add any value.
- Mura (discrepancy): arises because of overproduction and leaves residues.
- Muri (overload): is the result of excessive pressure on the team.
Since this methodology is based on reducing waste, it is best suited for teams facing efficiency issues. While it has a bigger impact on large companies, it can be useful for project teams of all sizes.
Which one to use for your team?
The most important aspects to consider are: the size of your team and how they want to work. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind:
- Your sector: You should consider if you work in a sector that changes frequently. For example, a technology company is a constantly evolving industry. This will influence the consistency of the project and it should be analyzed if it is combined with a flexible or a static methodology.
- The focus of your project: Keep in mind the objectives of your projects. Do you value people over efficiency? This will help you adopt a methodology that matches a similar goal.
- The complexity of projects: Are your projects usually simple or complex? Some methods are not as effective as others when it comes to organizing complex tasks, such as the critical chain project management methodology.
- The degree of specialization of the roles: Consider the function that each role fulfills in your team. Is it possible for several team members to alternately perform the same type of task or do you need to implement a methodology that takes into account the level of specialization of each employee?
- The size of the company: It is important to take into account the size of the company and the team when choosing a methodology. Methods like Kanban are ideal for teams of all sizes, while options like CPM are better suited for small teams.