Many of us veterans in the project management field have seen, heard, maybe even experimented with radical variations on how things should be done for a successful software development project or COTS implementation project. Some of these new ideas made sense, while others, well, we still aren’t sure what the end result was supposed to achieve. But with agile project management methodologies like Scrum, the benefits of an agile approach clearly align with a basic reality in project management—namely, the need for flexibility.
When I first looked into Scrum training, my initial thought was, “Well, that might be interesting.” Then, to my surprise, I found out my project management “style” was very similar to Scrum. While I appreciated the validation, the next step was to determine how to use it and other agile methodologies to provide clients with faster results to meet their needs.
As any PM will tell you, changing methodologies or adopting to new ones is not easy. Some agile concepts will be foreign to the team and stakeholders. As a result, it is important to keep it simple and use common language as the team learns the new method.
Case in point: At Stonebridge Consulting, our most important goal is to provide the most value to the client as soon as possible, which complements the agile way. Using agile methods to stay lean and flexible allows us to adjust to the changing environment and provide quantifiable results that meet—and typically exceed—client expectations. Take our ENERHUB™ enterprise software solution for well master data management (and more). ENERHUB implementations are broken into phases to accelerate the client’s benefit of the solution via timely releases. This ensures we continually meet client expectations by having the flexibility to adjust quickly to changing client/market demands but always with keeping a watchful eye on the vision and goals of the project.
Is agile project management a trend? No. It is here to stay. It enables organizations to continue to produce results that meet clients’ ever-changing needs. And while not all projects can be agile, you can still use agile concepts to meet the project needs by continually evaluating the client’s requirements, timeline, and expectations, and utilizing the right mix of methodologies to achieve the ultimate goal for that specific project. For example, for most RFPs, RFIs, and your typical software upgrade, it is going to be a traditional approach. However, if the upgrade has additional reports, interfaces or data conversions as part of the project, you could leverage a more agile approach to deliver the functionality.