The rise and rise of the Agile project management methodology
about 2 years ago 1 Comment
One of the key trends in IT project management is the current interest in agile development as an alternative to the traditional 'waterfall' method of project development.
Agile is being adopted for one of the UK government's most critical IT projects called Universal Credit, which is supposed to be delivered by 2013. Given the usual success rate of government IT projects, that's quite a challenge.
So there is a great deal of interest in how 'agile' works and what advantages it offers over the waterfall approach. Put simply, where the waterfall method involves a step-by-step process of requirements definition, refinement, and software engineering, which often takes a long time and it's only at the end of the project that you get the end result, today IT departments in companies are developing systems to a more agile, weekly schedule to deliver a software release, and are meeting every day in a so-called 'scrum' so that everyone knows what to do and they have the information they need to get things done.
This agile model has many benefits: it reduces the long cycle times that create risk and it enables engineers to take advantage of the fact that requirements change quickly. Typically projects fail because they take too long and there are continuous changes in scope. It has been argued that any software project which takes more than two years to ship will be a flop.
Here are a few links that might offer useful background.