Agile methodologies in_project_management


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In today's unpredictable markets, companies are feeling the squeeze to achieve more with fewer resources in shorter periods of time. In addition to controlling operational costs, IT is looking to increase the value of information to make the business more profitable. So, necessity to complete and develop projects with changeable requirement ,short period of time ,easily to manage risk , adaptability to changing market requirements has become undeniable main principles for each organization ‘s approach .While traditional methodologies or heavy weight with huge bulk of documentation and long term for planning and designing significantly affects the speed of developing process and customer satisfaction. Hence, using innovative methods for building project are important matter which has introduced in the recent years. Light weight methodologies evolve to meet changing technologies and new demands from users in dynamic business environment.
As a result, agile methodologies and practices emerged as an explicit attempt to more formally embrace higher rates of requirements change.
Agile development methodologies claim to go a step further in overcoming the limitations of traditional one and coping with high speed and high changes on relationships with customers and responsiveness to changes of business processes.
This paper is an evaluation of the agile development methodologies. Furthermore, it includes a discussion about the critical success factors of the agile methodologies, reasons for its failure. A case-study gives a real-world success story.

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Agile methodologies in_project_management

  1. 1. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Agile Methodologies in Project Management “Operations keeps the lights on, strategy provides a light at the end of the tunnel, but project management is the train engine that moves the organization forward.” -Joy Gumz Abstract In today's unpredictable markets, companies are feeling the squeeze to achieve more with fewer resources in shorter periods of time. In addition to controlling operational costs, IT is looking to increase the value of information to make the business more profitable. So, necessity to complete and develop projects with changeable requirement ,short period of time ,easily to manage risk , adaptability to changing market requirements has become undeniable main principles for each organization ‘s approach .While traditional methodologies or heavy weight with huge bulk of documentation and long term for planning and designing significantly affects the speed of developing process and customer satisfaction. Hence, using innovative methods for building project are important matter which has introduced in the recent years. Light weight methodologies evolve to meet changing technologies and new demands from users in dynamic business environment. As a result, agile methodologies and practices emerged as an explicit attempt to more formally embrace higher rates of requirements change. Agile development methodologies claim to go a step further in overcoming the limitations of traditional one and coping with high speed and high changes on relationships with customers and responsiveness to changes of business processes. This paper is an evaluation of the agile development methodologies. Furthermore, it includes a discussion about the critical success factors of the agile methodologies, reasons for its failure.A case-study gives a real-world success story. Pravin K. Asar Page 1
  2. 2. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Introduction A project is conventionally defined as a “temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product or service” (Project Management Institute 2008). Alternatively, a project can be thought of as a well-defined set of tasks that must all be completed in order to meet the project's goals (Klastorin 2003). In a typical project, many tasks are performed concurrently with each other. Another key feature of projects is the existence of precedence relations between the tasks. These relations typically define constraints that require one task to be completed before another starts. The use of project management as a business process to deliver products and services goes back a long time. Indeed, the building of the Egyptian pyramids is believed by many to have been assisted by the use of simple project management principles. For much of the history of project management, the predominant application type was engineering and construction projects - for example, roads, bridges and skyscrapers. Another impressive achievement is the organization of the Olympic Games using project management. This is an example of an event project, where the project deadline is fixed and project deliverables cannot be violated. In today’s highly competitive and global business environment, businesses take up projects to gain and retain competitive edge wherein project deliverables and schedules cannot be well defined. This is mainly cause of changes in the business environments (most external factors) and sometimes the internal factors to gain/retain competitive edge in a constantly changing global marketplace. Figure 1 below summarizes the Porter’s Wheel of Competitive Strategy formulation (Porter, 1998) Figure 1: Porter’s Wheel of Competitive Strategy formulation (Reference: Porter, Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors ) Pravin K. Asar Page 2
  3. 3. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT In today’s high-tech world, Business relies heavily on IT and Software as a strategic tool for success and survival. As a result many IT and Software projects are undertaken. “Today IT is a major financial, operational, and organizational component of any strategy”- Mische (2001) Most of the IT projects succeed but many fail. Therapid information technology change is not always a root cause the failure. The history of failure of information systems development is well recorded. Literally billions of dollars have been wasted on such projects that failed to deliver the intended deliverables. Primary cause of failure is not always the failure to deliver the project deliverables, but the deliverables do not meet the current needs of business. This is mainly cause of changes in the business environments (most external factors) and sometimes the internal factors to gain/retain competitive edge in a constantly changing global marketplace. Why projects fail and how to align the project deliverables with ever changing goals of business? This is a challenge all stakeholders and project manager face today. Compared to many business processes, project management appears to be particularly difficult, from both theoretical and practical perspectives. From a theoretical perspective, the fundamental planning problem of resource constrained scheduling is highly intractable. From a practical perspective, the two standard objectives in project management are defined to be completion of the project on time and on budget. Many projects fail to meet these two criteria, despite detailed planning and the use of modern project management methods and tools, as most the times it difficult to define the exact requirements, inaccurate estimates, lack of appropriate resources, etc. Further as mentioned earlier, the failure rate of projects is higher in modern business process management application projects than in traditional projects, due to less reliable data and the more challenging characteristics such as changes in the core technologies, customer’s expectations, business practices, regulatory laws and competition. Indeed, it can be said that, despite its recent massive growth in use of IT and Software tools for business process management, is a difficult to manage business process. “The difference between failure and success is the difference between doing something almost right and doing something right.” - Benjamin Franklin Pravin K. Asar Page 3
  4. 4. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Five key concepts for effective project management stated by Benjamin Franklin (Phillips, 2006)are: Deliver: Ideas are great but delivery is what projects are all about. Manage Bureaucracy: Understand and, if possible, change the rules of your environment. They determine the realm of potential outcomes and even likely outcomes of your tasks and projects – even before you start planning. Solve Easy Problems: Great results can happen in changing things that look small and easy. Ask for Favors: People overestimate the value of things they do for other people and therefore feel superior and kinder towards people they’ve helped. Do People Favors: Favors have a psychological effect on people and can build powerful bonds that go beyond the politics of a project. So what the business could to do something exactly right in the uncertain and ever changing world? Does the answer lies in business agility? Agility is a concept that incorporates the ideas of flexibility, balance, adaptability, and coordination under one umbrella. In a business context, agility typically refers to the ability of an organization to rapidly adapt to market and environmental changes in productive and cost-effective ways. Business agility can be defined as the ability of a business to adapt rapidly and cost efficiently in response to changes in the business environment. Business agility can be maintained by maintaining and adapting goods and services to meet customer demands, adjusting to the changes in a business environment and taking advantage of human resources. PMBOK, SWEBOK and Evolution of Agile Project Management According to the PMI, effective project management requires that the project teams be versed in five areas of knowledge including; 1. Project management knowledge, consisting of the project life cycle, project management process groups that cover processes for project initiation, planning, executing, monitoring and control, and closing, and the nine knowledge areas covering project integration, project scope, project time, project cost, project quality, project human resource, project communication, project risk, and project procurement. Pravin K. Asar Page 4
  5. 5. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT 2. Application area knowledge, standards andregulations, where application areas provide groups of projects that share important elements with the project 3. Project environment, or the cultural, political, and physical environments in which the projects are planned and implemented 4. General management knowledge and skills as a base for building project management skills 5. Interpersonal skills particularly in relation to effective communication, leadership, motivation, influence, negotiation and conflict management, and problem solving. Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK, 2004), provides a good framework to software professionals to develop theknowledge to be used for software development projects. Waterfall model and its derivatives such as V-Shaped Model, W-Shaped Model of software development in the early years (from 1970s until 1990s) was very rigor, mostly adapted from traditional project management philosophy, not flexible enough to accept the changes, and the methods used were very formal so it clearly presented that software development had been become a very complicated process (Boehm, 2002). At the same time the developers and customers have expected different criteria for a particular IT and Software projects. Customers have expected software projects should return high and fast profit with less effort (and hence less cost).The software developers are usually looking for a successful achievement of larger number of projects in a shorter time which meets an acceptable ROI. Besides, all businesses become more and more dependent on IT(i.e. business pull against IT push) and IT/Softwaredevelopment and deployment methodologies must align to business strategies. Because of high competition that business faces with it, software customer’s needs change over the time and it requires a change in the functionality and features of the software systems in use. In short business drives IT for innovation, so in turn IT can steer business success. No doubt PMBOK guide is a good framework and de facto standard but it is highly process oriented approach. Traditional project management is mostly about meeting schedule and cost, with not too much emphasis on meeting the desired outcome because of changing environment (such requirements, baseline core technologies, changes in the business processes, etc.). These are main reasons that made software developersto think of agility concepts. Agile development process (lightweight methodologies) developed in the mid1990s and bloomed under a non-profit organization the ‘Agile Alliance’ which was formed in 2001. Agile Principles (Agile Manifesto, 2012) are: Pravin K. Asar Page 5
  6. 6. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Table 1: Twelve Agile Principles as stated by Agile Manifesto Twelve Agile Principles as stated by Agile Manifesto 1. Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software. 2. Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer's competitive advantage. 3. Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale. 4. Business people and developers must work together daily throughout the project. 5. Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the environment and support they need, and trust them to get the job done. 6. The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation. 7. Working software is the primary measure of progress. 8. Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely. 9. Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility. 10. Simplicity--the art of maximizing the amount of work not done--is essential. 11. The best architectures, requirements, and designs emerge from self-organizing teams. 12. At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly. Agile and adaptive approaches for linking people, projects and value(Declaration of Interdependence, 2012) are: Pravin K. Asar Page 6
  7. 7. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Table 2: Declaration of Interdependence Declaration of Interdependence We are a community of project leaders that are highly successful at delivering results. To achieve these results: We increase return on investment by making continuous flow of value our focus. We deliver reliable results by engaging customers in frequent interactions and shared ownership. We expect uncertainty and manage for it through iterations, anticipation, and adaptation. We unleash creativity and innovation by recognizing that individuals are the ultimate source of value, and creating an environment where they can make a difference. We boost performance through group accountability for results and shared responsibility for team effectiveness. We improve effectiveness and reliability through situational specific strategies, processes and practices. Traditional Iron triangle, depicted in Figure 2, of project management consists of scope, schedule and cost. In many cases, when scope changes (because of a reason such as scope creep, false assumptions, etc.), schedule and cost varies; although project managers attempts to lock down all three dimensions. Agile methods are all about providing the maximum possible value and quality within the constraints (scope, schedule and cost) of the project. Constraints are still the important project parameters, but they not as much as the project’s ultimate goals or measure of project’s success. Value is the primary goal and constraints may need to be adjusted as the project moves forward to increase customer value. Pravin K. Asar Page 7
  8. 8. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Figure 2: The Evolution to an Agile Triangle Source: Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products, 2nd Edition, Jim Highsmith, Addison-Wesley (2009) The desired outcome is mostly achieved by Iterative project lifecycle model. Figure 4 and 5 below compare the traditional and agile/iterative project lifecycle models. Figure 3: Traditional Project Lifecycle Model Figure 4: Iterative/Agile Project Lifecycle Model To achieve the Value, Quality and Constraints goals, Agile Project Management processes must be established. Agile processes include three major attributes, they are: Incremental and Evolutionary: allowing adaptation to both internal and external events. Modular and Lean: allowing components of the process to come and go depending on specific needs if the participants and stake-holders. Pravin K. Asar Page 8
  9. 9. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Time Based: built on iterative and concurrent work cycles, which contain feedback loops and progress checkpoints. To better adapt the changes within a project, a sound risk management (identification and mitigation) is must. The primary reasons for software project failure is changes in the requirements, rapid evolution of new-technologies (most of the time unproven) coupled with product engineering and people issues. In reference to the software project attributes, as defined by Software Engineering Institute (SEI, Taxonomy-Based Risk Identification,2012), let us discuss Agile Project Methods. Figure 1 describes how therisk attributes, as detailed in Table 1, are related tothe success of the software project. Figure 3: Interrelation between Project Management Activities and RBS (Source: Agile Project Management Methods for IT Projects, Alleman, 2002) Pravin K. Asar Page 9
  10. 10. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Table 3: Risk Breakdown Structure (RBS) for Software Development Projects PRODUCT ENGINEERING DEVELOPMENTENVIRONMENT WORK ENVIRONMENT 1. Requirements Stability Completeness Clarity Validity Feasibility Precedent (business rules) Scale 1. Development Process Formality Suitability Process Control Familiarity Product Control 1. Resources Schedule Staff Budget Facilities 2. Design Functionality Difficulty Interfaces Performance Testability Hardware Constraints Non-Developmental Software 3. Code and Unit Test Feasibility Testing Coding Implementation 4. Integration and Test Environment Product System 5. Engineering Specialties Maintainability Reliability Safety Security Human Factors Specifications Pravin K. Asar 2. Development System Capacity Suitability Usability Familiarity Reliability System Support Deliverability 3. Management Process Planning Project Organization Management Experience Program Interfaces 2. Contract Type of Contract Restrictions Dependencies 3. Program Interfaces Customer Associate Contractors Subcontractors Prime Contractor Corporate Management Vendors Politics 4. Management Methods Monitoring Personnel Management Quality Assurance Configuration Management 5. Quality Environment Quality Attitude Cooperation Communication Morale Page 10
  11. 11. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT By the virtue of domain knowledge gained over the period of time, software engineering has matured and can be adapted to develop solutions for almost types of businesses and large spectrum of project sizes.With the focus on the communication and people–centric aspects of project management, along with the product engineering aspects, chances of success greatly increase. The agile approach brings in a these concepts to the table. Agile approach is very focused on people, interactive, communication between project team and customers, pair programming of software development, prototype enhancement, less documentation and welcoming to suitable system change requirements. In this approach, the software system is implemented through several iterations and each iteration or cycle adds some value to its final outcome or product. Each cycle consists of the same activities such as requirement gathering, analyzing the system design and development, testing and managing to collect feedback from the customers’ side satisfaction. In this way, customers will be able to view the features of the system or software at any time instead of waiting for it until the final product is released by the development team. This helps the project team to cope up with the primary risk factors; high number of user requirement and frequent changes to technology; without having to worry about meeting a great cost at a later stage. Qumer and Henderson-Sellers (2008) summarize the agile software development approach as: “A software development method is said to be an agile software development method when a method is people focused, communications-oriented, flexible(ready to adapt to expected or unexpected change at any time), speedy (encourages rapid and iterative development of the product in small releases), lean (focuses on shortening timeframe and cost and on improved quality), responsive(reacts appropriately to expected and unexpected changes), and learning (focuses on improvement during and after product development)”. The authors also believe that the agile method means “Deliver quickly, Change quickly, Change often”. Pravin K. Asar Page 11
  12. 12. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Highsmith& Cockburn (2001) and Abrahamsson (2002) have identified agile methods. 1. Adaptive Software Development 2. Dynamic Systems Development method 3. Crystal methods 4. Rational Unified Process 5. Extreme Programming 6. Scrum 7. Pragmatic Programming 8. Internet Speed Development 9. Agile Modeling 10. Feature Driven Development 11. Open Source Software Development 12. Lean Development The five agile methods which are more popular in software industry are summarized in Table 4 using three selected aspects: key points, special features and identified weakness. Key points detail the methods, principles, aspects or solution. Special feature describes one or several aspects of the methods that differentiate them from others. Finally, identified weakness relate to some aspects of a method that have been documented. Pravin K. Asar Page 12
  13. 13. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Table 4: General Features and Comparison of Agile Software Methodologies Method Key Points Special features Identifiedweakness Adaptive Software Development (ASD) Adaptive culture, collaboration, mission-driven componentbased iterative development Organizations are seen as adaptive systems. Creating anemergent order out of aweb of interconnected individuals ASD is more about conceptsand culture than the software Practice Dynamic Systems Development Methods (DSDM) Applicationof controls toRAD, use oftimeboxing and empowered DSDMteams. First truly agile software development method,use of prototyping, several user roles : “ambassador”, “visionary” and “advisor” While the method is available, onlyconsortiummembers have accesstowhite papers dealingwith the actual use of the method Extreme Programming (XP) Customer driven development, small teams, daily builds Refactoring- the ongoing redesign of the systemto improve its performance and responsiveness too change While individual practices are suitable for many situations, overall view & management practices are given less attention SCRUM Independen t, small,selfOrganizing developme nt teams, 30-day release cycle Five-step process, objectorientedcompo nents(feature based development). Enforce a paradigm shiftfrom the “defined and repeatable” to the “new product development view of Scrum” While Scrum details inspecific howto manage the30-day release cycle, the integrationand acceptancetests are not detailed Method simplicity, design and implement thesystem by features, object modeling FDD focuses only on design and implementation. Needs other supporting approaches. Feature Driven Development (FDD) Pravin K. Asar Page 13
  14. 14. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Different methods represent different ways of implementing agile projects, but all are similar in implementing agile principles and roles. Agile methods were designed to expect and plan for requirements change, which reduces scheduling, cost and other project failure risks associated with plan-driven methods. Main characteristics of any agile methodologies (Awad, 2005) can be summarized as: People Oriented- Agile methodologies consider people – customers, developers, stakeholders, and end users Adaptive – The participants in an agile process are not afraid of change. Agilest welcome changes at all stages of the project. Conformance to Actual – Each iteration or development cycle adds business value to the ongoing product. Balancing Flexibility and Planning – For agile design is that designers need to think about how they can avoid irreversibility in their decisions. Rather than trying to get the right decision now, look for a way to either put off the decision until later or make the decision in such a way that you will be able to reverse it later on without too much difficulty. Empirical Process – Agile methods develop software as an empirical (or nonlinear) process. Decentralized Approach – Agile software development spreads out the decision making to the developers. Simplicity – Agile teams always take the simplest path that is consistent with their goals. The reason for simplicity is so that it will be easy to change the design if needed on a later date. Collaboration – Agile methods involve customer feedback on a regular and frequent basis. As well, constant collaboration between agile team members is essential. Small Self-organizing teams – An agile team is a self-organizing team. Responsibilities are communicated to the team as a whole, and the team determines the best way to fulfill them Several studies have shown that most of the software projects that have used agile have met success with very little delay, failure, rejection, or ongoing expensive maintenance (Chow and Cao, 2008). The use of agile on the industry depends on the type of project(Hansson, 2006), project’s requirement, and also depends on the characteristics of the company/business itself. Pravin K. Asar Page 14
  15. 15. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Success Factors for Agile Methodology The agile methodology yields wonderful results that change the overall view of the software development process. Chow and Cao (2008) studied the success factors that affect theagile methods and may lead agile software development houses to be successful.Most of the factors are a result of experiences provided from previous projects. Obviously software projects are not just a technical concern; many other subjects should come into the picture such as the organizational, business scope, management, people and so on. Also the attributes of the quality, cost, time and scope of project we considered, as these the most effective attributes that can lead us to the success or failure of implementing agile methodology. Their study builds on a web-based survey of more than 100 companies that use agile methods in 25 countries around the world. The focus was on the outcomes of good implementation which granted of agile methods, where software project was rejected, failed, overrun or delayed. This is actually what agile is intend to solve. They concluded that most success factors can be grouping into five main categories namely People, Organization, Project, Process and Technical factors as summarized in Table 5. Pravin K. Asar Page 15
  16. 16. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Table 5: Agile Critical Success Factors(Chow and Cao, 2008) Category Factor Breakdown Organizational Strong executive support Committed sponsor or manager Cooperative organizational culture (instead of hierarchal) Oral culture placing high value on face-to-face communication Organizations where agile methodology is universally accepted Reward system appropriate for agile Facility with proper agile-style work environment Collocation of the whole team People (Employee & Customer) Team members with high competence and expertise Team members with great motivation Managers knowledgeable in agile process Managers who have light-touch or adaptive management style Coherent, self-organizing teamwork Good customer relationship Process Following agile-oriented requirement management process Following agile-oriented project management process Following agile-oriented configuration management process Strong communication focus with daily face-to-face meetings Honoring regular working schedule – no overtime Strong customer commitment and presence Customer having full authority Technical Well-defined coding standards up front Pursuing simple design Rigorous refactoring activities Right amount of documentation Regular delivery of software Delivering most important features first Correct integration testing Appropriate technical training to team Project Project nature being non-life-critical Project type being of variable scope with emergent requirement Projects with dynamic, accelerated schedule Projects with small team Projects with no multiple independent teams Projects with up-front cost evaluation done Projects with up-front risk analysis done Pravin K. Asar Page 16
  17. 17. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT As we see in Table 5each category represents one point of view. Let us discuss these in detail. Organization Factors Agile is a cultural issue. One of the main challenges most organization face is creating the agile culture. This means that the nature of organization is very important here. For example, agile is not appropriate in bureaucratic organizations. This meant that a dynamic and fast changing organization will find agile methods very suitable for it. Agile is more attitude than process. Emphasis is on team building high performance team to get the desired results. Organization factors can be broken down as: Teams' Distribution: One of the main aims of any organization is to maximize utilization of their employee. To accomplish this task manager must have appropriate skills to but the right employee his right place. Commitment: The organization must deliver the final product on time without any delay. This requires that organization must bring an initial version early which allows the organization to get feedback early from the customer. Creating Collaborative Culture: One of the main tasks of any organization follows agile methodologies in its process of development is to create an excellent collaborative culture. This requires that the organization has to follow some procedures while accomplishing its task. To complete this task the characteristics of employees play an important role. People (Employee and Customer) Factor Employee Factor The success of a software development project is often related to people factors. In agile methodologies, software is done "of the people, by the people, and for the people". Organization of people, their interaction, and task reception is critical in agile methodologies. Authors think that organization of people and their interaction is the main factor for the success or failure of agile methodologies. In normal situation agile teams are small (no longer than 10 people). In agile methodologies the center of attention of the team is shifts from the tools and technology to people interaction and collaboration concerning project. Pravin K. Asar Page 17
  18. 18. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Employee Characteristics and Culture: The culture of employees and their personal characteristics are an important role in creating a collaborative environment. It is known that the nature of persons is difficult to change. If the organization has a lot of employees who are not collaborative in their natures or they tend to perform their tasks individually as they are selfish or don't like others to share them their success. Organization must follow a policy which excludes those employees and replaces them with others who like working as a team. Employee Competence: Working as a team doesn't mean omitting competence. The organization policy must encourage positive competence between employees. As an example organization intensives can be done according to the degree of collaboration. When the level of collaboration and communication between employees increases the intensives will increase. In summary If the people on the project are good enough, its means that any process will be accomplished on time. If they are not good enough, no process will repair their inadequacy. Training: When a new member joins the employees' team he has to work with different partners in different locations or positions according to his qualifications. This will give an idea about how work is done and enhance their experience. It must be noted here that agile methodologies in it nature represent a continuous training for all employees since their partners are always changed which means you have the opportunity to learn from another partner. Communication between Employees: No doubt that if employees deal with each other without any reservations relating to exchanging their knowledge this will be reflected on the productivity of the organization. Customer Factor One of the main success factors of agile methodologies is customer collaboration. Author's opinion here is that customer collaboration and high skilled agile team equal working software. The idea here is if you want to conduct customer satisfaction you have to work with educated customer who knows exactly what he want. This required that the customers are available with the software development team. Also the customers must consider themselves a responsible element in the project that can cause success or failure. Customer Education: Authors mean by customer education that the person or the group of people who will deal with the organization team members who are working on producing the customer product - must have an acceptable level of education which enables them to explain their requirements and needs in a clear form. It’s highly recommended (if Pravin K. Asar Page 18
  19. 19. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT possible) those people have an information technology background or have the necessary basic information about information technology (IT). Knowledge of the Problem: People who are selected to work with organization team members must know exactly what the problem in their organization is. Their clear knowledge of the problem can shorten the development time in producing the product. Knowledge about Constraints and Limitations: Information Technology specialist known that there is always constraints and limitation for every product. Author's recommended that the person or group of people who will deal with organization team members has some basic knowledge about constraints in hardware and software world. This will help producers to justify their selection of any specific hardware or software. Experience in Business Domain: According to the authors they recommend that customers should have basic knowledge about business domain. This knowledge makes them realistic to identify their requirements specifically which help to deal easily. Process Factors Project management process (Planning, Execution, Control, Monitor and Closing) Planning is a psychological methodology of thinking about the tasks required to create a desired goal. Planning is the main factor of success for any project. Also it includes scheduling, identifying team members and leaders. Planning must be prepared after careful and extensive research. Execution: The execution process should be realistic and specific for a project domain. Careful consideration and balance is needed, to yield desired results with lots of rework, building on the success /completion of dependent milestones. Control means using devices or a group of devices to manage, direct or regulate the behavior of overall system. The function of control is finding the errors and correcting them. Monitor means setting standards, measuring actual performance and taking corrective action. Monitoring means using a collection of information as a project progresses. The main aim of monitoring is to improve efficiency and effectiveness of a project. Monitoring based on targets and activities planned during the planning Pravin K. Asar Page 19
  20. 20. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT phase. Monitoring allows managers to keep track on progresses and provide a useful base for evaluation. Adapt and Close: Agile methods believe in phased and incremental delivery. So before closing each phase of development, review (accomplishments, shortcomings, lessons learned) is recommended. This provides an invaluable feedback to all (customer, stakeholders and team), and generally used for planning the next phase of project deliverables (and also deciding the strategy to tackle technical debut; a shortcoming and incomplete tasks for earlier phases). Technical factors Technical factors focus on the technical and procedural issues of the development process (for instance: software design, coding, testing etc.). By implementing agility, the developments team will not lose time and effort to produce a complex design. They put what is necessary from the requirements into their software in a simple form. Furthermore, more standardized structures will apply on the development process such as code standards and quality standards. However, the technical issue will focus more on the delivery strategies of the final product (Chow and Cao, 2008). Project Factors Project’s factors take us back to the environmental and the management viewpoints. The nature (project domain) and size of the work (project scope) is very important and it will affect the whole development process. It also includes the team response for the requirement changes factor and the culture of working in small teams. Project factors are strongly interrelated with other factors such as the organizational factors and people factors. That means project should Support an envision, explore, adapt culture Support self-organizing, self-disciplined teams Promote reliability and consistency to the extent possible given thelevel of project uncertainty Be flexible and easy to adapt Support visibility into the process Pravin K. Asar Page 20
  21. 21. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Incorporate learning Incorporate practices that support each project phase Provide management checkpoints for review Based on this discussion, we can say, most of these factors are interrelated to each other. For instance, the organizational factor, for example, affects the people and the project factors directly. Moreover, the improvement of the project needs improvement in the people (customer and employee) and organization. In a contrary manner, these factors are depending on the type of project, nature of business, organization structure and collaborative culture. Figure 6 attempts to represent the interplay of these factors. This is essentially a framework for successful agile method. Figure 4: Theoretical Framework for Successful Agile Method Pravin K. Asar Page 21
  22. 22. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Following the agile methods does not assure success all the time. Turk and Rump (2002), have documented the some of the limitations of agile methods. 1. Lack of structure and necessary documentation Many agile methods are highly prescriptive of essential practices and have structure, though much of it is informal. Define necessary. Much documentation required by plan-driven methods is not used and/or hopelessly out of date. Agility focuses on producing those deliverables that are actually needed. 2. Only works with senior-level developers Works best with developers who can work independently (or in pairs). A mix of senior/junior developers works just fine. 3. Incorporates insufficient software design Incremental design with aggressive refactoring can lead to better design because much of the design is done with better understanding of the application. A valid criticism might be that agile implementers may be afraid to do any design up front for fear of not being "agile" -- none of the methodologists would recommend entirely skipping up front design. 4. Requires too much cultural change to adopt Can be valid, but in my opinion it is worth it 5. Can lead to more difficult contractual negotiations Definitely. This should change as more agile successes are achieved. 6. Can be very inefficient: If the requirements for one area of code change through various iterations, the same programming may need to be done several times over. If a plan were in place to follow, a single area of code is expected to be written once. Only if the plan is rigidly adhered to at the expense of actual desired behavior, otherwise you have the same problem. If changes do occur, agile methods handle this better than plan-driven methods. 7. Impossible to develop realistic estimates of work effort needed to provide a quote, because at the beginning of the project no one knows the entire scope/requirements. Most agile methods give you good tools to understand your velocity. Planning is hard for all methods. This is not unique to agile methods. Pravin K. Asar Page 22
  23. 23. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Agile methods, by putting software in the customer's hands early discover the real requirements faster than rigorous, up-front planning because the customer doesn't know what he really wants until he sees it. 8. Can increase the risk of scope creep due to the lack of detailed requirements documentation. Agile takes a completely different perspective to this. It focuses on scope/time trade-offs rather than limiting scope to keep fixed time. Customers get to make choices about the scope/time trade-off in Agile, so they are in complete control of scope. 9. Agile is feature driven, non-functional quality attributes are hard to be placed as user stories. You can use whatever method you want to track quality attributes, including traditional methods from plan-driven practices if you want. Case Study: Microsoft’s TeamArch (West et al, 2009) Microsoft’s TeamArch, which is responsible for the Visual Studio Team System 2010 Architect product, faced multiple challenges that interfered with its ability to rapidly deliver a plug-in tool with the right capabilities. Some of the challenges included fuzzy requirements, a large development organization, and widely varied target customers. Consequently, the team responds those challenges by transforming the method it worked, also introducing tighter customer relationships, plus agile development practices, and more-transparent stakeholder communication. These changes, coupled with focus on delivery, enabled the team to challenge the status quo, delivering faster and with higher quality. In addition, the team’s practices have relevance in other technology contexts, and many application development professionals can apply the lessons Microsoft learned (West, 2009). Subsequently by adopting Agile practices team focused on delivering features and managing quality furthermore, particularly attention on understanding project’s scope and mitigate risk .In that the team include the customer review rather than a group of representative users which again is another advantage side of agile methodologies that provide rapid validated customer feedback. Pravin K. Asar Page 23
  24. 24. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Accordingly, introducing an agile development process revamps the Microsoft’s TeamArch‘s experience of development process in term of what customer tries to achieve and solutions which team delivers. In brief, productivity of team has improved, the quality of applications was better and eventually better business satisfaction with the software have been experienced by Microsoft‘s TeamArch team. Scalability of Agile Methodologies Can agile principles and methods be combined with conventional project management framework to deliver the products and services other than just software? Agile Methodology principles include valuing individuals and interactions over processes and tools, working software over comprehensive documentation, customer collaboration over contract negotiation, and responding to change over following a plan. These principles are widely applicable to other domains. Agile project planning is especially useful for nondeterministic projects, i.e. those where the final configuration of the product or service being developed is not known at the start of the execution stage and only reveals itself as a result of subsequent developments. Examples of nondeterministic projects include NASA’s space program, research and development, software development, and pharmaceutical drug development. There are many well documented success stories for agile methodology in projects involving small project teams ( 2012). However, the implementation of agile methods for large projects is more problematic. A generic idea, forming teams of teams, has been tested but not extensively researched. An important issue, therefore, is to what extent it is possible to model and evaluate the scalability of agile project management methodology to traditional (heavyweight) methodology. Such models would necessarily include both economic and behavioral components, because of the importance that agile methodology places on interactions and communications. An interesting potential extension would be to develop a model that could be used, for a given project management application, to inform a choice between traditional project management and agile methodology (Awad, 2005). The dynamic, synergistic aspects of agile methodology would need to be included in such a model. The key differences and discriminators in agile and heavyweight methods are summarized in Table 6 and 7. Pravin K. Asar Page 24
  25. 25. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Table 6 : Difference in Agile and Heavyweight Methodologies (Awad,2005) Approach Success Measurement Project size Management Style Perspective to Change Agile Adaptive Business Value Small Decentralized Change Adaptability Heavy Predictive Conformation to plan Large Autocratic Change Sustainability Culture Documentation Emphasis Cycles Domain Leadership-Collaboration Low People-Oriented Numerous Unpredictable/Exploratory Command-Control Heavy Process-Oriented Limited Predictable Upfront Planning Return on Investment Minimal Early in Project Comprehensive End of Project Team Size Small/Creative Large Table 7: Agile and Heavyweight Discriminators (Awad, 2005) Project Characteristics Agile discriminator Heavyweight Discriminator Primary objective Requirements Rapid Value Largely emergent, rapid change, unknown Smaller teams and projects Designed for current requirements Internalized plans, qualitative control Dedicated, knowledgeable, collaborated, collocated onsite customers Agile, knowledgeable, collocated, and collaborative High Assurance Knowable early, largely stable Larger teams and projects Designed for current and foreseeable requirements Documented plans, quantitative control As needed customer interactions, focused on contract provisions Plan-oriented; adequate skills access to external knowledge Expensive Well understood risks, Minor impact Size Architecture Planning and Control Customers Developers Refactoring Risks Pravin K. Asar Inexpensive Unknown risks, Major Impact Page 25
  26. 26. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Agile Practitioner’s Opinions and Experience “At a certain point, waterfall project development models force us to stop becoming smarter” - JesperRonn-Jensen (Capgemini Ruby on Rails pioneer) “Agility is not an intrinsic property of software or methodology and cannot be supplied through these. Only agile-thinking management and employees will make a business more agile.” - Max Pucher(, 2007, Why SOA does not deliver) “While it appears that there have been many software development project successes based on agile processes, so far most of these success stories are only anecdotal. Empirical data comparing the effectiveness and limitations of agile and non-agile approaches would greatly enhance our understanding of the true benefits and limitations of agile processes.” - Turk D., France R., Rump (2002) “When one of the agile methodologies is adapted by an organization, it changes may impact several aspects of the organization including its structure, culture, and management practices. Therefore, understanding organization wide ramifications of a change phenomenon is a critical first step in planning and managing such changes” - S. Nerur, R. Mahapatra, and G. Mangalaraj (2005) “Software development methodologies are constantly evolving due to changing technologies and new demands from users. Today’s dynamic business environment has given rise to emergent organizations that continuously adapt their structures, strategies, and policies to suit the new environment.” - Truex, D.P., Baskerville, R. and Klein (1999) “Increasingly companies are reporting large productivity gains and increased business satisfaction with the system development using these approaches.” Griffiths M. (2004) Real-world Application of Agile Methodologies Emphasis of Agile methods is on delivering quality to customer, by looking at the project from all angles (customers, employees, technical, process) in addition to project management and control. Pravin K. Asar Page 26
  27. 27. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT West and Grant (2010) present a detailed study on how Adaption of Agile is changing the entire organization. Author’s states “Agile adoption is a reality. Organizations across all industries are increasingly adopting agile principles, and software engineers and other project team members are picking up agile techniques. While historically, management has owned “process,” the adoption of agile methods has pushed ownership into the hands of team members — many of whom have traditionally been skeptical of process and methodology. Broad Agile adoption requires careful consideration” Christopher (2000) discusses the importance of agile supply chain for competing in volatile Markets. He concludes, “Marketing management has not traditionally recognized the importance of logistics and supply chain management as a key element in gaining advantage in the marketplace. However, in today’s more challenging business environment, where volatility and unpredictable demand becomes the norm, it is essential that the importance of agility be recognized. Leading companies are already implementing marketing strategies which are underpinned by a supply chain strategy designed with agility in mind. These are the organizations that will be best equipped for survival in the uncertain markets of the 21st century. Cass (2012) discusses the need and advantages of agile marketing. He quotes “The practice of agile marketing is still new, and it has dependencies different from those of agile development. Though developers are dependent only on themselves to complete projects, marketers often have to depend on vendors, agencies, and developers to complete a project.” Willeke (2011) discusses the challenges and strategies of applying agile methodology in an academic environment. Cultural implications and quantitative results are discussed, also provides insights for non-software industries on how agile is not a set of rules with rigid tools; rather, it is a philosophy with a need to understand the intent of the tools in order to identify the appropriate application for not just effective results, but maximally effective results with a mindset for continued change. PMI and Agile Methodology Fewell (2009) presented the initiates by PMI community to adapt agile principles and philosophy. Itis the effort to build an agile community within PMI is based on the hope that it can change the world. With it wide-spread presence (over a half-million constituents) in Pravin K. Asar Page 27
  28. 28. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT all business sectors, PMI could be the best channel to extend the reach of agile values and principles. The PMI agile component is be the first impression of Agile for the vast majority of PMI’s members, we knew that we had to set a compelling example of how Agile can deliver business results and provide job satisfaction. Efforts are based on a passion to address the problems/issues of daily office life that we all experience; hence a focus is on operating practices, while recognizing the imperfections along the way. Although, this story is incomplete, PMI is continuing to find ways to improve, ways to better reflect the agile way and strive to “manifest Agility”. Closing Remarks Definitely, while verity of agile methodologies currently available, finding the most suitable methodology that addresses the organization’s development environments needs is extremely imperative on the agile principles and techniques. At last but not least, it should not be ignored that a key success factor for a successful company is an effective and efficient alignment of the way IT is supporting business strategies and processes. Besides, as more organizations seek to gain competitive advantage through timely, for example deployment of Internet-based services, developers are under increasing pressure to produce new or enhanced implementations quickly. Although, whenever a new technology is used, the early adopters are usually higher motivated (no one like failure) so this alone may make agile projects more successful than traditional projects. Agile principles are being adapted in mainstream business because of the benefits, improved quality, joint ownership of products and projects shared by all organizations. Ultimate result is organization moves forward by embracing the changes “Effective leaders help others to understand the necessity of change and to accept a common vision of the desired outcome.” - John Kotter To end our discussion, I would like to say “Irrespective of the size of project, do it right?Meet or exceed the customer requirements. Business will thieve.” A task well done pays in long run. Pravin K. Asar Page 28
  29. 29. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT References Abrahamsson, P., 2002, “Commitment Nets in Software Process Improvement”, Annals of Software Engineering, Vol. 14, Numbers 1-4 (December 2002), 407-438 Agile Manifesto, Retrieved on July 1, 2012, Alleman, Glen, Agile Project Management Methods for IT Projects, 2002, Retrieved on June 29, 2012 ate%202.pdf Awad, M.A, “A Comparison between Agile and Traditional Software Development Methodologies”, School of Computer Science and software Engineering, The University of Western Australia, 2005, Retrieved on June 30, 2012, nal_SW_development_methodologies.pdf Beck, Kent, Extreme Programming Explained: Embrace Change, Addison-Wesley, Pearson Education, 1999 Boehm, B., “Getting Ready for Agile Methods, With Care”, IEEE Computer Society, 2002, Retrieved on July 1, 2012,,%20 with%20Care.pdf Cass, John, “What Is Agile Marketing, and Why Is It Essential to Marketing Operations?” 2012, Retrieved on July 15, 2012, Chow, T and Cao, D, “A Survey Study of Critical Success Factors in Agile software Projects”, Journal of Systems and Software archive; Vol. 81 Issue 6, June, 2008 Christopher M, “The Agile Supply Chain: Competing in Volatile Markets”, Industrial Marketing Management , Vol. 29, No. 1, 2000, Retrieved on July 14, 2012 , Declaration of Interdependence, Retrieved on July 3, 2012, Fewell, J., "Growing PMI Using Agile", Agile Conference, AGILE '09. , 356-360, Retrieved on July 15, 2012, Pravin K. Asar Page 29
  30. 30. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT =Conference+Publications&refinements%3D4292539653%26sortType%3Dasc_p_Sequen ce%26filter%3DAND%28p_IS_Number%3A5261036%29 Highsmith, Jim, Agile Project Management: Creating Innovative Products, 2nd Edition, Addison-Wesley, 2009 Highsmith J., Cockburn A., 2001, “Agile software development: The business of innovation”, IEEE Computer, Vol. 34, Issue: 9, 2001, 120-127 Klastorin Ted, Project Management: Tools and Trade-offs, Wiley, 2003 Mische, Michael, Strategic Renewal: Becoming a High-Performance Organization, Prentice Hall, 2001 Nerur S, Mahapatra R.K., Mangalaraj G, “Challenges of Migrating to Agile Methodologies”, Communications of the ACM - Adaptive complex enterprises, Vol. 48, Issue 5, May 2005, Pages 72 – 78, Retrieved on July 2, 2012, Phillips, Mark, “Five Project Management Keys from Benjamin Franklin”,, 2006, retrieved on June 30, 2012, Project Management Institute, A guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide), Fourth Edition, 2008 Porter, M., Competitive Strategy: Techniques for Analyzing Industries and Competitors, Free Press, 1st edition, 1998, Agile/XP Solutions, 2006, Retrievedon July 10, 2012, Qumer, A and Henderson-Sellers, B. “An Evaluation of the Degree of Agility in Six Agile Methods and its Applicability for Method Engineering”, Journal Information and Software Technology archive, Vol. 50 Issue 4, March, 2008 Software Engineering Body of Knowledge (SWEBOK), 2004, Retrieved on July 2, 2012, West, D, Gilpin, M and D'Silva, D, “Case Study: Microsoft Speeds Tool Delivery with Agile Development”, Forrester, 2009, Retrieved on July 10, 2012 +Development/fulltext/-/E-RES54034?docid=54034&src=56100pdf Pravin K. Asar Page 30
  31. 31. WHITE PAPER: AGILE METHODOLOGIES IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT Turk D., Rump F., 2002, “Limitations of Agile Software Processes”, Retrieved on July 5, 2012, Turk D., Rump F., “Agile Software Processes: Principles, Assumptions and Limitations” Technical Report. Colorado State University, 2003, Retrievedon July 12, 2012, Truex, D.P., Baskerville, R. and Klein, H. “Growing systems in emergent Organizations” Communications of the ACM, Vol. 42 Issue 8, 1999, Pages 117 – 123, Retrieved on July 10, 2012, West D., Grant T., “Agile Development: Mainstream Adoption Has Changed Agility”, 2010, Retrieved on July 12, 2012 evelopment_mainstream_adoption_has_changed_agility.pdf Willeke, M.H.H., "Agile in Academics: Applying Agile to Instructional Design," Agile Conference AGILE 2011, 246-251, 2011, Retrieved on July 14, 2012, 85 Pravin K. Asar Page 31