Project management has become an essential part of our fast-paced world. It has become the indispensable element for running businesses smoothly. From small and medium to large scale, every business size depends on project management to successfully deliver their products and service.
In recent times, there are multiple project management approaches available all around the world.
And Agile is one of the most popular project management approaches among all. Even 71% of companies agreed on using agile practices often, sometimes, and always.
In this article, let's explore more on the differences between traditional and agile project management to see what sets them apart from each other. So, without further ado, read on!
In this approach, requirements are fixed, and budget and time get agreed on earlier. For this reason, teams often face budget and timeline problems with this approach. You can't use traditional project management to develop complex products, as this approach leaves no room for changing the requirements. However, studies suggested that the waterfall or traditional approach's failure rate is nearly 21% while the agile failure rate is 8%.
But, in today's first pace world, it's impossible to plan out everything traditionally. With traditional plans, you'll always have the risk of delayed product delivery. Eventually, you'll become uncompetitive on the market.
It is where the concept of "agile" comes into the picture. Agile project management is more of a recent approach to project management. Although introduced in 1986 by Hirotaka Takeuchi and Ikujiro Nonaka through paper, they published (New New Product Development Game) and followed by agile manifesto in 2001. It gained popularity post-financial crisis in 2008-09 and is still a new approach for many organizations. The term agile represents mobility and nimbleness. It reflects the ability to move forward quickly that allows you to make easy changes in the direction. Unlike traditional, agile project management is non-linear in nature. And it relies on teamwork, flexibility, and collaboration.
In agile project management, projects are time-boxed in short iterations. The iteration lasts for a maximum of a calendar month. And after each iteration, you'll get a new releasable product increment. Agile project management focuses more on implementing the client's feedback and reviewing the product periodically. Customer collaboration is a vital factor in agile. It doesn't follow a plan blindly and responses to changes quickly.
Today, agile methodology comes with different methods and frameworks for project management. For example, Scrum, Kanban, LeSS, SAFe, and Scrumban are great examples of popular agile project management methods. These methods are the perfect choices for preventing time consumption, increasing customer satisfaction, and encouraging decision-making at every product development step. Initially, agile project management was considered for the software development industry and, in recent times, successfully implemented in other sectors like architecture, financial services, marketing, etc.
Traditional and agile project management methodology has significant differences. Let's take a quick glance at all the vital differences between traditional and agile project management in our next point.
On the other hand, traditional or waterfall project management follows a top-down approach. That means you can't manage any last-minute changes without affecting the work process or results.
On the contrary, in the traditional project management approach, the project manager gets to make all the big decisions or with few senior members. Other team members can't see the progress from start to end in the form of deliverables. Often work is done in silos, so transparency gets lost for other silos.
However, with the agile approach, you can accept constant feedback from the product owner and customers. Continuous feedback will help you to bring better results and deliver high-quality products within the deadline. For this reason, developers and project managers prefer using agile project management to the traditional approach.
While traditional project management methodology follows a linear approach, it can't manage complex projects where requirements are ambiguous, and work is complex. As we've mentioned earlier, you can't make sudden changes to this approach. Traditional is a better fit for less complex or small projects.
As agile project management values customer feedback, the team understands the customer's specifications and provides them with high-quality products and desired services. It helps to maintain customer engagement and enhance satisfaction.
On the other hand, in traditional project management, only the project manager holds ownership of the entire project. Yes, you can involve the customers in the planning stage, but their role ends as soon as you start executing the plan.
Well, there are multiple factors involved in judging the performance of these two approaches in an organization. For instance, if your organization is hesitant to allow the team members to decide or believe in traditional methods, agile might not be the best fit.
However, modern businesses and software development teams prefer using agile methodology more. Because with agile project management methodology, you'll get much more rewarding results than the traditional approach. Agile success rates are 1.5X higher than the waterfall approach as per various surveys.
Agile has become a popular name among developers and managers. And, there are plenty of reasons available behind this popularity of agile methodology. With agile, you can expect high-quality, better customer and client satisfaction, more productivity, fewer costs, and time-saving. Especially in today's business, changes are occurring every next day. So, agile methodology is the best choice for organizations to thrive in this changing market.
|Characteristics||Agile approach||Traditional approach|
|Organizational structure||Agile has an network based fluid structure||Traditional approach based on hierarchy and silos|
|User requirements||Interactive input||Well defined before implementation|
|Development process||Evolutionary delivery approach (incremental)||Life cycle approach (SDLC based on waterfall)|
|Customer involvement||Has a high level of customer involvement||Customers get involved only at the early phase. Low involvement|
|Test documentation||Every iteration||Comprehensive planning|
|Reviews and approvals||After each iteration and actual product||Excessive reviews by leaders but mostly documents|
|Flexibility||Budget and timeline flexibility is high||Budget and timeline flexibility is low|
|Scrum Master (PSM) Training||Leading SAFe® 5.1 Training with SAFe® Agilist Certification||Implementing SAFe® 5.1 Training with SPC Certification|
|Product Owner (PSPO) Training||Certified Agile Coaching (ICP-ACC) Training||Agility in the Enterprise (ICP-ENT) Training|
|Professional Scrum with Kanban™ (PSK) Training||Advanced Scrum Master (PSM-II) Training||SAFe® Lean Portfolio Management (LPM) Training|
|Agile fundamentals Bootcamp (ICP) Training||Advanced Product Owner (PSPO-A) Training||SAFe® Agile Product Management (APM) Training|