Project Management Assignment Discussing Different Concepts, Methods & Tools Of Agile
“The Philosopher’s product is his life” - Friedrich Nietzsche
Manifestos communicate beliefs, aims, intentions and views - they are a philosophy rather than a method. The Agile Manifesto is the philosophy from which Agile methods and frameworks have emerged.
This project management assignment is about ensuring that we understand the thinking or the ‘what’ of Agile in preparation for learning the methods, practices, tools, and techniques associated with the ‘how’ of Agile. You will be required to prepare a report covering the following concepts and areas of knowledge:
2. The Agile Manifesto
3. The Case for Agile
4. Agile vs. Waterfall
5. A Comparison of Scrum and Kanban
6. The influence of Lean on the Agile philosophy and practices
Your report will require 6 boxes, each one devoted to covering a specific knowledge area:
1. Box 1 - VUCA.
Consider the acronym VUCA :
a. Briefly describe an example of a current commonly known challenge that you believe aligns with one of the dimensions of VUCA. Ensure that you include a reference for your reader to a source that describes the challenge.
b. Select one dimension - either volatility, uncertainty, complexity or ambiguity - that you believe best explains this current challenge and characteristics that make this the case?
c. Looking at the recommended approach for this condition, how do you think Agile will help to achieve that approach?
2. Box 2 - Authors of the Agile Manifesto.
Select one of the following authors of the Agile Manifesto and do some desktop research using current quality resources so that you can answer the questions below:
Kent Beck | Ken Schwaber | Jeff Sutherland | Jim Highsmith | Alistair Cockburn
a. Add a picture of the author of your choice ensuring that you both caption and reference the image with the correct technique.
b. With which Agile framework are they aligned?
c. Briefly describe the framework in 2-3 sentences.
d. What do you believe the framework to which they are aligned is best suited?
3. Box 3 - Agile vs Waterfall.
What, in your opinion is the biggest difference between Agile and Waterfall? Include evidence from two sources to back your claim.
4. Box 4 - The Case for Agile.
Consider the ‘triple constraint’ of Project Management, also known as the ‘Iron Triangle’. Several cases and examples have been included in the essential resources for this subject which illustrate how Agile can be beneficial for projects. Select one of these cases - or source a case of your own selection- and discuss the impact of an Agile approach on one of the triple constraints and on quality. Ensure that you clearly identify the case to which you are referring in your response with appropriate referencing techniques.
5. Box 5 - A comparison of Scrum and Kanban.
a. Kanban and Scrum are compatible Agile techniques which have both similarities and differences. Identify what you believe to be the most important similarity and most important difference between the two techniques and explain why you think that this is the case. Ensure that you back your position with evidence from quality sources.
b. Explain which of these techniques - Scrum or Kanban - is better suited as a technique for project managing your group assessment project. Give three reasons for why you believe this and back your reasoning with evidence.
6. Box 6 - The Influence of Lean on Agile philosophy and practice.
It is recognised that Lean philosophy has influenced both Agile philosophy and practices. Select two lean philosophies and draw a two-sided mind map to illustrate the concept of how Lean philosophies have given rise to principles in the Agile Manifesto and how these have in turn influenced the emergence of certain Agile practices. Use the mind map to show the relationships from point of origin to practices in use.
One of the most popular projects management techniques is Agile, which is mainly used in various software development projects to efficiently achieve its goals and major objectives. In this project management assignment different concepts, methods, and tools of Agile will be discussed and demonstrated. The report will first discuss the concept of VUCA along with its dimensions and its relation to Agile. Moreover, this report will also analyze the Agile Manifesto that is proposed by one of the Authors of this Manifesto. A small comparison of Agile and Waterfall methodology will also be done in this report followed by a discussion on the impact of Agile methodology on the triple constraint. Furthermore, the report will also provide a comparison of the Scrum and Kanban method. Finally, the report will also discuss the influence of the Lean approach on Agile practices.
Box 1 – VUCA
VUCA concept has gained popularity from the few years that aims to cover different dimensions of an uncontrollable environment or situation. It is an acronym for Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous, which are the four elements or dimensions. The majority of people foresee that these four dimensions of VUCA will play a significant role in today’s business world. In addition, for team management in this era, one must be aware of the alterations that could be caused by this environment. One of the challenges that can be aligned with the Volatility dimension of VUCA is the rise of the volatile market situation (Levkovets, 2020). It is associated with the rapid changes within the market condition, such as the falling or rising of commodity prices within a short period. Another example can be taken as the changes in the trend direction might get reversed abruptly. In this scenario, the volatility dimension of VUCA can be considered as it is referring to the volatile market condition, which may face changes suddenly. In order to mitigate this challenge, the business organization needs to break the VUCA for recognizing the four types of situations and act accordingly. It is, thus, recommended to develop robust and compelling team values and objectives along with a clear vision for the future (Ghosh, 2020). On the other hand, Agile methodology can also be implemented as a measure to these challenges as it has the capability of managing the changes in the priorities and provide better project visibility and productivity.
Box 2 – Authors of the Agile Manifesto
Figure: Ken Schwaber (Chairman and founder of Scrum)
Scrum framework has been co-developed by Ken Schwaber with Jeff Sutherland for helping various business organizations who are facing challenges in the development projects. This framework of Agile categorizes projects utilizing different cross-functional teams in which individual teamscan deliver any functionality arising from the ideas. It is mainly used by the software development teams and Scrum can be fundamentally effective to any team working to achieve a common goal. Specifically, this framework is a group of meetings, responsibilities, and tools working simultaneously for helping those teams in managing and structuring the workload efficiently (Halushka, 2020). This framework is being used since the early 1990s for the management of complex projects associated with product developments.
It is not a method for developing the products, instead, it can be called a framework through which different methods and techniques could be employed. It also helps to clear the comparative usefulness of the development approaches and product management such that it can be improved. The framework is best suited with all the software development projects to mitigate the complexities (Beerbaum Dr., 2021). It is helpful for the projects, which need separate teams for completing the backlogs. Moreover, it will also assist the organizations, which are associated with the product development as per the specifications and preferences of the customers.
Box 3 – Agile Vs Waterfall
Before taking responsibility for any development project, it is crucial to determine the approach that will be implemented as a team. In order to take this decision, the project managers can face difficulty because of the two most popular development methodologies. In other words, the development methodologies define the process of project organizations and their process. Both the Agile and Waterfall development methodologies help to develop high-quality projects and manage them efficiently. Both of these methodologies have their benefits and disadvantages but, both of these approaches play a critical role in the development teams. Agile is an iterative and incremental methodology, however, Waterfall is a chronological and linear methodology. A project gets separated into sprints in Agile methodology, while, different phases of a project by a Waterfall project approach (Doolittle, 2020). In addition, multiple small projects could be completed by the Agile approach, but one single development project can be completed by implementing the Waterfall methodology. Moreover, the Agile approach familiarizes a manifest of the product by concentrating on customer satisfaction, on the other hand, the Waterfall approach mainly focuses on the project delivery (Khoza&Marnewick, 2020). Furthermore, Agile methodology helps in preparing the project requirements every day,but Waterfall approach prepares the requirements at the initial state. Apart from this, requirements can be changed at any time in the case of the Agile approach, while the Waterfall method does not allow changes in the project scope once the project has been initiated.
Box 4 – The case for Agile
Conventional project management depends on the fundamentals of triple constraints for controlling and planning the projects. The cost, time, and scope of a project indicate the modification of any of these constraints can affect the other ones. One of the primary rules of Agile project management is not to fix the scope, as this aspect of a project is associated with user stories that collect information for a product backlog. The scope,thus, is considered as the superset that is used in the sprints respectively. In this situation, the Agile approach takes a different method through spinning the triple constraints (Klein & Müller, 2020). Instead of viewing the scope as stable at the initiation, this approach sets the time and costs as stable, but the project scope is modified to emphasize the top priorities. The approach is developed with the concept and expectations that there will be changes in the project scope with time. Therefore, the main aim of this approach is to deliver the most significant requirements of a client within the pre-determined time and cost.
Moreover, the Agile approach allows re-prioritization or new requirements while the project is running forward. By committing to a pre-defined time and cost, the project executives could feel poised in appreciating the work (Kandengwa&Khoza, 2021). Finally, all the business stakeholders will experience that the Agile method is more successful as compared to other conventional methods.
Box 5 –A comparison of Scrum and Kanban
Both the Scrum and Kanban approaches are commonly utilized in most Agile software development projects. The primary goal of both these processes is to enhance software development efficiency. These two approaches have gained popularity among the software development organizations that are used for developing the processes and obtain the desired project deliverables (Zayat&Senvar, 2020). Although, both the approaches are independent entities, they also contain some matches between them. Some of the similarities of these two processes are listed below:
• Scrum and Kanban are Agile and Lean
• The work in progress is limited in both these processes
• Pull scheduling are used in both processes
• Proper transparency is used by both processes to facilitate process enhancement
• Self-organizing teams are supported by both Kanban and Scrum processes
• Reusable software is targeted by both the processes
Apart from these similarities, both the processes have some differences towards software development. Kanban is slow in pursuing the change processes, while Scrum is faster in pursuing the change process. Because of this difference, it needs to be determined in which circumstance Kanban or Scrum could be used. Scrum recommends cross-functional teams, but no team is recommended by Kanban. Scrum is dependent on Time-boxed repetitions but is not fixed in the case of the Kanban process. The time required for the individual phase of software development is not pre-determined, but it is event-driven (Zayat&Senvar, 2020). Kanban does not commit to the process, but commitment is mandatory in Scrum. Therefore, Kanban is more appropriate for software development projects as compared to Scrum as it concentrates on workflow rather than time spent.
Box 6 – Influence of Lean on Agile practice
The lean methodology identifies the wastes are up to seven types and the first lean philosophy of lean methodology is associated with delay and waste in the case of software development. The removal of waste time and the delivery delay is focused through this philosophy to enhance customer satisfaction. However, the second philosophy is associated with delivering the fundamental principles of the method such as recognizing the value, mapping the value stream, developing flow, establishing pull, and finally looking for perfection in the software development processes (Ahmed &Rashdi, 2020). All business organizations need to implement new technologies for maximizing productivity and achieving the business goals, which could be possible by implementing an Agile software development methodology. The mind map for the lean philosophies is provided below:
Figure: Mind map
The report has discussed and analyzed different project management methodologies used in modern software development organizations such as Lean, Agile, Scrum, and Kanban. The report has also discussed the Agile manifesto as per one of its authors. The report has also compared the different project management methodologies in two separate sections or boxes to understand their influence and impact on modern software development procedures. Finally, the report has provided a recommendation on the selecting Agile methodology by the software development organizations.
Ahmed, W., &Rashdi, M. (2020).Understanding the influence of lean and agile strategies on creating firms’ supply chain risk management capabilities. Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal, 31(5), 810-831. https://doi.org/10.1108/cr-03-2020-0040
Beerbaum Dr., D. (2021). RegSafe© manifesto - an agile management control methodology for regulatory - driven programs. SSRN Electronic Journal.https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3813699
Doolittle, J. (2020). Jeremy Miller on Waterfall Versus Agile. IEEE Software, 37(4), 107-C3.https://doi.org/10.1109/ms.2020.2987493 Ghosh, R. (2020). Strategies in the VUCA World. SSRN Electronic Journal.https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3641463 Halushka, Z. (2020). AGILE MANAGEMENT AS AN INNOVATIVE APPROACH TO PROJECT MANAGEMENT. Market Infrastructure, (47).https://doi.org/10.32843/infrastruct47-14
Kandengwa, E., &Khoza, L. (2021). Measuring Agile software project success beyond the triple constraint. SA Journal Of Information Management, 23(1). https://doi.org/10.4102/sajim.v23i1.1375
Khoza, L., &Marnewick, C. (2020). Waterfall and Agile information system project success rates – A South African perspective.Project management assignment South African Computer Journal, 32(1).https://doi.org/10.18489/sacj.v32i1.683 Klein, G., & Müller, R. (2020).Literature Review Expectations of Project Management Journal®. Project Management Journal, 51(3), 239-241. https://doi.org/10.1177/8756972820916340
Levkovets, O. (2020). The organizational development in the VUCA era: the conception, technology, and potential. ECONOMIC THEORY AND LAW, 46-72. https://doi.org/10.31359/2411-5584-2020-43-4-46
Zayat, W., &Senvar, O. (2020). Framework Study for Agile Software Development Via Scrum and Kanban. International Journal Of Innovation And Technology Management, 17(04), 2030002. https://doi.org/10.1142/s0219877020300025