Agile Project Management Tools
If you are working on anything to do with software or technology, I presume that the term Agile is not new to you!
By the way, many industries other than technology have embraced Agile. It may be interesting to note that Toyota was one of the earliest companies to imbibe Agile – in spirit and, without making a big show!
In case you are not aware, Agile is not a recent phenomenon – it is just 30 plus years old!
Starting with Crystal in 1988, we have a plethora of Agile Project Management frameworks: Scrum, Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), Feature Driven Development (FDD), Extreme Programming (XP), Lean, Kanban, Agile Unified Process, and the latest being Disciplined Agile. Scrum, which began in 1995, remains the most popular for various reasons.
Most of you working on projects would bear testimony to an important aspect – the adoption of traditional or predictive project management was dependent on the availability of software tools to enable teams and organizations.
Likewise, the prevalence of Agile Project Management Tools is critical for an Agile Mindset to flourish.
Over recent years, McKinsey Research indicates that industries other than technology-oriented ones have also embraced Agile – influenced by the perceived instability of the business environment.
As organizations across industries transitioned to Agile, the need for Agile Project Management Tools heightened – leading to many companies that design, develop, and deploy software tools to make a beeline for this lucrative business opportunity.
The result – we have numerous Agile Project Management Tools / Software.
From a customer’s perspective, isn’t it good that they could now choose from so many options and drive better negotiations?
On the face of it, yes!
But it has led to some avoidable scenarios.
Are you wondering – how could too many choices be bad for a customer?
Let us get a bit into the details. I believe that it is not the ‘devil’ but ‘God’ that’s in the details!
We must pause and reflect on Simplicity – one (my favorite too!) of the Agile Principles.
Simplicity is the art of maximizing work not done!
In essence, for teams to follow Agile, they must eliminate all work that does not add value – as much as possible!
Simplicity should be in – vision, approach, processes, documentation, metrics, dashboards, communication, design, development, testing, deployment, customer acceptance, and everything else in projects.
Agile focuses on delivering customer value quickly, so the team can ill afford to spend time and effort on anything that does not add value.
Let us now connect Simplicity with Agile Project Management Tools.
Technology vendors started developing their solutions for Agile projects that covered dimensions of Project Vision, Roles, Epics, Product Backlog Prioritization, User Stories, Acceptance Criteria, Estimation, Collaboration, Scrum Board, Burndown Charts, and so on. The Agile Manifesto recommended keeping everything subordinate to delivering Customer Value – especially on processes and documentation!
Let us make one thing clear – Agile is not equal to zero processes nor zero documentation!
Let us get back to Agile Project Management Software Vendors.
Over time, software vendors realized that there is only ‘so much’ that Agile needs in terms of processes and documentation.
The problem was – How do we differentiate from competitors? What is our USP?
To make their Agile Project Management Software more ‘marketable,’ the software vendors became ‘creative’ and began including additional features and functionalities. As long as these were in the ‘Spirit of Agile,’ nobody complains – this was not what it turned out to be!
Today, many Agile Project Management Software have functionalities that are akin to predictive management approaches. It has gone to the extent where I read an ‘interesting’ article on a popular forum of Microsoft Project Users that elaborated how ‘Earned Value Management (EVM)’ should be adapted to Agile projects.
Don’t get me wrong here! I am not against EVM in Agile projects.
Two questions that Agile teams need to ask –
- By following ‘XYZ,’ are we adding Customer Value?
- Do we want to be Agile in its true spirit?
We at ProductDossier have designed TouchBase as a solution that is configurable uniquely to projects that are ‘predictive’ or ‘agile.’ Going a step further, we can configure TouchBase to your organization-specific Agile Project Management needs and context!
We are ready to build an Agile Project Management Culture for your Enterprise!
Are you ready to start a conversation?