Being agile in today’s market is not an option; it is a competitive advantage you cannot afford to miss. When you are quick to adapt to market changes and can deliver quality products and services in rapid succession, you are more likely to stay ahead of the competition.
This is also why a lot of companies now implement Agile methodology to manage projects and get things done. The methodology simplifies project cycles and divides larger, more complex tasks into small iterations. It is a methodology that lets the organization become faster and easier.
Still, Agile project management is not without its challenges. When the methodology is implemented in a more mature organization, there are some obvious challenges to overcome. We are going to review those challenges in this article.
Reluctant Team Members
Managers, especially mid-management executives, are usually the most reluctant to incorporate the Agile methodology. This is because Agile project management gives more control to individual team members rather than a single decision-maker. As a result, managers often feel left out and out of place in the new organizational structure.
This is a challenge that cannot be ignored. Disappointed and frustrated managers can affect the rest of the team. They can quickly turn the Agile environment into a toxic one, especially when they start to hold on to their decision-making roles too tightly.
Modern managers are doers; this is the principle that everyone in the mid- and top-level management roles need to understand. Managers in an Agile organization aren’t only strategists and decision-makers. They need to be involved in the process in order for the entire organization to be more agile. As a last resort, be prepared to remove unwilling managers from the Agile cycle.
Lack of Project Management Tool
You can see from the way Agile project management is set up that a capable project management tool is needed. Remember that there are a lot of tasks handled by different team members as part of a bigger project. Keeping up with all of them can be a big challenge when you don’t have a way to track tasks and projects.
There are a lot of tools you can integrate into your Agile implementation, but Kanbanize is the most flexible of them all. As the name suggests, Kanbanize takes the more traditional Kanban board system and makes it incredibly flexible for modern organizations.
Kanbanize knows how to answer the main question: “what is Agile project management good for?” Everything. The methodology can be implemented beyond software development projects and the features available on Kanbanize reflect that belief. The fact that you can have a fully customized Kanban board with detailed cards makes the project management tool even more appealing.
It Takes Time to Change
Agile may be set up to make organizations more agile on the market, but the implementation of Agile project management isn’t something that happens overnight. You cannot expect the entire organization to adopt the new approach right away, especially since there are adjustments to be made before Agile can be effective in an organization.
Give it time and let team members learn about the new approach to managing tasks. Let them develop a higher sense of ownership so that tasks get completed faster. More importantly, give team members enough time to get used to tools like Kanbanize.
The most sustainable Agile adoption happens over time. When all team members are given the opportunity to get used to the new approach, you will see them adapting to the new way of getting things done better. Rigid operating methods can slowly be replaced by shorter cycles and more efficient workflows when you invest enough time.
It Doesn’t Have to be Exclusive
A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that Agile is a standalone methodology. It isn’t. As discussed in the previous part, Agile can be used in conjunction with Kanban and tools like Kanbanize for easy project management. It can also be implemented with other methodologies to boost team productivity and further shorten internal workflows.
For instance, Agile works really well with feature-driven development (FDD) in a software development project. It is also a good methodology to adopt when you want to simplify internal workflows in general, hence the presence of Agile Unified Process or AUP.
The real challenge is maintaining pace when implementing Agile. Being agile doesn’t mean rushing through every part of the workflow. It simply means making sure that each part gets completed in an effective and efficient way. Avoid rushing through testing or trying to eliminate a few steps without considering the consequences just because you want to be more agile.
Conquer these challenges and you can implement the Agile project management method more successfully. When you take into account the changes your team members have to face, your current company structure, and how Agile fits into existing workflows, you can introduce this methodology and significantly boost productivity.