The benefits of an Agile project management methodology

Good leaders and project managers need to be many things to many people – courageous enough to make strong decisions, empathetic enough to meet the needs of team members, and intelligent enough to achieve critical project outcomes.

Perhaps most importantly, project managers need to be flexible and agile, able to adapt their methodology and processes in order to respond to any issues as they arise.

This is a big part of the reason why the Agile project management methodology is becoming such a popular option for organisations looking to achieve better outcomes with critical projects and initiatives.

The basic theory behind Agile project management is simple. It involves taking an iterative approach, which means delivering a project in incremental components, encouraging continuous feedback along the way to refine and improve the process.

Agile is most often seen during the process of software development, in which cross-functioning teams collaborate through continuous planning and testing to develop the best possible solution.

However, the applications of the agile philosophy don’t end there. Australia’s Commonwealth Bank is one agency that is taking agile beyond the realm of software development and using it to generate a culture that learns from failure, rather than fears it.

In an interview with ITNews published June 19, Commonwealth Bank executive general manager of digital channels Lisa Frazier explained the philosophy behind agile.

“Agile is about empowering small ideas and debating big ideas. It’s about having no theory or philosophy except that a good idea can come from anywhere,” said Ms Frazier.

“Failure is going to happen. I have to go to the executive committee and talk about my failures. I survived, because they said they know we have to push the envelope. If we don’t learn to fail sensibly, we won’t innovate.”

If you think an agile approach to project management might benefit your organisation, consider investing in specialised training courses that can provide certification in this area.