What's Different about Agile Time Management? - dummies

What’s Different about Agile Time Management?

By Mark C. Layton

In project management terms, time refers to the processes that ensure timely project completion. To understand agile time management, it helps to review some of the Agile Principles:

(1) Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

(2) Welcome changing requirements, even late in development. Agile processes harness change for the customer’s competitive advantage.

(3) Deliver working software frequently, from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, with a preference to the shorter timescale.

(8) Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely.

Check out some of the differences between time management on traditional projects and on agile projects.

Traditional versus Agile Time Management
Time Management with Traditional Approaches Time Management with Agile Approaches
Fixed scope directly drives the schedule. Scope is not fixed on agile projects. Time can be fixed, and development teams can create the requirements that will fit into a specific time frame.
Project managers determine time based on the requirements gathered at the beginning of the project. During the project, scrum teams assess and reassess how much work they can complete in a given time frame.
Teams work at one time in phases on all project requirements, such as requirements gathering, design, development, testing, and deployment. No schedule difference exists between critical requirements and optional requirements. Scrum teams work in sprints and complete all the work on the highest-priority, highest-value requirements first.
Teams do not start actual product development until later in the project, after the requirements-gathering and design phases are complete. Scrum teams start product development in the first sprint.
Time is more variable on traditional projects. Timeboxed sprints on agile projects stay stable, enabling predictability.
Project managers try to predict schedules at the project start, when they know little about the product. Scrum teams determine long-range schedules on actual development performance in sprints. Scrum teams adjust time estimates throughout the project as they learn more about the product and the development team’s speed, or velocity.

Fixed-schedule and fixed-price projects have lower risk with agile techniques because agile development teams always deliver the highest-priority functionality within the time or budget constraints.

A big benefit of agile time management techniques is that agile project teams can deliver products much earlier than traditional project teams. For example, starting development earlier and completing functionality in iterations often allow agile project teams that work with our company, Platinum Edge, to bring value to the market 30 percent to 40 percent faster.

The reason agile projects finish sooner isn’t complicated; they simply start development sooner.