Agile work practices have become the standard for software development across the world, with over 85% of software development teams using it. In fact, it has become so popular that many other industries have started to look into ways to run Agile projects themselves. With Agile’s focus on improving the flexibility and reaction of teams to changing circumstances, developing better processes through constant learning from experience and promoting better collaboration between multi-disciplinary teams, it’s easy to see why Agile projects would appeal to project managers in many fields.
Here’s a look at how Agile projects can be applied in non-software areas.
In marketing project management, teams are always looking for an edge that can deliver better results for their clients, more quickly and for cheaper than their competition. That might seem like quite a challenge, but in such a fluid environment, even large firms that don’t consistently deliver can collapse in a short period of time.
That’s why Agile is such an attractive option in marketing project management. As teams are very often put together due to their different skill sets (think graphic designers, content writers, social media, SEO and UX experts), there is an obvious need for teams to be able to hit the ground running while also consistently improving on the results they are providing for the end-user.
Though considered as one field where it would be difficult to implement Agile, the modernization of work practices has seen construction project management teams embrace new methodologies. Initial usage in construction has seen a more hybrid approach, implementing those Agile practices which are most beneficial.
An example of this is a government-supported construction project focused on creating a model next-gen nuclear centrifuge system. Considering the scale of the project, the importance of delivering a working system rather than just a “hand over and forget” deliverable and the fact that it required the collaboration of more than 150 companies, many Agile practices, such as early customer involvement, process iteration and an anti-silo approach were found to have significant positive effects on the project and its outcomes.
Research and Development
Innovation and new product creation through research and development are essential for the constant growth of all companies, yet improving the productivity of R&D teams has remained a stubborn issue, with MIT and Stanford researchers finding that research productivity is actually falling in the US. That’s why many teams are now turning to Agile to try and improve their processes and return on investment.
In science research especially, the limitations imposed by an academic hierarchical structure means that team members end up wasting lots of time on seeking sign-off on even minor activities. By empowering teams through an Agile approach, R&D teams have been able to improve productivity while also ending or pivoting projects before they end up as costly failures.
Though many of us might not take too much notice of the minor design details of a car, chances are that even the smallest inclusion has taken thousands of hours of input from many different departments. Concerns such as aerodynamics, fuel consumption, weight and, of course, how a part fits into the overall style of the vehicle all have to be considered, and the same goes for what’s going on under the hood. With all that in mind, an Agile approach is perfectly adapted to building cooperative processes between multi-disciplinary teams who are focused on delivering the best final product possible through progressive iteration.
Whether it’s marketing project management or any other field that’s looking to implement Agile practices, Clarizen’s project management tools have been specially designed to help you do just that. With Agile view modes and the creation of discrete workspaces to help teams to collaborate better, Clarizen is the only tool you need to start putting Agile into practice. To find out more, get in touch with our team today for a live demonstration.