The business world moves fast, and projects need to align with this fast-paced way of life. As projects must be completed in a shorter amount of time, teams have started to adopt Agile project management to increase flexibility, collaboration and teamwork.
Graduates of Concordia University Chicago’s online MBA in project management program are prepared to lead teams toward success, including those who use Agile project management. Let’s dive into the difference between Agile and traditional project management, industries that use Agile methodologies and how organizations benefit from utilizing agile project management.
Agile vs Traditional Project Management
Agile and traditional project management are both rooted in identifying and balancing a project’s scope, time, budget, quality and resources. While they share similarities, each has clear differences that project teams and managers should be aware of.
Agile Project Management
- Uses shorter stages for planning and delivery
- Doesn’t follow a rigid structure which allows for greater flexibility and adaptability
- Relies on a self-organized team in which individuals decide which tasks they can complete
- Typically has low client involvement
- Encourages face-to-face interaction and collaboration
Traditional Project Management
- Uses longer stages for planning and delivery
- Focuses on the linear approach with every sequential step planned beforehand
- Relies on a hierarchically organized team based on separate capabilities and duties
- Typically has high client involvement with stakeholders and upper management
- Uses written documentation and formal conversations
As you can see from these differences, agile project management may increase creativity and allow for more beneficial changes throughout the life cycle of a project compared to traditional methods. This may be a reason why the traditional approach’s failure rate is nearly 21% while the Agile failure rate is 8%.
Industries That Use Agile Project Management
Although Agile started in IT departments for software development, other industries realize the benefits of adapting to a non-traditional project management process. Today, teams in varying industries, markets and organizations use agile to complete projects quickly and efficiently. Three examples of industries that use Agile include marketing and advertising, human resources and banking and finance.
- Marketing and Advertising: Using data, analytics and marketing-technology infrastructure allows for agility in this industry. When teams have a clear goal set and communication among team members, they can complete projects in short sprints and adapt when necessary.
- Human Resources: Agile provides a different approach and mindset for HR leaders compared to traditional management. For example, Agile helps structure HR to respond faster and adapt to situations quickly, have a flexible approach that molds as the workforce changes, and support organizations that are more responsive to customer needs.
- Banking and Finance: As technology evolves, so does the banking and finance industry. Agile helps this industry adapt to changes quickly and respond to the ever-changing needs of modern customers. Common examples of agile project management include the inventions of online banking, tap-to-pay card capabilities and apps that help people invest their money easily in minutes or less.
As more industries begin to adopt Agile project management methods, teams will see the clear benefits when compared to traditional methods.
Benefits of Agile Project Management Methods
As with other project management methods, Agile is not the sole perfect method to use above all else. Drawbacks exist, such as decreased predictability, more time and commitment, and less documentation of changes. This is why some teams may prefer to use a combination of methods to get the job done.
The benefits of Agile project management differ across industries and organizations, but these are the benefits most often recognized:
- Prevented risk
- Customer satisfaction
- Quality improvement
According to digital.ai’s 16th State of Agile Report, 86% of software development departments use Agile while less than 30% of other departments (operations, marketing, security, HR, sales, etc.) use Agile. As a future project management leader, you can use the known benefits of non-traditional methods to boost productivity and results in your organization.
Pursue An MBA in Project Management Degree
If you’re interested in advancing your project management career, then pursuing a degree that equips you with agile management methodologies (as well as others) could be the best option.
Concordia University Chicago offers a 100% online MBA with a specialization in project management program. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), this field is quickly growing with the occupation of project management specialists projected to grow 6% through 2032. As of May 2022 project management specialists earn an average annual salary of $95,370.
Currently, our project management program is undergoing a massive revamp and will be available starting Fall 2024. Our new MBA program will be featuring courses on both AI and Design Thinking.
Learn more about CUC’s MBA with a project management specialization program by visiting the program overview page or filling out the form below.