Link to the Original Article:
Agile and Traditional Method in Social Projects (nossacausa.com)
Who writes here is Carla Damião, Global Director of Umanitar Academy and Project Management Specialist with extensive experience in Sustainability and Economic-Social Development Programs.
Today I’m going to talk a little bit about the difference between traditional project management and agile management, and how they need to be adapted to the context of social projects.
I am certified in the most important Project Management methodologies in the World and actively directing international projects, idealized and helped to develop the Global Certifications Master Umanitar GP Agile, Master Umanitar Impact and Master Umanitar Finance, all approved by 26 Global Organizations.
Project Management for Development
Monitoring demands, reducing rework, reducing costs and gaining operational efficiency in general are concerns of most companies and social organizations. To achieve satisfactory results, institutions increasingly invest in methodologies and tools that assist in operational monitoring and optimize internal processes.
Many of these methodologies and tools are related to project management, which have in essence the objective of streamlining routines and increasing the potential for successful deliveries made by the teams, ensuring the success of the project.
The global business has, in the recent years, passed through several transformations resulting from natural movements of the economic cycles, such as new market segments, new business models (just look at the example of startups) and technological advances available to everyone.
It is a fact there are a few tips from those who have succeed in this scenario: ability to adapt, agility, planning and project management strategies.
The choice between agile or traditional management does not have to generate a conflict. In practice, what must be analyzed before making a choice between the methods is whether the project will be developed all at once (traditional methodologies) or in stages (agile methodologies).
Traditional x Agile Methods
The main points of difference between agile and traditional management are:
- Perception of achievement of results
The traditional methodology considers that it will only be possible to evaluate the perception of value of a product or service when it is 100% delivered while in the agile methods this perception of value happens as the stages of the project are delivered.
- Budgetary Control
In relation to costs, in the traditional methodology, the cost of the project is closed based on the scope and there is little forecast of significant changes in its cost (which makes sense considering that the manager must plan his budget very well and seek the that nothing changes during the operation).
In the agile method, on the other hand, it is possible to combine deliveries of minimal functionality and provide significant adjustments in the cost of the project from the deliveries and the mapping of the other stages.
- Risk management
In both methods there is an emphasis on detailed initial planning to identify, assess and determine the responses to all project risks, however in the traditional methodology, monitoring and control is done by the Project Manager, who generally identifies who will be responsible for dealing with the project. it.
In agile management, any member of the team can identify the risks at any time and update the identified risks to be treated with priority in the next “sprint”. Responsibility in agile methods is collective, that is, the entire team has responsibility for risk management.
- Interaction between employees
In traditional methodologies, there is a central figure in the monitoring of demands, which is usually the leader of the area. He must be responsible for the entire process and delegate activities.
In agile methodologies, the macrostructure is divided into multidisciplinary teams that have autonomy to make certain decisions, resembling more a “living organism” than a “pyramid”.
How to choose what Methodology to Use?
It is best to define a path in which the two methods are aligned, maintaining the valuation of each one. And it is important not to transform one methodology into another, bureaucratizing the agile and simplifying the traditional. It is necessary to know how to choose what each one can add to achieve the project’s objectives, without losing quality.
Organizations that opt for a complete management, eventually must include the implementation and development of agile methodologies within their departments to deliver products or services with higher quality, reduced costs and more time, however there are several specific issues of the social sector that are better executed with the traditional view, such as the fact that investments are defined externally and before the project starts.
Therefore, in my personal experience, in helping to create a management methodology for the social development sector, it was necessary to know more than 10 global methodologies in depth and to have worked in the sector directing extremely challenging projects for 5 years. Between agile and traditional I was left with “what is best in each” and, when in doubt, what could be “left over” was added.
Considering this reality, we are increasing the importance of project effectiveness every day and, in the same proportion, the dissemination of knowledge that involves project management in response to the demands of professionals and investors.
Social organizations have already realized that it is necessary to develop a set of skills and tools to control and deal positively with challenges, and the best solution to this need has been to manage projects in an assertive manner.
Umanitar is a global startup in the social area specializing in the training and certification of international project managers. Find out more at: www.umanitar.com