Sample Essay On Agile Project Management
Agile model of software development is a popular and highly implemented software development model in the software industry. Agile project management is the management of the software development process through various agile frameworks like Scrum and eXtreme Programming (XP). Agile Software development methodology is iterative, people oriented, client requirement driven, collaborative and requires minimum documentation. The agile model is gaining popularity as it is simple, driven by feedback has a collective ownership and supports continuous integration. The iterations are short and driven by client feedback and client requirements. Testing is not performed at the end of the software development; rather it is continuous and ongoing at the end of each small iteration or cycle. The development period is small and usually runs to about 2 to 4 weeks. The major change that Agile has brought is the change of mindset. The roles of project management have changed and instead of bosses there are coaches and product owners working with the development team to achieve a specific goal (Hoda, Rashina, Noble and Marshall, 219).
Contrasts to the Waterfall Method of Project Management
The waterfall model of project management is the traditional old school method of software development. It consists of sequential steps of project execution and management consisting of design, development, and testing. The steps are planned, and execution done on a sequential basis. The documentation is extensive. Agile development model is iterative and flexible. Waterfall model considers change as a costly aspect of software development and consists of exhaustive planning and documentation to avoid change. On the contrary, the agile methodology consists change as part of the planning process and the only expensive factor is the complete failure of the software product. Changes like missed schedules, features and software bugs are considered something to be managed than avoided. Agile has a client-driven focus with minimum waste (Karlesky, Michael, and Voord 267).
Change management in the field of Information Technology is the capability of the organization to adapt to change with respect to the industry shift in technology, practices, and customer demands. The critical aspects to change management consists of adapting to the change, governing the change and influencing the change for organization benefits. For an organization, the management of change deals with implementing and defining technologies and systems that are needed to accommodate the changing business environment. It also means to control the change in such a way to profit the organization and tap the changing opportunities. From an IT organization perspective, it is the process of constantly renewing the direction, capabilities and structure to maximize gains and productivity and satisfy client demands. For an IT organization, it also means that standard procedures and processes are applied and implemented for IT infrastructure and development practices. Effective change management ensures standard process and procedure implementation as a response to handling change (Todnem, Rune 370).
Adaptation to change is critical to an organization in order to thrive in the ever-changing business world that is coupled with frequent technological advancements. The change management might consist of changing the organization structure, adapting to newer skill sets or other organizational changes in a response to industry conditions. The change management might extend to creation and implementation of new policies or acquiring and adapting to newer technologies (Todnem, Rune 375).
Buy Vs Build (Software Package/Product)
“If we buy this software package, it will cost $800,000 while we can develop it much less by ourselves.”
This statement can be considered the most frequent debate in the industry for medium and small companies or individuals as well. The statement is justified to a certain extent where the expertise of skills and resources is available for a company to develop a particularly required software tool or package in-house rather than buying it from some place else. The decision to buy or to develop a software package depends on certain factors like strategic, cost, competitive advantage, scale and complexity of the development, risk, resource skills and support structure. The other important aspects to consider are operational factors and intellectual property. A custom built software mostly meets most of the requirements of the company is usually less expensive and compatible with all the other software running the company. The decision to buy a software package can be taken if there is a lack of technical expertise. Also if, there is limited budget, lack of time or lack of competitive technology (Daneshgar, Farhad, Low and Worasinchai 1745).
Virtualization is the buzzword with high benefits and certain pitfalls. The foremost aspect of virtualization is that it reduces cost in severals areas for an IT organization. It reduces work force requirement and allows for centralized management of resources. The cost savings range from operational and capital expenditure savings to energy savings. The manual consumption of staff is reduced thereby reducing the operational cost and freeing resources for other important work. A major benefit of virtualization is the capability to limit the number of servers required and allowing businesses to run a multiple operating system and workloads on a single server. Therefore, instead of 20 servers the system might require only one.
The major downside to virtualization is the huge upfront cost that the organization is required to maintain. Prior to virtualization the outage impacts limited number of machines like a single server, however with virtualization a single machine can outage tens or hundreds of virtual servers (Fischer, Werner, and Mitasch).
Daneshgar, Farhad, Graham C. Low, and Lugkana Worasinchai. "An investigation of
‘build vs. buy’decision for software acquisition by small to medium enterprises."
Information and Software Technology 55.10 (2013): 1741-1750.
Fischer, Werner, and Christoph Mitasch. "High availability clustering of
virtual machines–possibilities and pitfalls." Paper for the talk at the 12th Linuxtag,
May 3rd-6th, Wiesbaden/Germany Version 1 (2006).
Hoda, Rashina, James Noble, and Stuart Marshall. "Agile project management."
New Zealand Computer Science Research Student Conference. (2008): 218-221
Karlesky, Michael, and Mark Vander Voord. "Agile project management." ESC 247 (2008): 267.
Todnem By, Rune. "Organisational change management: A critical review."
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