Showing posts with label Agile principles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Agile principles. Show all posts

Friday, 18 March 2016

Can Agile Reduce Complexity?

Every project has a certain level of complexity in it. When we say a project is simple, we actually mean that its degree of complexity is very less or can be considered as negligible, but nevertheless, it does exist even if in a minute magnitude. Project management methods deal with project complexities depending upon how flexible they are, and what kind of provisions they offer to deal with them. Tradition management methods such as Waterfall are often rigid owing to their “staged” working processes, which are also often irreversible. Using pre 1990 era methods, one can try to address the complexity in a project to a lesser or greater degree of success, but typically such management methods do not make it possible to reduce or minify the actual level of difficult in executing the project and neither its complexity. This is not necessarily true in case of Agile. With Agile you can actually try to control the level of complexity in a project provided you have the correct level of experience in implementing Agile principles and techniques.

Agile Project Management

What is "Complexity" in a project?

Broadly speaking the term "complexity" can be best understood as difficult or complicated conditions arising due to the availability of multiple options, or options which make you simultaneously focus upon different directions at a given time, and which result in a multi dimensional scenario that is hard to understand and resolve. Complexities can be of different types in a project. Business level complexities arise due to uncertain market conditions, technological advancements, and other such factors which affect the business logic contained in the project. The project level complexities can be of two types – project complexity and requirements complexity.

Project complexity

Project related complexity can be different of different types of organizations. Several factors contribute to it, however, the most important ones are uniqueness, limiting factors, and uncertainty.

  • Uniqueness
Every project is unique and has its own attributes and requirements. As the project commences it gains maturity over time and benefits through the learning process. This is most significant when the organization is running a project which is the first of its kind, or if it has no prior experience dealing with projects.

  • Limiting factors
Projects are subjected to certain factors which can affect its execution or commencement such as budget constraints, the technical knowhow of the team, working schedule, and at times even cultural differences.

  • Uncertainty
Uncertainty in a project can be due to external or internal factors. External factors may include government imposed rules and regulations, uncertain market changes, and fluctuating economic climate. Internal factors may comprise of the levels of management’s participation in the project, constantly changing company policies, stakeholders’ involvement in the project, etc. All these factors affect the scope of the project.

It is a known fact that a project’s complexity affects its success. The manner in which a business anticipates, fully understands, and addresses the complexity determines whether a project is going to be successful or not.

Can Agile reduce complexity?

In traditional project management methods, the complexity in a project is often managed by investing a certain amount of time in the “analysis phase” with the sole objective of analyzing the levels of complexity and ... Read more