No matter whether they are in the automotive, energy or logistics industry, digitalization is constantly increasing the pressure on companies to innovate. In order to increase the speed at which they launch new products and services onto the market and meet customer requirements even better, companies should put their trust in agile project management.
Shorter product launch times, better quality and fewer risks – what sound like wishful thinking are actually the top three reasons why companies should focus on agile project management when it comes to software development. This was the result of the representative study “Status Quo Agile 2016/2017” carried out by the Koblenz University of Applied Sciences together with the Gesellschaft für Projectmanagement (GPM) and Scrum.org. It does not matter whether companies are digitalizing their spare parts inventories using sensors or want to give customers added value by providing them with new services in an app, applying agile methods is frequently the key to successful digitalization projects.
Scrum particularly suitable as an agile method
The core of agile project management is always the same: If companies have an idea for a new product or a new solution, they will achieve market maturity more quickly with agile teams. For this reason, more than 85 percent of agile teams in companies use scrum as a method (study, Koblenz University of Applied Sciences). Scrum teams work by assigning clear roles. These include a “product owner”, who is responsible for tasks such as creating user stories and carrying out testing. The product owner in charge of the project is in close contact with the “scrum master”, who often liaises with the project team on behalf of the service provider. The scrum team is constituted as needed, and can comprise software developers and architects, UI and UX designers, and business analysts and testing managers.
Higher quality with agile project management
Unlike the classic waterfall model, when using the agile methods, project phases are designed iteratively. That means that, every two or four weeks, preliminary software development results are presented, before being further developed in the following weeks on the basis of the feedback received. The benefit of these short development cycles is that errors in the software and in the product’s technical feasibility are identified faster. This reduces the cost risk for companies and continuously safeguards the quality of the work.
Important when using agile processes in project management is that agile practices are applied during software development itself. Alongside test-driven development, this also includes what is referred to as “pair programming”, where developers work on complex sections of code according to the four-eyes principle in order to ensure the quality of the software required. Applying clean code principles ensures that future maintainability and software expandability requirements are met.
Making use of experienced agile teams
Lufthansa Industry Solutions makes complete agile teams with different role structures available to companies in order to implement projects with the help of agile project management systems and agile software development. The advantage is that team members have already gained experience working with each other in a number of projects in different sectors and can start working right away without much preparation.