The House that Jack Built
Conventional project management is like building a house where everything has to happen in the right order, you cant put the roof on before the footings are laid! This is the Waterfall method.
The problem with technical development is that, by the time the whole project is complete, situations have changed, new information discovered and what the management originally decided they wanted has been altered.
An Agile Project
Agile development is not like that. To a certain degree, the order things are done is not fixed. For an agile project, the order is dictated by the business requirements not the architecture of the development. The business chooses the order of the deliverables which creates its own but lesser issues.
Waterfall projects fail 80% of the time, Agile projects succeed 80% of the time – because they’re able to respond faster to the inevitable brief changes that happen along the way.
Changes Cost Less
While there does need to be an overall plan, agile project management means that each part of the project is divided up into short-term deliverables. This means that the management team can see the progress at every step and if something changes, there’s only a small step back to take. Big costly changes are easily avoided.
Early failure is good – and with your budget not spent on things that don’t work it is available to spend where it delivers business benefit.