Change to Agile
I work in the health insurance industry within the Information Technology field. The management team has decided to move the project management methodology from a traditional Water Fall methodology to a more updated and recent Agile methodology. The change was decided on based on the identified need to gain greater control and visibility into the overall project development process. The Agile methodology also supports changes in project scope better and more effectively than the Water Fall method. Changes in project scope has been seen as a huge issue using the Water Fall methodology and our departments have had a hard time setting scope at the initiation of the project without the allowance for changes during construction and even User Acceptance phases of the project. These issues are identified as the strongest advantages for the Agile methodology and a big reason our department is moving in this direction for project management for future projects. For many years projects management philosophy has concentrated around the Water Fall methodology. Within this methodology there is a certification process called Project Management Professional (PMP). The Project Management Institute is based on the PMBOK guide to project Management standards and best practices. “This certification institute has over 600,000 members in 185 countries around the world. They are advocacy for project management is supported by their globally recognized standards and credentials, extensive research programs and professional development opportunities” (Project Management Institute (2012). This certification was and is highly valued within the profession. This project management methodology concentrates on identification and documentation of all project details prior to setting scope, timing and budget for the project. The Project Integration Management process is details six main project phases that begin with Development of the Project Charter then moves to Developing the Project Management Plan, which is followed by Directing and Managing the Project Execution , during project execution the Monitor and Control Project Work phase kicks off along with the Performing Integrated Change Control processes. The final phase to the Project Integration Management process is to Close the Project PMBOK (2008). Within each of these processes there are standard input documentation and output documentation. Each process completion supports the next process input requirements. This isn’t to say there couldn’t be overlap between processes, but the methodology doesn’t support reverting back to previous processes once they are completed. Within this methodology the goal is to take the time necessary to properly define the project fully within each phase setting scope, schedule and budget for the entire project. Once the scope of the project is set and agreed upon the methodology makes it difficult, time consuming and costly for the project sponsor and owners to change or add to the scope. This is in an attempt to get the project sponsors and owners to work hard to properly identify scope during the requirements phase. The issue with this strict criterion is that often it is difficult or even impossible for the system owners to know fully all the criteria that will be required throughout the new system. As each piece of the system is developed, tested and validated they bring better definition to the next steps in the system. Knowing all the requirements and specific detail up front prior to prior to any construction beginning is very difficult. On past projects this has caused project to go off schedule and take longer to complete than planned. In addition to taking longer to complete and implement the overall cost of the project also increases. In fact using the Water Fall methodology the later within the project changes are discovered the more time consuming and expensive they are to incorporate. With these project...
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