Project management plays a crucial role in productivity, but finding the right system can be difficult for some organizations.
The planning and execution of your projects have a major hand in how employees carry out work.
The reality is if you belong to a company that suffers from poor communication, disorganized planning, and unstructured processes, chances are your productivity will take a hit.
The key to solving these issues is to find an effective project management strategy that focuses on increasing productivity in the workplace.
In this guide, we will discuss various agile methodologies, how they work, and which ones may assist you in streamlining your workflow and boosting productivity.
What Are Agile Methodologies?
Agile methodologies are comprehensive project management processes.
They help organizations plan out projects more effectively and execute them seamlessly. Then, they foster analytical evaluation afterward to help teams consistently improve the way that they work.
While agile methodologies were originally designed for software programming, they have become widely used among enterprises more broadly. These larger companies use them as a more effective, efficient and collaborative way to carry out projects and daily work..
The four principles that drive agile methodologies and make them so effective are:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
Do Agile Methodologies Really Improve Productivity?
Agile methodologies do contribute to greater productivity. In fact, research shows that software development teams that utilize agile methodologies are 25% more effective than teams that don’t.
Why? Agile methodologies help teams stay aligned with goals, deadlines, and communication during the project execution process.
Additionally, these methodologies promote focusing on one task at a time and leveraging customer feedback to get work done faster and more effectively. This combined approach helps you increase employee productivity.
If your organization experiences issues with planning and execution, agile methodologies can be one of the best ways to improve company productivity.
That being said, there are multiple types of agile methodologies that you can use in your organization. So, if you’ve engaged in productivity monitoring and noticed inefficiencies in your team, your answers may lie in one -- or more -- of the agile methodologies.
Let’s take a closer look at these methodologies to understand which one will be right for your business.
What Types of Agile Methodologies Are There (and Which Is Right for Your Organization)?
There is an ever-growing roster of agile methodologies.
For the sake of brevity, we’re only going to focus on a handful of popular agile methodologies that are being used today. The most popular agile methodologies in use by enterprise teams today are include:
Kanban is an agile methodology that uses visual methods to help teams see projects at a glance and ensure that each part of the project is moving forward.
Although this word may sound like a new concept, you may already be familiar with it, as this is the type of methodology that applications like Trello use for their software.
Kanban is great for teams who thrive with visual organization systems. Additionally, programs utilizing this methodology offer features like deadlines, task assignments, commenting systems, and more. This gives you the full functionality you need to manage your project effectively.
However, if your team doesn’t understand your chosen system or fails to utilize all of these features, it can heavily impact performance. Prioritize proper training and productivity monitoring to make sure you get the most out of Kanban.
Scrum is a very popular agile methodology that builds on the Kanban methodology.
Scrum breaks down work into stages known as “sprints”. Sprints are a period of time in which a team works together to accomplish a certain amount of work.
Scrum is highly collaborative and naturally spurs productivity as all team members are focused on achieving certain tasks within a specified deadline.
That being said, Scrum can sometimes be too hyper focused, making it easier for teams to lose focus on the project as a whole and get too caught up in minor aspects of it. This can be detrimental to teams looking to maximize productivity.
Extreme Programming (XP)
Extreme Programming, as the name suggests, is a much more intense methodology. It focuses on communication and feedback as well as accomplishing tasks in a set timeframe, much like Scrum.
Unlike Scrum, however, there are regular releases of the project and acceptance tests designed to ensure the project is going in the customer’s preferred direction.
Teams that use XP will take any feedback they receive and make changes immediately, even if they are in the middle of a major part of the project.
XP is great for productivity and ensuring that time spent on projects isn’t time wasted. With that in mind, XP doesn’t suit environments where customer feedback can’t be applied quickly, as well as projects that aren’t software based.
Lean is actually an agile methodology developed by Toyota.
Seven principles guide this methodology: Deleting the things that do not matter, quality development, creating knowledge, differing commitments, fast delivery, respecting the team, and optimizing the whole.
As you can see from these principles, the Lean method is great for teams who contribute to the project equally and are focused on developing the best possible solution.
The issue? Lean relies heavily on the talent of the team and their ability to make sure they’re staying on task and focusing on the project as a whole (although you can offset these risks by monitoring productivity in the workplace). Should anyone fall behind or lose focus, the whole system can suffer.
Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)
DSDM is a framework that’s focused on delivering solutions quickly and can be a supplemental framework to other methodologies like Scrum.
Because it’s a rapid methodology, organizations that are accustomed to delivering work rapidly and experience little pushback will benefit most.
Organizations trying to implement this that aren’t accustomed to fast-paced work, on the other hand, will likely burn out their employees. If you do implement DSDM, make sure you’re carefully monitoring productivity in the workplace.
So, Which Methodology to Choose?
The type of methodology you choose will depend on the scopes of your projects, how much they need to be broken down, and how quickly you need to deliver them. Regardless of your needs, there’s sure to be a methodology that works for your organization.
With that in mind, how can productivity be measured to ensure your chosen methodology is effective? Look for a productivity measurement tool that helps you measure employee productivity performance as you test new agile methodologies.
With the right productivity monitoring software and methodology on your side, you can get projects done with greater speed and efficiency!
Agile Methodologies Make Boosting Productivity Seamless
Monitoring productivity in the workplace is essential for all organizations, but the insights you receive won’t be helpful if you don’t know how to streamline your processes and boost efficiency.
Agile methodologies are designed to move projects along with greater speed and focus, giving you the processes and structure that underpin optimal productivity.
If your organization has been suffering from decreased productivity, consider adopting one of the agile methodologies above into your team’s workflow.