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Roots of Agile Project Management

written by: Misty Faucheux • edited by: Marlene Gundlach • updated: 9/12/2011

We all hear about agile project management. But, these theories didn't come out of nowhere. Learn about the roots of agile project management.

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    Studies of the Past

    Everything comes from something, and agile project management is no different.This modern project management method grew out of practices, studies and methods that were long being put together.In a recent blog post about this topic, Rick Freedman sited some of these past studies and practices that led to the Agile Manifesto and in turn agile project management.

    One of these studies had been conducted by the Department of Defense (DOD).The DOD discovered that nearly 75 percent of all software projects were either cancelled or never put into practice.This was due to either the project not being delivered on time, going over budget or not meeting the original standards set forth for the project.

    A later study by Robert D. Austin of Hard Business School discovered that there are a number of flawed assumptions about IT development and project management itself.These included the following:

    ·It’s impossible to plan for large projects

    ·It’s impossible to predict or even protect against late-stage changes to projects.

    ·It’s not a good idea to “lock in big projects early".

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    Agile Manifesto

    From this information and these studies, later generations began comparing the different types of project management models, including waterfall, spiral and evolutionary delivery, to see if there was a way to improve upon these methods.From this arose the Agile Manifesto in 2001.

    Source: It all started with 17 very influential agile development people.They defined what agile development was and what principles must be upheld in this model.The goals of agile software development were to put more value on individuals and their interactions, software that works, collaborating with customers, and quickly responding to any changes that may occur.

    They also put together a set of principles that people should follow, which included ensuring customer satisfaction, emphasizing independent teams and delivering working software systems on a regular basis.

    Later in 2005, an addendum was added to the Agile Manifesto, which put emphasis on checking for errors, reducing wasteful practices and helping workers empower themselves.

    Please be sure to check out the other items in Bright Hub's collection of Agile project management guides and discussions.