Other Agile Methods

The alarms are going off. Time is running out! What are you going to do? Sweat is dripping down your brow. Which business requirements do you save and which ones do you omit? Time is slipping away. Decisions must be made.

All right, the scenario might not be like a Hollywood movie, or anywhere as near as intense as that. Nonetheless, it is fun to play with the concept of “What if your project only has a limited amount of work that can fit within a timebox?” And, “What MUST a requirement have to meet a business need versus what SHOULD a requirement have in order to meet a business need if at all possible, but the success of the project really does not rely on such a need?”

If you run or are part of projects managed in an agile manner, then these are questions you have faced — even if not as blatantly called for as this. Some of these and many other questions are tackled in the agile project management approaches of Scrum and extreme programming (XP). Are there other ways to approach agile project management outside of the two more common and referenced approaches? There are plenty. And there is a lot to learn from them. You may not come across these other methodologies regularly or maybe you have heard of or used some of the concepts before, but just did not know who or what discipline to attribute the concept or term to.

Shall we explore some of the lesser known agile project management approaches beyond the popular ones of scrum and extreme programming! Their lack in popularity right now does not mean they have always lesser known. They may become the “go to” approach in the future if certain industries or subsets of the agile community adopt them fuller and evangelize their exalts. What makes a method popular one year does not mean it will be the popular the next. There are many reasons why these other methods are used and practiced regularly.

What you follow or decide to practice in your day­ to ­day work may be only one approach. That is perfectly acceptable. Being aware of the benefits and constraints of the system you use, as well as other options gives you a deeper and more informed platform to make decisions on what is the best practice for a particular project, environment, or other need. For your own erudition alone, you should absorb as much of these brief explanations. This is analogous to a carpenter knowing that there are other tools and techniques beyond the one fail safe manner he uses everyday with a hammer and level. There might be a better way or there might be a worse way. There may even be a better way that requires the merging or subtle blending of a few elements from multiple methods. You don’t know unless you learn and don’t brush them off.

If you spot any methods that spark your interest, I encourage you to dig deeper and apply the concepts whenever and wherever you can.

The agile project management approaches beyond Scrum and XP are:

  • Dynamic Systems Deployment Method (DSDM)
  • Kanban
  • Crystal Family of Methods
  • Lean
  • Feature Driven Development
  • Adaptive Software Development

I’ll be discussing each of these methods in my next blogs. Stay tuned! 🙂

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