Project Management Plan: Traditional Vs Agile

Project Management Traditional vs Agile

In the world of advanced technology, there is a lot of competition to stay ahead in the industry. This creates extreme pressure to execute hundreds and thousands of business projects at the same time. And if you succeed in delivering the same within a set time and budget, you successfully meet the organizational goals, driving it towards success.

The project spans various sectors like industrial engineering, sports, construction sectors, and government projects to construct dams and bridges. These numerous projects are undertaken by the development team with the aim of bringing value to their company and increasing the business ROI.

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Moreover, whether a project will succeed or fail can be determined by planning the capabilities of the organization right from the stage of planning to the closure of respective projects. To steer an organization’s status towards success, it is necessary to properly define its goals, create a schedule with a focus on constraints and deliver in accordance with the schedule.


I. Choosing Between Traditional PMP® And Agile Project Plans

Project Management Plan Traditional vs Agile

Presently, PMP has been delivering values to thousands of organizations across the industry.

In this article, we will be looking into how Project Management Plans (PMP ®) can be useful for both the traditional and Agile spheres and will try to set out the differences between PMP vs Agile. To understand which methodology to use for your project, let us begin with the differences between Traditional PMP and Agile Management Plans:


A. Traditional Project Management Plan: –

As per PMBOK definition, a project management plan (PMP ®) is a set of baseline and subsidiary plans. The importance of using a Traditional management plan is categorized in the following points:

  1. It consists of a baseline for scope, schedule, and cost. The scope majorly defines the overall business requirements, constraints, deliverables, and WBS. The schedule on the other hand includes timelines for achieving the goals and the cost includes the allocated budget for respective projects.
  2. Traditional Management plans include quality management to measure and control approach so as to organize and lead the development by appropriating their separate roles and responsibilities. It also puts forward a risk management plan which helps in identifying and evaluating risks and mitigates them with contingency plans. Further, the procurement plan identifies required purchase procurement from 3rd party vendors.
  3. The Requirement Management Plan documents the relevant information that is useful in effectively managing the project requirements from the definition, through traceability.
  4. Change Management Plan standardizes efficient management of all the changes and their effect on the product, process, and the organization as a whole.
  5. The Configuration Management Plan identifies the project teams that are configurable and items that require formal change control and which controlling changes approach to be applied to them.
  6. A process improvement plan documents how the entire project team is going to analyze the processes and products and accordingly provide the improvements to be implemented. It is the most crucial plan that helps get the relevant buying from the stakeholders.


B. Agile Project Management Plan

Agile Project Management is a tentative approach that is based on delivering requirements to the organization incrementally and iteratively throughout the life cycle of a project. Agile is essentially the requirement to demonstrate central values and behaviors of flexibility, collaboration, trust, and empowerment. On the contrary traditional management plans set detailed plans and requirements on all accounts in the beginning of the project itself and then they follow the plan and compare it to take corrective actions.

However, Agile works on the initial idea of what is the main requirement of a business i.e., Minimum Viable Product (MVP), and how the team can meet delivery requirements in shorter cycles. These regular iterative approaches are the main characteristic of an Agile project which even leads to the establishment of a collaborative relationship between the team and stakeholders.

A misconception often occurs that Agile means little or no documentation at all. However, let us correct you here that it requires just sufficient documentation for the team to comprehend the progress. The reason behind this is that the primary measure of the progress of a project is always the working software rather than the exhaustive documentation process. For instance, if there’s a project that demands documentation owing to the compliance and regulatory rules, then the same will be taken up during the Sprint as user stories and will be completed.

The Agile project management mainly consists of three defined roles as per Scrum i.e., the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and the Team.

  • The product owner is responsible to bring the vision to the product and build the product right by prioritizing the delivery requirements and making the right decisions on time.
  • Scrum Master acts as a servant-leader for the team and helps them work together in a healthy environment where only progress flourishes. Scrum Master removes the challenges to progress, attends meetings and discussions to guide the team at every stage, and keeps them focused toward the ultimate goal of the project, while strictly adhering to the Scrum principles and practices.
  • The Project Development team has a major role to play in Agile Project Management since they are the ones who cohesively decide together with their respective tasks and the set time within which they must deliver. They act as a self-organized team to ensure that the right engineering practices are being followed to achieve organizational goals.

So, another difference is that Agile Project teams self-distribute work and responsibility among themselves unlike the project teams of traditional project management, where they are entirely dependent on their project manager.


II. Concluding Thoughts

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So, this was the comparison between the Traditional Management Plan and Agile Project Management. It is indeed true that irrespective of plans be it traditional or waterfall; organized planning is what is needed for any project. This set of artifacts acts as a navigation system for the Project Managers that they can utilize for tracking the project delivery against the usual laid out plans and take corrective course actions on it.

One thing to be noted is that there is no guarantee that a project will always go as per the set management plan as there is always the risk of uncertainties that can cause disruption. Therefore, having a clear Project Management Plan can alleviate the risks to a large extent using the mitigation plans, thus ensuring the project’s success.

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Praneet Samaiya
the authorPraneet Samaiya