Popular Agile methodologies including Scrum, Lean, Kanban and so on have gained tremendous popularity in every IT project management article on the Internet. No doubt, Agile was developed to combat the persistently dynamic IT environment. 

However, is the ambit of applicability of Agile principles limited to IT projects alone? Or they are suitable for Non IT projects too? Let’s figure out.

Agile, an ideology 

Agile, by itself, is not a methodology, but an ideology. It is a normative system of principles, beliefs and values that have been almost completely ingested into the IT industry. But that doesn’t mean it fits only the IT industry.

Iterative & Incremental 

The success of Agile lies in its two core approaches – iterative and incremental. 

An iterative process is something that progresses through successive revisions. An appropriate analogy is sculpting. With each iteration, the sculpture is improved by adding intricate details to it. Whereas, an incremental process is one in which a project is built and delivered in pieces. An incremental sculptor would pick one part of her work, for instance: nose, and focus entirely on it until it is as complete as possible. 

The ultimate aim of this approach is to achieve the utmost perfection. As you can see, this approach can be used in Non IT projects too in order to pull off the desired work outcome. 

Working prototype over Comprehensive documentation 

If your team spends close to a few months to document their requirements, design, analysis, stats and tests, there is a fair chance for your documentation to become outdated when you complete it. In today’s business scenario, the needs of the client and trends of the market change rapidly. So, it would be much better to give a shape to what is on your client’s mind by building a prototype. This works better in meeting client requirements in a shorter time period and thus achieve client satisfaction. 

Consistent feedback 

Agile management is based on feedback from stakeholders. The feedback is collected both in a structured and unstructured manner throughout the working of the project. Non IT projects can also derive feedback in such a manner. Gathering stakeholders’ feedback throughout the entire project is highly effective and much better because changes can be made then and there. Conveying recommendations and feedback during the delivery of the final product would make the project too expensive and could consume a lot more time than expected. Applying changes in the final stage of the project is often demotivating to the project members. 

Final word

Although Agile was initially established for IT projects, it can also be applied to Non IT projects such as marketing, service, supply chain, or manufacturing. What is important is reckoning Agile as an ideology rather than a set of instructions. As Agile in uncommon in Non IT environment, proper planning and execution methodologies have to be framed depending upon the type of project in hand.

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