In project management, ‘agile’ refers to a method that encourages flexibility and adaptability of all your processes and decision-making.
As a project manager in the field of architecture, or as an architect, agile methodology helps you embrace the unexpected and handle changes resiliently. We know how often things change in all project phases – agile gives you the tools to handle that change properly.
Essentially, the agile approach is a lot about working smarter, not harder.
What makes agile special? Let’s break it down:
Agile prefers incremental and iterative planning, which means your project gets built, reviewed, and improved, if necessary, one stage at a time. This principle does not have to apply to most architectural projects, but it can apply to parts of them (e.g. interior design).
In the traditionally rigid domain of project management, agile methodology encourages you to embrace change, seeing it as an opportunity for improvement rather than an obstacle.
Agile provides the freedom to make changes late in the development process, allowing you to adapt to new realities and expectations.
Under the agile approach, constant evaluation is a vital component. By incorporating regular feedback, you’re able to adapt your strategies effectively and ensure your project remains on track.
If you’re interested in learning the foundations of Agile methodology – check out our post on project management training for architects.
Agile methodology in arhitectural projects
The flexible agile approach could be a life-saver for architects, since it allows for adjustments along the way – especially if the clients and other stakeholders are on board with it. Agile does this by breaking projects into smaller tasks or “sprints,” each with a set timeframe.
In agile methodology frequent check-ins and revisions are the norm, not the exception. As a result, any issues or constraints are spotted and addressed, which keeps surprises to a minimum. As you start with interactive idea-sourcing visioning workshops, make sure all the stakeholders and participants of the project are aware of your agile approach.
If your architectural project is multifaceted and involves several professional teams, agile scalability becomes a must.
Staying competitive in the increasingly demanding field of architecture involves more than just producing impressive designs. Effective project management with elements of agile methodology can make you stand out and give you an edge over your competition.
Agile vs waterfall in architecture
The waterfall methodology is a traditional technique that follows a linear and sequential design process. Each phase of a project must be completed before the next one begins, providing a structured route appropriate for projects where the objectives are clear from the beginning.
While it may not offer the flexibility of agile, it can give you full control over your project stages, a beneficial feature for some architectural projects.
How to implement the agile methodology in architecture
Start by being flexible in your planning and being open to changes and improvements.
Second, adjust your planning style and make sure there is a relatively easy way to suggest and implement changes to the plan.
Then, involve your team. Agile’s collaborative nature calls for more frequent conversations and check-ins with your project team.
With regular team meetings, problems are discovered and addressed faster and everyone stays on the same page with project progress. Not only does this transparency boost team morale, it also promotes predictability in project outcomes. See our post on collaborative software for architects.
How PlanMan helps architects stay agile
In an agile project management approach, access to real-time information is critical. This includes data on project status, progress, expenditure rate, and scheduling, all that info is the essence of an agile project.
PlanMan lets you take care of that with all the agile-ready features we’ve added to the platform.
Single dashboard for project data
A project management solution that can proficiently handle all your data, processes, and teams collaboratively stands as the ideal support for agile practices. Forget segmented workflows, chaotic document storage and version control, and stakeholder communication scattered across different channels.
PlanMan offers you document management so that both you and your team members stay in the loop at all times.
Your firm’s resource management and scheduling procedures must have the flexibility to adapt to unexpected shifts effortlessly. It’s crucial that everyone comprehensively understands each team member’s unique abilities, including hard and soft skills.
Communication & collaboration
In architectural project management, effective communication with teams, clients, and external stakeholders is pivotal to success. Regular interaction fosters a sense of trust and appreciation, significantly boosting team participation and efficiency. This comes particularly handy in active discussions regarding possible changes in project scope, schedule, or timeline.
PlanMan has an advanced client communication module to help you keep all correspondence in one channel.
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