Does Project Management actually matter?

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Throughout the module we were introduced to AGILE, a form of project management often used in business to streamline a project and deliver results to customers more efficiently. In some industries it is imperative to have project management in place, for example in companies where software development happens, it’s likely that not everyone understands software development, and there needs to be a team to make sure that everyone is on the same page. 

AGILE methodology is often used with LEAN methodologies when managing projects, especially in software development. But what is AGILE?

Agile – a project management approach based on delivering requirements iteratively and incrementally throughout the life cycle.

So the idea here is to start a project and deliver the results to customers as you go along so that customers do not have to wait for the full product but get to see something beforehand. This is often used in game and app development since it makes it easier to deliver to the market.

For example, if we take Battlefield 5, a popular title which was released about 1 year ago, the game which was released was the initially released with the features that most people wanted then some features which were less important were released later down the line and some additions were added at request.

This is a mix between the MoSCoW prioritisation method and LEAN software development. MoSCoW stands for:

Must-Have -Things a project must include in order to deliver the needs of a customer

Should Have – Features which are important but not vital to the release, if they are left out it can impact on the product but don’t affect the minimum viability of the project

Could Have – Things that are wanted but aren’t really important, these can be looked at later or throughout the project as a ‘side task’

Wont Have – These are features which wont be delivered in this round of the project, but is still saved somewhere in case we change our mind later.

Going back into game development and app development, for the project I will be doing AGILE is not particularly necessary, however, the use of prioritisation could be useful to make sure I stay on task when I start designing the BBC Sounds App.

There will be lots of features that I think about that aren’t important for the scope of the brief, these would be put into the ‘Wont Have’ category, whilst the features which I want to focus on will likely go into Must Have and Should Have categories.

There are a lot more things to think about when implementing AGILE project management, however as this is an individual project much of the aspect of managing people or teams is not relevant for this particular project. In many larger organisations there would be various teams involved, and people of interest in each team who bring everything together.

Project management helps teams to focus on the business needs and makes sure that the teams like developers and designers are on the same page as people in the sales and business teams. I think this will become more useful as I start my own company in the near future and think about hiring contractors for various roles.

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