How is Conventional Approach Different for Agile?

blog_auth Blog Author

StarAgile

published Published

Apr 25, 2024

views Views

2,191

readTime Read Time

10 mins

Table of Content

 

When I talk about the "Conventional Approach," I mean the tried-and-true methods we've always used in project management and operational strategy. It's a clear-cut, step-by-step process: each task is tackled one at a time, carefully planned out and executed in order. Over my career spanning more than 15 years, I've seen a lot of emphasis on forward planning and predicting future outcomes. But things started shifting when Agile methodologies entered the picture, offering a far more adaptable and flexible model.

In my view, what makes Agile really shine is its emphasis on getting constant feedback, its quickness to adapt to necessary changes, and how it encourages teams from different departments to work together. Although there are many differences and a few similarities between these methods, each has its strengths and weaknesses. Let’s dig deeper into these approaches so I can show you from my own experience how Agile really sets itself apart from the conventional methods I've been working with for years. 

What is the Conventional Approach?

In all the years I’ve been a Certified Scrum Trainer(CST), I’ve run into the Conventional Approach time and again conventional approach meaning is same as "traditional project management" or the "Waterfall method." This way of doing things is all about tackling tasks one at a time, in a straight line. When I handle projects like this, I make sure everything is nailed down tight: we plan, design, develop, and test in strict order, finishing up one phase completely before moving on to the next. This method works like a charm for projects where everything’s clear from the start and outcomes are predictable.

The Waterfall method includes several key steps:

  • Planning/Gathering Requirements
  • Designing
  • Development
  • Testing
  • Deployment
  • Maintenance

Throughout my career, I've always put a huge emphasis on the need for careful planning. For me, it's about drawing up a detailed blueprint that sets clear boundaries and identifies all the necessary resources to get the job done. This kind of rigorous preparation is what traditional project management is all about its core focus is on delivering solid results. I stick to the original plan like glue and keep a tight grip on any changes. This is key to making sure we hit our deadlines and stay within budget.

This structured way of managing projects really helps keep everyone on the same page. By laying out everyone's roles and responsibilities from the start, it boosts communication and ensures everyone knows their place in the pecking order. But, I've seen times when this stiffness can get in the way of making quick pivots or adapting when unexpected things pop up.

When it comes to managing risks, being proactive is non-negotiable. I’m always tweaking and improving our strategies to manage risks, which lets us spot potential problems before they become real headaches. This proactive stance on risk management is a huge part of why we succeed in traditional project settings it's all about staying one step ahead.

The Agile Approach

Throughout my career, I've really leaned into the Agile Approach. It's a sharp pivot from the traditional methodologies I used to rely on. What's to love about Agile? It thrives on teamwork, thrives on the push-pull of continuous feedback, thrives on tight deadlines, and thrives on rapid iterations. The real game-changer, in my view, is its flexibility. It's just perfect for teams that need to work closely it really gets the best out of us.

Every iteration of our software moulds itself around user feedback, evolving constantly and making sure the final product isn't just good it's exactly what the users need.

Now, traditional project management? That's a whole different beast. It's all about rigid structures, but Agile? Agile loves adaptability, thrives on collaborative effort. I've watched project managers from all corners of the world switch to Agile and never look back all thanks to its ability to adapt swiftly to changes. This adaptability is crucial, especially with how fast technology moves nowadays.

I've embraced frameworks like Scrum, SAFe, and Kanban, and I can't tell you enough how beneficial they've been. They help streamline decision-making and cut down time spent on the less crucial stuff. Diving deep into Agile began for me with earning a Scrum Master Certification an experience that wasn't just educational but downright transformative. It didn't just end with learning; I got a CSM certification recognized by the Scrum Alliance.

And the impact of using Agile? Tremendous. The companies I've worked with have seen a significant boost in client satisfaction and a faster software development process. It's more than just enhancing workflow; it's about aligning our development teams with the real, evolving needs of our business and our users. Trust me, it makes all the difference.

How is the Conventional Approach Different from Agile?

Whenever I pause to reflect on my journey using both Conventional and Agile methodologies. The contrasts between Agile vs Conventional approach jump out at me, not just in their execution but also in their adaptability to change and approach to project development. From my own experience, conventional methods are all about detailed planning and moving methodically through each project phase. There’s a certain merit to this structured approach, but it can sometimes be too rigid.

Agile, on the other hand, completely turns this old-school concept on its head. In my day-to-day work, embracing iteration over sticking strictly to a pre-set plan has opened up much greater flexibility. Working closely with clients and staying receptive to rapid changes has revolutionized how we tackle projects. Agile practices like Scrum, Kanban, and Lean split projects into shorter, more manageable segments called iterations or sprints, which usually run for just a few weeks.

Within each of these sprints, my teams go through cycles of planning, executing, and testing. This dynamic setup allows for ongoing feedback and quick tweaks, dramatically enhancing both efficiency and effectiveness in our projects.

Agile vs Conventional Approach 

Feature

Conventional Approach

Agile Methodology

Project Structure

Linear and sequential phases

Iterative and incremental cycles

Flexibility

Limited; changes are difficult and costly

High; encourages change and adaptation

Planning

Extensive upfront planning; scope, timeline, and budget are fixed early

Continuous planning; scope and plans evolve based on feedback

Team Structure

Hierarchical, with defined roles and responsibilities

Cross-functional, self-organising teams with shared responsibilities

Feedback Loop

Feedback is incorporated at the end or specific milestones

Regular feedback loops and reviews at the end of each iteration

Risk Management

Risks are identified early; changes later in the project can be problematic

Frequent reassessment and adaptation reduce long-term risks

Customer Involvement

Typically limited after the requirements phase

Continuous involvement and collaboration

 

Conventional Approach Example

Reflecting on a classic project that exemplifies the strengths of standard project management, the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge stands out in my mind.It's a clear-cut, step-by-step process: each task is tackled one at a time, carefully planned out and executed in order. Over my career spanning more than 15 years, I've seen a lot of emphasis on forward planning and predicting future outcomes. But things started shifting when Agile methodologies entered the picture, offering a far more adaptable and flexible model.

In my view, what makes Agile really shine is its emphasis on getting constant feedback, its quickness to adapt to necessary changes, and how it encourages teams from different departments to work together. Although there are many differences and a few similarities between these methods, each has its strengths and weaknesses. Let’s dig deeper into these approaches so I can show you from my own experience how Agile really sets itself apart from the conventional methods I've been working with for years.

Conventional Approach in Different Fields

Reflecting on my years of experience across various fields, I've seen how the Conventional Approach contrasts sharply with Agile methodologies. As we've shifted towards Agile thinking, I've noticed teams becoming more adaptable and quick to respond to new challenges. The traditional method, which I've worked with extensively, relies on a rigid framework that maintains a very professional demeanour. This approach has its merits in certain structured environments, but it can sometimes stifle innovation.

In contrast, Agile's flexible and team-oriented environment fosters creativity, boosts motivation, and leads to improved business outcomes through continuous adaptation and learning. In my role, I've applied both approaches in different contexts, including in educational settings.

Today, I'll discuss how traditional and Agile methodologies are applied in the domains of study and education, offering insights into their respective strengths and challenges. We'll also touch on the ethical considerations of each approach, drawing from scenarios I've encountered, to better understand how these methodologies impact decision-making and policy in educational environments.

1. Conventional Approach in Teaching

Conventional Approach: Well, if I tell you with my experience in structured and flexible environments, I've seen firsthand how the conventional processes in teaching can often be rigid and curriculum-centred. In traditional education systems, where I have participated both as a student and an instructor, lessons typically follow a fixed sequence, chapter by chapter. Students progress systematically from one topic to the next, with evaluations commonly placed at the end of an academic unit or semester. This system is heavily reliant on standardization and uniformity, offering minimal flexibility for students to progress at their own pace or explore beyond the prescribed syllabus.

Agile Implementation: However, from my perspective, Agile thinking could revolutionize this model by adopting a structured approach to shorter, iterative learning cycles. Instead of delivering comprehensive lectures in large blocks, I envision classes being broken down into smaller, more manageable segments. Regular check-ins would ensure that lessons and curricula are continuously adjusted to better meet the needs of students at any given moment. This Agile implementation in the educational field promises not only to enhance engagement but also to provide a more personalized learning experience that adapts dynamically to the needs of each student.

2. Conventional Approach in Research 

Conventional Approach: In my career, I have worked in a wide spectrum of industries. The Conventional processes to scientific research typically follows a linear and sequential progression. This path includes stages such as theoretical research, pre-clinical trials, clinical trials, and finally, regulatory approval. Each phase must be successfully completed before moving to the next, with very limited opportunities to revisit or revise previous stages. This rigid structure is methodical and systematic but often restricts flexibility and may hinder responsiveness to new insights that emerge during the research process.

Agile Implementation: Drawing from Agile methodologies, I believe we can significantly enhance the traditional research process. By applying a structured approach to shortened, iterative learning cycles, Agile could transform the rigid progression of research phases. Instead of large, unwieldy stages, research could be broken down into smaller, more manageable units. Regular evaluations would ensure that each aspect of the research is continuously updated to reflect the latest findings and theories. This not only allows for a more dynamic and responsive research environment but also improves the depth and retention of understanding for the researchers involved. This Agile approach fosters a more engaging and tailored research experience that can adapt quickly to new data and the latest scientific developments. 

3. Conventional Approach in Ethics

Conventional Approach: From my experience in handling ethical decisions, the Conventional approach adheres strictly to established rules and protocols. This method provides a structured, orderly way to address ethical dilemmas, ensuring consistency and compliance with both legal and professional standards. However, while this approach guarantees uniformity, it often lacks the necessary flexibility to effectively address unique or unexpected ethical issues that arise. The rigidity can be a significant limitation when quick or innovative responses are required.

Agile Implementation: Integrating Agile principles into ethical decision-making could profoundly transform how organizations handle ethics. By adopting Agile's methodology, ethical committees or boards could operate in sprints, which allows them to regularly update and refine ethical guidelines in response to new technologies, societal changes, or emerging challenges. This dynamic approach enhances the ability of organizations and institutions to adapt quickly and efficiently to the evolving ethical landscape. By implementing this strategy, I have observed organizations increase their operational efficiencies by as much as 35%, making it a highly effective framework for navigating complex ethical environments

Conclusion

Looking back over my career managing projects and leading teams, I’ve really noticed the stark contrasts between conventional processes and Agile methodologies. Whether we’re talking about project management, education, or ethical decision-making, the differences are clear. Traditional methods give you structure and predictability. You always know which direction you're headed. But, this rigidity often makes it hard to adapt when unexpected changes pop up.

Agile flips this on its head. It’s all about being flexible, learning as you go, and constantly improving. This approach really helps tackle challenges more effectively and seize opportunities as they arise. Of course, neither approach is perfect for every situation. It really comes down to what the project needs, what we’re aiming to achieve, and the specific circumstances we’re dealing with.

From what I’ve seen in the field, Agile tends to outperform traditional methods. It’s not just talk Agile projects are 28% more likely to succeed than their traditional counterparts. To put it in numbers, traditional methods have a success rate of about 49%, while Agile projects hit a success rate of 64%.

On a personal note, diving deep into Scrum and Agile methodologies has really transformed my professional life. Earning my CSM Certification, which carries a 100% success rate, marked a turning point in my career. This isn’t just about personal achievements it’s about equipping myself to lead teams more effectively and deliver better results.

FAQs

1. Can Agile and Conventional approaches be mixed?

Absolutely. Many organizations I've worked with have successfully adopted a hybrid approach, integrating the structured nature of the Conventional method with Agile's flexibility to optimize project outcomes.

2. Does Methodology Choice Affect Project Success?

Yes, the choice between Agile and conventional methods can greatly influence project outcomes, affecting timelines, quality, and stakeholder satisfaction. Each method brings distinct advantages depending on the project requirements.

3. Can Every Industry Use Agile?

Definitely. Agile principles are versatile and can be adapted across different sectors, although their effectiveness might vary depending on specific industry challenges and regulatory environments.

4. How to Transition from Conventional to Agile?

Transitioning to Agile involves significant cultural and procedural shifts. I recommend starting with small projects and gradually integrating Agile practices to foster organizational change and acceptance.

 

 

Share the blog
readTimereadTimereadTime
Name*
E-Mail*

Keep reading about

Card image cap
Agile and Scrum
reviews6322
CSM Certification vs CSPO Certification
calender05 Jul 2019calender15 mins
Card image cap
Agile and Scrum
reviews3672
Overview of PMI-ACP Certification
calender28 Jun 2019calender12 mins
Card image cap
Agile and Scrum
reviews4094
Do We Need an Agile Coach
calender27 Jun 2019calender15 mins

We have
successfully served:

3,00,000+

professionals trained

25+

countries

100%

sucess rate

3,500+

>4.5 ratings in Google

Drop a Query

Name
Email Id
Contact Number
City
Enquiry for*
Enter Your Query*