Is Agile Project Management Applicable to Construction
Agile Project Management (APM) was originally intended for the development of software. But it can be expanded. To cover a wide range of industries. Including Construction. Agile construction will implement the agile methodologies. And will allow those principles to provide greater scope and customer participation when it comes to the design and pre-design phases of construction projects.
It is only in recent years that it has been seen to have potential in the implementation of lean construction. But now it is changing attitudes and practices planning from top to bottom. There are now case studies that are proving how agile project management practices can benefit the construction industry, bringing with it collaboration and efficiency when it comes to project delivery.
Is Agile a Good Fit in the Construction Industry?
APM offers considerable potential when it comes to the construction industry. But what does agile consist of and how can that work for construction projects?
APM principles prioritise interactions and individuals instead of processes and tools. What this means is that communication and regular feedback are more vital than implementing processes. And more vital than tools that rigidly define the project workflow. These principles are most beneficial to the construction industry in the design and pre-design phase where customer participation and the need for clearly defined deliverables are paramount.
Every individual project is about collaborative working with the customer instead of contract negotiation. Therefore, projects must aim to organisational attitudes. And practices at involving the customer from the beginning of the process as well as having a culture of continuous improvement and progress review.
Whether it is product development or construction, every project will change. And this is where APM will provide lean and agile production through efficient change management. What does this mean? That it is easier to implement changes. When needed. And that gives APM considerable potential for application in the construction industry.
Is Agile Project Management Applicable to Construction? Project Planning and Implementation
Agile construction projects often require well-planned stages that need to be executed sequentially. Every project will have its challenges to overcome but APM offers many benefits. Traditionally, many might choose to use the waterfall approach. Which has resulted in very few changes to project management in construction, but this is changing. The sequential waterfall approach does not leave much room for continuous improvement. Neither the ability to quickly act when issues arise. Agile production and agile project management can help alleviate this by tracking improvisation and promoting feedback between workers and management.
From materials to labour and even altering designs, agile development can underpin the success of any construction project in an efficient way.
It allows for greater control over processes and provides an increased level of flexibility. It is also possible to use agile decision-making to monitor stages of the project. And iron out potential problems before they manifest into larger problems later in the project.
APM will not only define how to break down tasks or establish time intervals but it will also help to create roles that oversee the process. All of these roles will be responsible in their own way, yet all are working towards the same common goal. The real positive aspect of APM is its flexibility and every construction project can benefit from that.
Construction projects can run into millions of pounds. Yet problems and a lack of clarity can add more to the cost. However, APM provides a clear approach to project management and that is crucial in the construction industry. So, while APM might have originally been used in the development of software, it is actually possible to use those principles in other industries. And realize the benefits of Agile project management model because of the way in which it can be adapted and utilised.