Agile Project Management Methodologies for Software Development



When referring to agile software development, software developers describe a set of values coupled with methodology principles useful in the development of requirements and solutions involving within collaborative and self-organizing teams. For successful development of software, the agile software development methods advocate for adaptive planning development through evolution stages, delivery, frequent improvement, and influences preparedness in the response to challenges. With reference to its historical development timeline, evolutionary project management developed in early 1970s acquires complimentary features when coupled with iterative software development methods developed in 1990s (Abrahamsson et al. 23-24). In this regard, with reference to evolution in software development and the demand for agile methodologies, improving self-organization and team motivation. In addition, the benefits of using agile methodologies in software development include the control of unique issues associated with the development and release of new software. These issues, according to the study, include time and resource management, team management, reliable and sustainable planning, execution of the project and return on investment based on project lead time. 

In the application of the agile project management philosophy, the set of methodologies opposed the traditional approach in that they promote flexibility and efficiency in the development of software. In particular, this study will describe how six of the most recognized software development methodologies are useful in addressing issues surrounding software development and release. These methodologies include, Scrum, Kanban, Hybrid, Bimodal, Lean, and XP. In this regard, each of these methodologies will be associated with its application in the software development project cycle (Highsmith and Cockburn 120-127). The aim of the studies to show how these methodologies are useful in the control of projects, especially in the management of resources and meeting deadlines which are among the challenges most projects face. 

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Scrum is considered one of the most recognized software development agile frameworks which takes into account the organization of a project scope broken down into development cycles referred to as Sprints (Turk, Robert, Rumpe 34). Application of this strategy ensures that a project is not only forecasted at meeting its objectives and goals but also ensuring that the resources applicable to one phase of the project are individually managed to ensure the completion of associated tasks. In addition, in the development of software when considering the sprints, each takes a duration of between one to four weeks in limiting the costs associated with stalled progress. While software development might be different from other forms of projects, the application of the software program is usually under a tight schedule, which might mean the difference between its usefulness and a total waste of resources. Due to organizational challenges facing project teams, the division of responsibilities into small sprints ensures that the team is strictly involved with the working plan and each sprint (Turk, Robert, & Rumpe, 32-27)

Some of the issues surrounding the development of software include the lack of defined set of responsibilities as well as duration for each. In order to ensure that our project is successful in terms of meeting deadlines and the serving the mission it is aimed at serving, the application of the scrum methodology ensures that people involved in the projects development are assigned predefined roles. In this regard, if roles were not considered a significant factor in the development lifecycle, challenges of overlapping responsibilities would lead to delays in the release of the software and waste of resources during the development time frame (33-34).


There are multiple differences between one software development methodology with another and the differences influence the type of project undertaken. Based on the expectations and work organization of the scrum method, Kanban method on the other hand, relies on the development of software based on work flow visualization (Ahmad et al. 110-113). This approach ensures that each stage of the project is undertaken individually until it is completed. Therefore, to ensure that each stage of the project does not incur challenges such as delays and the misappropriation of resources, a work in progress (WIP) document or analyses is considered a priority. Therefore, the Kanban methodology, ensures that all team participation efforts and skills are narrowed down to one task at a time. Unlike the application of Scrum, the Kanban method does not include the time-boxed development sprints and therefore, tasks can take as little time as possible while the team can change time as it pleases so that it can meet the project goals while at the same time accommodating changes (Ahmad et al. 110-113). 

With reference to the Kanban method, it is observed that software development projects require flexibility in terms of reducing or increasing the timeframe. However, when considering that various stages of the software development cycle require individual handling of technical demands and later integrating various components together to complete the project, it is possible that errors that are costly to rectify are encountered. In this regard, the application of the Kanban method, teams of the alternative of choosing specific software development tasks to concentrate on as one responsibility before moving to another. In this regard, each stage of the software development lifecycle is taken as a continuation of the previous stage (Ahmad et al. 113). Therefore, working progress documentation outlines how the current stage in software development is associated with the previous and what qualifications it must have before it is considered completed and ready to allow the development of the next stage. Thus, Kanban is considered an agile method in that it prevents wastage of resources as well as loss of focus in project work.


With reference to the hybrid method of software development, agile and waterfall methods are combined together to ensure that they complement the software development process (Fuggetta and Di Nitto 1-12). In this regard, the waterfall project management methodology which takes into account fixed deadline, forecasted spending, and inclusive risk assessment. In order to achieve flexibility and efficiency in development of software, the agile methods which are responsible for the achievement of flexibility and efficiency are applied under the conditions of waterfall methodology. In this regard, time management which is an issue in most projects development and release is considered a priority which must be met others the projects might be deemed worthless if this schedule is not met. 

On the other hand, waterfall project planning takes into account the financial burden the project requires to be successful and in this regard, flexibility and efficiency are relevant in that resources that are not exhausted from one phase of the project can be reallocated to handle another stage that may require more resources. Additionally, efficiency through the consideration of budget requires planning, which is not only strategic but also inclusive of all risks associated with the progress of the project. 

Risks associated with project management include poor analysis of risks and challenges associated with the project. In this regard, the use of the hybrid methodology in software development ensures that risk assessment is inclusive of both critical and noncritical areas which can be forgotten during the lifecycle and the cost the projects more resources when attempting to fix them later (Fuggetta and Elisabetta 10)

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By model framework of agile project development takes into account a complimentary role in strengthening both traditional and agile methods of work. In this regard, all useful features of agile project developments are integrated with the traditional modes ensuring that the best the results can be achieved. In this regard, two project teams work on different projects with separate goals. For instance, in the development of software one team is tasked with the responsibility of initiating information systems infrastructure, while on the other hand, a second team is responsible for delivering innovative applications in software development. With reference to projects team challenges, the collaboration of agile and traditional methods of project management ensure that cross-team collaboration is established since it is essential in determining the success of the project. 

Due to a number of risks that challenge the development software, resource management is one of the most significantly managed issues and requiring agile methodologies to sustain. Therefore, the use of bimodal method ensures that project management tasks and responsibilities are shared within teams which and or a variety of responsibilities that are independently conducted in the integrated to promote the success of the project.


Lean methodology in software development is concerned with utilization and management of project resources ensuring that software development is not only effortless, time effective, and cost friendly but also manageable within various information systems environments (Giardino 28-29). With reference to time as a resource, the application of the lean methodology takes into account the consumption of resources based on the duration of a project. Therefore, the project ensures that a project’s duration is the least the type of tasks and responsibilities can allow. Therefore, development cycle under the lean framework aims at achieving the shortest duration in development activities. In this regard, challenges associated with errors and bugs within the software are investigated and rectified through continuous improvements (Giardino 29). On the other hand, it is observed that continuous improvements in most software development projects take the form challenge rectification, but through the use of lean methodology, this task changes to continuous responsibility of assessment and adjustment ensuring that the end result or a product is not only useful in the intended purpose but it is flexible in accommodating changes necessary to ensure that the software is free of bugs. Additionally, in the lean methodology is different as compared to Scrum, Bimodal, and Hybrid methods as the projects team is independent and responsible for a wide range of tasks. 

With project issues such as delays due to poor planning, lean methodology is suitable in the development of a project concept that the team is confident about. Therefore, while this methodology allows developers to use fewer resources as compared to other methodologies, it also allows swift completion of the easier stages of the software development while providing room for the integration of resources in the handling of more challenging stages of the projects development lifecycle.


The application of the XP methodology in software development focuses on technical aspects in the projects development lifecycle. Unlike most of the methods discussed above, XP methodology introduces efficiency engineering practices aimed at boosting the reliability on developers to develop clear code. One of the issues surrounding software development and release included the delivery of unclear code which can also be susceptible of having bugs or being unstable during execution. Therefore, in order to ensure that software development takes care of risks such as and identified bugs in the code, XP methodology ensures that the projects development takes a consistent procedure of evaluating the writing tasks of the code. Therefore, core writing, analysis, tests, design, and continuous code integration during software development influences the consistency in the execution of tasks assigned and associated with various development stages (O’Leary et al. 88-91).

XP methodology provides developers with the advantage of ensuring communication within teams is guaranteed in order to match development progress with project expectations and demands of project sponsors of customers. Therefore, in order to avoid mismatch of project development goals with the expectations of the project’s objectives, it is essential to note that XP methodology encourages face-to-face communication where challenges in the progress can be pointed out through analysis and testing leading to the achievement of a clear code. Therefore, while most of the have approach projects development methodologies are associated with resource allocation and the management of activities, the XP methodology is actively responsible for ensuring that the end product, regardless of resources used, is a clearly written code (56-57).

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The goal of software development is to ensure that a useful product is provided to the customer or delivered to the system it is required for. In order to achieve the benefits of software development and the usefulness of the resulting programs, agile project methodologies are integrated into the software development tasks to provide guidelines regarding the achievement of sustainable and economical results. In this regard, six methodologies have been identified and discussed in this study including Scrum, Kanban, Hybrid, Bimodal, Lean, and XP methodologies. With reference to Scrum and Kanban, it is observed that there is a difference in execution since in Scrum schedules are important just like in hybrid methodologies while Kanban methodology promotes flexibility in the project’s lifecycle. With reference to hybrid methodologies a combination of agile and waterfall methodologies showcases a complimentary feature in integrating two methodology types to promote the best outcomes during the project and its execution. Additionally, while the demand of a quality product, which addresses the objectives and goals of development is required is an essential factor, resource management is undertaken as a priority in the lean methodology. 

Therefore, projects that are constrained by budgets and other resources such as time frame, the choice of lean methodology ensure software development takes the shortest the development cycle is possible. In this regard, lean methodology differs with other methodologies such as the Scrum method which involves the division of responsibilities through sprints and focusing on development stage one at a time. From the difference between lean and Scrum methods in terms of dividing the project work into smaller units, resource allocation constraints can be considered issues surrounding development of software and opting for the cheaper method showcases the significant role of integrating agile management in software development project. While at the constraints might be witnessed across various methodologies, the combination of traditional and agile modes of work provides a sustainable approach to resource management and planning of a project.

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  1. Abrahamsson, Pekka, et al. “Agile software development methods: Review and analysis.” arXiv preprint arXiv:1709.08439, 2017. Print
  2. Ahmad, Muhammad O., Jouni Markkula, and Markku Oivo. “Kanban in software development: A systematic literature review.” Software Engineering and Advanced Applications (SEAA), 2013 39th EUROMICRO Conference on. IEEE, 2013. Print
  3. Fuggetta, Alfonso, and Elisabetta D.N. “Software process.” Proceedings of the on Future of Software Engineering. ACM, 2014. Print
  4. Giardino, Carmine. “What do we know about software development in startups.” IEEE software 31.5 (2014): 28-32. Print
  5. Highsmith, Jim, and Alistair Cockburn. “Agile software development: The business of innovation.” Computer 34.9 120-127, 2001. Print
  6. Turk, Dan, Robert France, and Bernhard Rumpe. “Limitations of agile software processes.” arXiv preprint arXiv:1409.6600, 2014. Print
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