In my most recent group assignment, my group and I assumed the role of a project manager to plan the development and estimate the progression of building an e-commerce site over the course of three-months. In this report, I will rationalise my thoughts and experiences, examine my application of agile tools and give a detailed understanding of how we progressed through this project in a group scenario.
Most difficulties we faced using agile tools in this project sprouted from our lack of knowledge regarding our projects team, timing, and deliverables. Using scrum project management and working in short two-week long sprints proved to create some complications. Whilst agile is useful for quick progression through features we found that at times, estimating how long each stage of a requirement would take to be built and tested was challenging. This made ensuring accurate progression of each user story complicated, especially when a requirement was unfinished when the sprint ended. Alongside this, ensuring all hours were accounted for proved complicated at first, however became less of a problem as the project progressed. Without real-world knowledge, adaptation was a big factor in coming to the final plan for our project.
The primary focus behind agile is to create features quickly and to consistently provide usable software. At the end of each sprint, a prototype software was released meaning all improvements had to be completed, tested, and workable. Using an agile approach, we found the ability to alter the direction and progression of the project quickly in response to change very easy and helpful. By simplifying each feature of the software into smaller requirements, we could easily appoint the correct team for the job, and assign the estimated amount of time for each requirement to be fulfilled. Furthermore, we found the creation of our product backlog and its development throughout the project to be extremely useful. By displaying necessary information such as requirements, estimated times, and sprints we could create a more comprehensive plan for our project.
Carrying out this project within a group produced many benefits, most notably the congregation of ideas and information, along with the ability to distribute work between each other enabled us to come to the conclusion we desired. Joint research on project planning at the beginning meant we were all on the same page throughout the development of our project. On top of this, each members opinions were considered when making decisions throughout the project. What team should be responsible this requirement? How long should this requirement take till completion? These were questions asked and answered within our team. Taking everyone’s opinion into consideration was one of the main factors in our projects success.
On the contrary, we came across a few conflicts whilst working in a group. Whilst the positives outweighed the negatives, we found that there were potentially too many varying opinions at certain stages. If you get to the point where everyone opinion is different, it makes coming to a conclusion difficult and can halt the progression of the project. Moreover, we sometimes came across conflicts in sprint creation. Deciding whether a requirement would be finished or not by the end of a sprint led to a predicament in finding the correct outcome and what was best for the project.