Agile vs. Traditional Project Management

Article by Sarah Cuison

Key Takeaways

Check Icon Organizations are discovering new ways to execute processes, resulting in a shift from traditional project management to agile approaches

Check Icon Agile project management involves several incremental steps towards project completion

Check Icon Some key factors to consider within agile project management include project scale, escalation management, and approval systems

Organizations are always discovering new ways to execute a process. This has resulted in a shift from using traditional project management methods towards an agile approach. However, choosing which structure suits your organization the best, depends on multiple factors. So, the big question is, would your team benefit from the agile methodology, or should it continue using the traditional approach?

Both approaches have their own advantages and shortcomings, however, a research study by PwC found that agile projects are 28% more successful than traditional projects. Every team requires a different process; let’s look at the similarities and differences between the two approaches.

Traditional Project Management vs Agile Project Management

In traditional project management, the entire project’s life cycle is divided into a number of phases. It uses a waterfall model where one phase is completed before the next phase can start. Traditional projects do not account for changes that might need to be made to the project. The benefits to traditional methodology include: a clearly defined objective, controllable processes, and higher accountability for tasks.

On the other hand, Agile project management involves several iterations or incremental steps towards the completion of a project. The benefits to agile include: more transparency, early delivery on tasks, improved quality along the process, and flexible prioritization.

The difference between the process of the two approaches is simple; traditional projects move step by step in a systematic order until they reach completion, whereas agile approach focuses on small incremental changes every one or two weeks and the clients are the centerpiece in this process.

When deciding which method to go with, these are the most important factors to consider:

1. Project scale and complexity

Decide whether tasks should be completed in a linear or iterative timeline. Traditional project management methodology is mainly used for the less complex projects that would not require any sudden changes. Agile methodology would be the best option in terms of managing larger projects, since it will have multiple interconnected project cycles that will be dependent on others.

2. User requirements and customer involvement

Traditional projects will incorporate a user’s input early on in the project, before it has even started. Agile projects will work with a user’s input during the time work is being performed, and make changes accordingly, throughout the process.

3. Project Manager or Scrum Master?

In traditional methods, a Project Manager will provide the task estimates and give approvals for the entire project. In Agile, a Scrum Master will be facilitating and keeping track of all tasks assigned to each team member.

4. Escalation management

When an issue or delay arises within a traditional environment, the problem will be brought up to a project manager to create a solution. When a problem arises in an Agile environment, the entire team will have to work together quickly to resolve it.

5. The review and approval process

The traditional method needs excessive reviews and approvals from higher management, since the review process occurs once the project is near to completion. On the other hand, Agile methodology will have review sessions occuring after each iteration.

The TRIYO Solution

Deciding between Traditional Project Management or an Agile approach for your next project is largely dependent on the project requirements and the deliverables attached to it. It is always a good idea to weigh down your needs and priorities to pick the approach that fits best.

One best practice is to get a project management software for your company to track tasks and be aware of your company’s work. TRIYO allows you to assign tasks, review project status, start/due date, add and review comments for a more productive remote working environment.

TRIYO is a comprehensive solution to all your project management needs. Try out our free interactive demo, or fill out the form below to learn more!


Sarah Cuison

Marketing Intern- TRIYO

3 min read

7 Jul 2021

Updated on 26 Jun 2022

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