Agile Project Management takes an iterative or incremental approach to designing and implementing Revenue Management (RM) capabilities. Embracing the belief that things will change after you start your initiative, requires a more flexible approach than more traditional methods of project management. The process can be summarized by dividing a project into Revenue Management capabilities that can be designed and implemented in steps or iterations based on priorities and dependencies (predict demand, then optimize it), and then delivering those capabilities within an iterative cycle. An iteration is a release of Revenue Management capability every 1-3 months, sometimes incrementally, to receive feedback and gain insights early to incorporate into subsequent work.
Within each iteration, the project team also creates incremental capabilities within time-boxed periods (2-4 weeks) called sprints. Sprints are organized much like the iterations, based on priorities and dependencies (data then predictive analytics), but they are at a lower level of detail. Sprints provide the project team with opportunities to test incremental Revenue Management capabilities before releasing to clients in the iterations. Sprints consist of essential Agile User Stories, and have four critical areas that cover:
- Persona – who will use the capability
- Need – what is the business requirement
- Benefit – why is the capability needed – this helps to set priorities
- Acceptance – the criteria or success factors for when the story is complete
There are five highly desirable benefits to using an Agile Project Management approach:
- Collaboration – Agile provides vast opportunities for both the client and project team to collaborate with each other. This drives numerous and quantifiable benefits;
- Transparency – with more client involvement throughout the project, such as prioritizing capabilities in iteration planning to the review of released capabilities, provides a continuous work in progress benefit of transparency;
- Quality – user story writing with early embracement of acceptance criteria enables continuous testing through design and implementation. Frequent and early releases of capabilities provide opportunities to catch defects and make changes throughout the development process, and align on expectations;
- Flexibility – while there is no change to scope of the capability a project team is delivering during an iteration, there is still an opportunity to refine and reprioritize scope of the remaining project (backlog). This flexibility of changing scope can often be accomplished without change to time or costs, and can feel like a win for both project team and client;
- Predictability – using an Agile Project Management approach with time-boxed, fixed schedule iterations, ensures the cost of each iteration is predictable and limited to the amount of work that can be performed by the team in the fixed-schedule time box.
Using Agile Project Management ensure that clients are involved throughout the project and can save time, money, and have the flexibility to make changes during the development of the new Revenue Management program.