What is Agile Project management

Many changes are happening in the software development field. One such change is the use of agile methodologies. Agile project management ensures faster delivery of projects into the market. It involves working with the team leader, members, and the project owner. It promotes collaboration and collection of feedback per the smaller project. The feedback collected later gets merged and worked upon by the members. The approach changes how the teams work and promotes a problem-solving culture. The article will provide a detailed discussion about agile project development and why you should use it.

What is Agile Project Management?

Agile project management is the approach we can use in our projects to deliver a specific project by following its lifecycle. The life cycles are iterative, having several iterative steps that you can use to complete the project. Most of these approaches occur in software development companies to improve adaptability, giving the developers the power to make changes rather than sticking to one plan.

It follows different methodologies that enable teams to collaborate and work within the set period and budget. It also enables them to provide feedback that makes the team make changes faster. 

There are many benefits of using iterative development. Some of the processes involved in life cycles include planning, evaluation, execution, etc.

During the project development, the methodology follows different attributes. These attributes include:

  • Transparency
  • Customer focus
  • Adaptability
  • Sense of Ownership (Effective Leadership)
  • Continuous Improvement
Transparency

All the users need to understand the processes that will occur during the life cycle. It improves the team communication and how they respond to the assigned duties. The teams can use Scrum and Kanban boards to share the team member's progress. It enables the team members to view everyone's progress and help them develop recommendations on how to improve the said job. The attribute provides freedom to the team members to provide their opinion about the project and the challenges they face without affecting the project's status. It enables every team member to be accountable for their mistakes and develop solutions without feeling bad.

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Customer focus

During agile development, one of the key factors that the Scrum master emphasizes is customer satisfaction. The team must ensure that they meet the customer specifications outlined in the project documentation. To achieve this, the team must collaborate well and have to conduct meetings with the customers to share the project's progress. When the customer notices any mistakes, corrections are made, promoting innovation. It also saves time and resources the team would use in developing a product.

Adaptability

It makes it easy for the team to make any changes without facing any issues. After gathering customer feedback, the team works on the changes swiftly. The agile methodology forces the team to break a whole project into smaller parts and share it among the team members instead of simultaneously working on the whole project. 

It helps you avoid the issues of deployment delivery during the final stages of project development. It also encourages making changes at the early stage of the project after collecting feedback from the clients.

Sense of Ownership (Effective Leadership)

When using agile management, there is the team leader responsible for leadership. The team leader can be the Scrum master or the project manager. Their role is to assign tasks to the team members. They also play an important role in decision making. During project development, the team leaders have more details about the project, giving them an upper hand in the planning and execution of the tasks. After assigning the tasks, they challenge the team members to be collaborative and research the challenges they face before raising them during the daily standups, etc. It improves efficiency and gives each member the state feeling of shared ownership.

Continuous Improvement

Continuous improvement enables the team to learn new things as they work on the current projects. It makes a good contribution to the successful delivery of the project. It improves efficiency and makes it easy to work with changes. Breaking down the project into small parts enables the customer to give feedback after the examination. It makes the project become better and gets delivered without flaws.

What are the Agile Project Management Phases?

There are five phases you follow during agile project management. This are:

  • Envision: It is the first phase of project management. It is the stage where you create the project concept and identify all the project stakeholders. It also covers the vision, objectives, and what the customer wants. The last thing you do is plan how the team will work on the project.
  • Speculate: It is the second phase. You create the product features and how you will work on them as a team. You come up with a timeline after breaking the project into small parts. You also define the tasks and how critical they are to the project. You also estimate the project costs and risk mitigation.
  • Explore: This phase focuses more on execution. You organize how the team will work with other stakeholders like customers, stakeholders, and team leaders to achieve success. It also trains the team on how to deal with changes highlighted by the customers.
  • Adapt: It is the phase where the team learns how to deal with different challenges. It gives them the power to deal with any issue. The team must implement all the changes highlighted under the customer’s feedback. The project has to match the requirements.
  • Close: It is the last phase of agile management. The team has to complete the project without any issues. All they do is confirm the project meets the specified requirements. If there are some mistakes, you take note of them to avoid them occurring in the future. 

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What are the principles of Agile?

There are 12 agile principles that one must follow. This include:

  • You have to satisfy customers through the project's continuous delivery and early delivery.
  • It is possible to make change requirements even during the late stages of the project.
  • You have to deliver a working project using a short period.
  • Both the developers and the project owner must work together during development.
  • When working on projects, ensure the team is well motivated, and you provide them with a good working environment.
  • The best method to use during communication within the team is face-to-face communication.
  • To provide evidence of progress, they look at a working software.
  • Since agile processes are for sustainable development, all the team, including developers, sponsors, and users, must maintain a working pace.
  • To improve agility, the team has to focus more on good design and technical excellence.
  • You have to understand how to maximize the art of work not done.
  • The team must be self-organized to get the best architectures, designs, and requirements.
  • The team has to reflect after certain intervals to see how effective they are and improve their behavior accordingly. 

Benefits of Agile Project Management

The benefits of using Agile project management include:

  • It produces quality products. When using agile development, the customer takes part in the development process providing feedback that improves the quality of the project after making all the said changes.
  • It leads to customer satisfaction. Since the customer gets a chance to provide feedback about the project, the team produces a product that meets all the customer's needs. They take part in the decision-making during the development period.
  • It is easy to control the development process. When working on a project, the team leader, who can be the Scrum manager or project manager, who is in charge. They have the power to make decisions and assign tasks and perform other functionalities like meetings, etc. They control the process easily due to the daily reports from team members during the sprints.
  • Fewer risks. When working with agile, the project gets split into smaller sections making it successful. In case of issues, only a small portion of the project gets affected.
  • Very flexible. The whole development process is full of feedback and integration of the customer's decisions. It makes it easy to work on the changes making it more flexible than the other development methods.
  • It promotes continuous improvement. When working on projects, the development team learns from mistakes and feedback. They exchange ideas because their collaboration makes the members learn and improve from those experiences. 

Key components of Agile project management

There are several key components of agile project management. The components include:

  • User stories. It is considered as the smallest unit in the agile framework. It is usually the end goal that the team has to achieve at the end of the project.  It is an informal explanation and is normally written by the users or customers on the software features. It helps in improving value.
  • Sprints. Sprint is the time set for the team member to complete the job and send it for review. Each sprint begins after meeting with the team leader and the owner. The team leader determines how long each sprint will take.
  • Stand-up meetings. The team leader, who can be the scrum master or project manager, has either daily or weekly meetings to discuss several things. Some of the things they discuss include the sprints progress, the challenges they face, and how to approach them, etc. Most meetings can last up to 15 minutes, and each member has to report their progress.
  • Agile board. We use the agile boards to help the team members follow all the agile processes. It enables the team to plan, manage and visualize all their sprints. It also helps the members measure and monitor their workflow. It also gives them the power to develop different settings.
  • Backlog. Backlog is a list of features the team should implement during product development. It helps in the decision-making and estimation of different factors. It makes the team put more focus on specific features of the project. It is not a to-do list. It improves accuracy and flexibility by providing a common ground for all the stakeholders, customers, and team members.

Scope of Agile Project Management

Some of the things you can find in the scope of agile project management include:

  • How to access changes during project development.
  • Project requirements.
  • Creating a backlog.
  • Creating velocity.
  • Dealing with backlog changes.

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Advantages of Agile Project Management

The advantages of agile project management include:

  • It is easy to detect issues during the development process.
  • It promotes faster delivery of projects into the market.
  • There is better control of all the projects.
  • It is easy for the team members to adapt to any changes.
  • It uses fewer resources, reducing the cases of resource wastage.
  • It meets the customer's needs due to their participation in decision-making.
  • It promotes teamwork due to good collaboration. 

Disadvantages of Agile Project Management

The disadvantages of agile project management include:

  • It has some cases of poor resource planning, which can affect project delivery.
  • It has little documentation.
  • It has a fragmented output due to the faster delivery of projects into the market.
  • It is difficult to take measurements.
Conclusion

Using agile methodology has changed how many companies improved efficiency, made teams work together, and promoted faster project delivery into the market. There is a high demand for professionals in the agile industry, which pushes those who have a passion for agile methodologies to do certification in Scrum and other methodologies. 

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Manikanth
Manikanth
Research Analyst
As a Senior Writer for HKR Trainings, Sai Manikanth has a great understanding of today’s data-driven environment, which includes key aspects such as Business Intelligence and data management. He manages the task of creating great content in the areas of Digital Marketing, Content Management, Project Management & Methodologies, Product Lifecycle Management Tools. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Agile project management examples include Kanban, Scrum, Crystal, Extreme programming, etc.

PMP focuses on a prescriptive mindset while agile focuses on methodologies that are flexible and change management,

The three main agile practices include collaboration, self-organization, teamwork.

Scrum is a principle built on the agile methodologies, while agile uses iterative methods for faster delivery of projects into the market.