What Is Agile Project Management?
Agile is an incremental, iterative approach to managing projects that allows teams to deliver value to their customers in a faster, more efficient manner. Since Agile improves productivity, it also helps team members improve skills while promoting innovation and creativity. This approach promotes the continuous repetition of developing and testing throughout a project. Although Agile first appeared in 2001 with the agile manifesto. It is now a popular choice for many development teams and companies — regardless of the industry.
When considering traditional project management, teams define their target, take aim, launch, and then hope that their target doesn’t move. This is commonly known as “Waterfall”, and it works great, assuming that nothing changes from when you start the project to when you complete it.
Agile project management differs in that a team starts with a specific vision. They then begin working in a broad direction, learning and adapting to conditions as they arise. Across time, they hone in on their target incrementally. Today, Agile is one of the most popular approaches to project management because of its flexibility and continuous growth.
How Does Agile Benefit the Workplace?
Due to its emphasis on continuous improvement, Agile helps teams keep up with the ever-changing demands of the modern workplace. Incorporating concepts of transparency, quality, flexibility, and continuous improvement, the benefits are vast.Research shows that projects that incorporate Agile methodologies are 28% more successful, and nearly 71% of organizations are already using Agile to some degree. One of the major reasons Agile is so popular is because managers have greater control over their projects. This leads to several key benefits:
Greater quality and increased customer satisfaction
Since testing is a key part of the “project execution” aspect of Agile project management, the final product is of the highest quality. Clients and stakeholders remain involved throughout the development process, so they can request changes along the way. This results in greater customer satisfaction and higher customer retention, whether that customer is internal or external.
Improved predictability and risk reduction
When using the Agile framework, there are several ways to identify and predict potential risks. Once you identify risks, mitigation plans become easier, ensuring a smoother process and a more optimal outcome. Since Agile focuses on continuous delivery, in theory, your project should never fail. However, when something unexpected occurs, and a project doesn’t go as planned, there will always be a portion you can salvage for future use. That’s the benefit of completing projects in small chunks and phases.
More accurate metrics and analytics
Since the metrics used by Agile are more relevant than those used by traditional project management approaches, you can gain more accurate insight. By focusing on metrics such as cycle time and lead time, your team can more easily identify bottlenecks to make more informed decisions.
Putting Agile Into Practice
As you introduce your team to Agile project management, consider the following suggestions to ease them in:
Discuss the core principles of Agile
The more your team understands, the more likely they are to adopt the Agile approach. For some teams, Agile can be a dramatic change. Ease team members into the concept of Agile by working with management or highlighting an online course. Our free “Project Management Concepts” course is a great starting point.
Test it out
As the Chinese philosopher Confucius once said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” If you’re trying to teach Agile to your team, why not put the principles they’ve learned into practice? Identify a low-risk project or design a mock project that your team can use to get a handle on using Agile.
Become an expert
If this avenue makes sense for you, take courses that position you as the Agile expert at your company. Once you complete the training process, you can even receive certification. Although you will have taken the initiative to advance your career, your goal will be to enhance team productivity. As you guide your team, it’s important to remain focused on the values of Agile, including the importance of “we” over “I.”
Get Started with Develop
Develop a Basic Understanding of Agile
To successfully manage and support an agile project, you first need a basic understanding of agile. In this course, we introduce the agile methodology, define an agile project, and discuss the Agile Manifesto and its founding principles. We cover each component of the agile project life cycle along with its iterative and adaptive project management approach. We will also discuss typical agile team roles and responsibilities and a reflection on how a project manager can emulate or support these roles. After completing this course, you will recognize and understand the agile context sufficiently to determine how you can best support the agile efforts within your organization.