What is Agile Project Management?
Agile project management is a path to break down the project into small parts. This approach has lots of small steps to follow while we are on our way to complete the project.
What is Agile Project Management?
It is a process through which a team takes up the responsibility of managing a project by breaking it up into smaller stages and involving constant collaboration with stakeholders and continuous improvement and iteration at every stage.
The first step of this methodology begins with clients describing what kind of product they want and what it will be used for and what kind of issues it will help them solve. This step clarifies the customer’s needs and requirements to the project team.
Once the work on the project begins, teams go through a process or steps of planning, executing, and evaluating — which directly impacts the final deliverable to fit the customer’s needs better.
Communicating continuously with team members and stakeholders is the key to have better and informed ideas.
Who uses Agile project management?
Agile was initially a methodology designed for software development project management.
This methodology lets the teams quickly come up with potential solutions, incorporate feedback, and adjust scope as needed throughout the project lifecycle. This agile methodology not only paces up delivery times, but it also supports the change in requirements as new developments arise.
Today, Agile project management is used by teams from many industries as it has found liking from teams more than just software developer teams. The core features of agile make it more suitable for projects that result in a specific deliverable aka product – rather than a service.
Agile project management is a flexible methodology that can be used by any large scale project in any industry, market, and company.
What are the core values of Agile?
Agile project management has four foundational values. Each project management team following the agile approach applies the four values in different ways.
Still, all the different ways rely on the values to guide through the development of the product with the primary focus on delivering an efficiently working product.
1. Individuals and Interactions Over Processes and Tools
The first value in the Agile project methodology is:
“Individuals and interactions over processes and tools.”
The first value states that valuing people over processes and tools is essential as it the people who lead the development process and who respond to the business needs.
If the process or the tools will start determining the direction of the project, then the team becomes less responsive to change and less likely to meet customer needs.
This is why agile methodology is seldom used in large and complex infrastructure projects, where following a structured process-oriented approach is critical for successful project delivery.
2. Software over documentation
Earlier documentation of the product for development and final delivery consumed an enormous amount of time. There were a lot of approvals required earlier for Technical requirements, specifications, prospectus, testing plans, interface design documents, they all took a lot of time.
What agile does is, it streamlines the documentation but does not eliminate it.
In this form of agile methodology, it gives developers what they need to do without getting burdened with every minor detail on the project, but rather have the focus on the functional requirements.
Agile does value documentation, but it values working products (think software) more.
3. Customer Collaboration Over Contract Negotiation
Negotiations are essential. It’s about the time when customers and a product manager work out the details of delivery with all the details. However, collaboration is an entirely a different feature, and it matters.
Customers generally negotiate the requirements for their product and commercials, often in great detail, before any work starts. The agile methodology describes a customer who collaborates throughout the development process, making negotiations a core part of the entire project development process.
Following an agile methodology give the team a lot of freedom to work in the best way that suits them and take decisions on the fly – but as long as they are aligned for delivering the final product the customer needs. This approach makes it easier for the project team to meet the expectations of the customer.
According to agile methods, the customer should be included from time to time at every stage for periodic demos, reviews, and adjustments in the project. In a way, the project team just has an end-user as a part of the team huddles.
4. Responding to Change Over Following a Plan
Traditional software development was to be avoided as it regarded change as an expense.
According to Agile, the shortness of a plan means priorities can be shifted from plan to plan, and new features can be added into the next iteration.
Making decisions on changes to the project plan is made flexible, and since decisions can be based on the factors at that specific juncture of the project, which often results in making changes that tend to nearly always improve a project and provide additional value.
What are the steps in agile methodology?
1. Project planning
Before starting the project, your team, stakeholders, and customers should be on the same page and should know about the overall objectives of the project and how you are going to achieve your target.
Remember to keep the plan flexible as agile project methodology is about addressing changes and adding them to the project efficiently.
2. Product roadmap creation
A roadmap means breaking down the features that will make up the final product.
This roadmap is an integral part of the planning stage of agile because your team will work on these individual tasks during each sprint.
At this stage, you will have to develop a product backlog that will have a list of all the project features and key deliverables that will be needed to complete the final product. When you plan shorter development cycles, later on, your team will pull tasks from this backlog.
3. Release planning
When you are working on a project utilizing agile project management techniques, your project uses shorter cycles of development, also called sprints with features released at the end of each cycle i.e. sprint.
Before starting the project, you have to make a plan for feature releases, and at the beginning of the sprint, you have to revisit and reassess the release plan for that feature.
4. Sprint planning
Before the development cycle begins, stakeholders should keep a sprint planning meeting to determine what will be achieved by each team member during that sprint, how it will be achieved, and assess the task load.
It’s essential to distribute the work evenly among team members so they can complete their assigned tasks during the development cycle.
5. Daily scrum meetings
To help your team achieve their tasks during each sprint and check whether any changes are needed, keep short meetings daily, popularly known as “scrum meetings”.
During these meetings give each team member the chance to briefly talk about what they achieved that day and what they are planning to the next day.
At Orgzit, we go around every morning where everyone gets a chance to answer these 3 key questions.
- What did you accomplish yesterday?
- What is your plan for today?
- Are you blocked on anything, as in do you need help with anything?
The daily scrum meetings should not be very long. These meetings are not meant to be extended problem-solving sessions or a chance to chit-chat. Talk about the needed points and get going with your work.
6. Sprint review and retrospective
After the end of each sprint, your team will hold two meetings:
1st: A sprint review meeting with the project stakeholders to show them the final product. This sprint review is an important part where you can keep communication open with stakeholders. Irrespective of the mode of the Meetings, they allow both groups to build a healthy professional relationship and discuss product issues that may arise.
2nd: you will have a sprint contemplative meeting with your stakeholders to discuss their likings and dislikings about the project and the process, what you need to do better next time, and what you did the best.
Advantages and disadvantages of Agile Project Management
Advantages of Agile Project Management
- You can deliver software quicker, so your customer can get value faster
- Less wastage of resources because you are always up to the date
- Adaptability to change becomes faster
- Faster turnaround times
- Faster detention and fixing of issues
Disadvantages of Agile Project Management
- Documentation gets sidetracked, and it becomes harder for new employees to catch up
- Difficult to measure progress with various cycles
- Demands more time and energy as agile needs constant interaction & clear communication
- Projects can become ever-lasting because there’s no clear end stated with agile project management or more accurately the goal post might keep changing
The topics I covered above about agile project management are the most important and basic ones.
It is generally said that agile project management isn’t for everyone but teams who use it correctly experience significant benefits, including streamlined work processes and rapid innovation.
Not only profits or benefits but agile project methodology also transitions your team, and its principles, software, and tools will help you to change your team’s mindset. Your team will become more flexible and will start to adapt to the changes as they come.
Orgzit is one of the easiest and agile project management software. Start a free trial today!
Say yes to agility! Transform your business today with agile project management techniques.