Define Agile Project Management

In order to define agile project management, it is better to start with getting to understand a project management term first. Thus, project management is the practice of planning, executing and controlling the work of a project team. The mentioned activity should be done in order to achieve some specific goals and so to meet specific success criteria at the specified time.

A project itself is a temporary endeavor that can be designed for a purpose of producing a product or service having the defined beginning and end dates. Such management requires the development of distinct technical skills as well as management strategies that project managers should have in order to succeed.

Agile is known as a project management methodology that uses short development cycles. Such cycles are called “sprints” and they are used for focusing on continuous improvement in the process of developing a product or service.

There are twelve main principles of agile project management today. First of all, it is customer satisfaction. Customers should be always the highest priority. This basic principle may be achieved through continuous and rapid delivery only.

Changing environments should be embraced at any stage of the process. It may be done in order to provide the customers with the competitive advantages they need. Any product or service should be delivered with higher frequency, and all the developers and stakeholders should collaborate closely on a daily basis in order to provide their customers with frequent deliveries.

All stakeholders, as well as team members, should remain motivated at all times. It may be achieved by providing them with the optimal project outcomes. Agile project teams are always provided with all the necessary support as well as tools such as project management applications, e.g. the ConceptDraw PROJECT one. Being provided with everything they need, they can be trusted to accomplish all the project goals.

Define Agile Project Management

Pic 1. Agile Project Management Software

Face-to-face meetings are already confirmed to be the most effective and efficient ones for achieving the project success. The final working product should be the only measure of success and so once what planned is produced, then the project might be known as successfully finished.

To define agile project management, it is also important to mention that agility is enhanced through a focus on technical excellence and appropriate design. Simplicity is another essential element of any agile project management. The self-organizing teams are known as the most likely ones to develop the best designs and architectures and so to meet the needed requirements. All the regular intervals can be used by teams for improving the efficiency through the so-called “fine-tuning” behaviors.

Being originally developed for the software industry for improving the process of developing the products and services by rapidly identifying and adjusting all the needed issues and defects, Agile provides a way for both teams and developers to deliver a better product. It is expected to be done in a faster manner through iterative, interactive and short sessions. Nowadays, agile is known to be a perfect fit for organizations that are in search for transforming the way they manage projects.

Agile can be useful for ensuring the company-wide processes as well as the needed methodological alignment. Agile provides the increased flexibility, productivity and transparency, as well as stakeholder satisfaction and engagement, higher quality deliverables and decreased risk of the missed goals.

In project management, agile provides sponsors, project teams, customers and project leaders with many specific benefits, such as:

  • Reduced waste through minimization of resources
  • More rapid deployment of solutions
  • Increased adaptability to change and flexibility
  • Faster turnaround times
  • Increased success through focused efforts
  • Faster detection of defects and issues
  • A lighter weight framework
  • Optimized development processes
  • Optimal control in projects
  • Increased frequency of collaboration and feedback
  • Increased focus on particular customer needs

At the same time, agile can never be perfect for all the projects. It also cannot be sufficient due diligence, so it is always recommended to identify the best methodology for each particular problem and unique situation. In case customers are not clear on their goals, the project team or project manager is not experienced enough or if they do not function well enough, then Agile may not work as it was originally intended.

Agile favors the customer goals, the developers and the project teams throughout the development process. But it does not necessarily favors the end user's experience. Due to its more flexible and less formal processes, agile may not always be easily absorbed within larger more traditional organizations. Agile technique, though, may face problems being used with customers who similarly have either operating methods or rigid processes.

The opportunity exists in order to combine agile with other methodologies. An example may be a combination of agile and waterfall technique in order to create a hybrid solution. Some companies may use waterfall in order to handle one or more than one phases where the repetitive or rapid steps are not required. This hybrid approach may lead to making agile even more adaptable within different industries. It may also lead to suiting the more unique nature of a product, service or project.

Agile Project Management Methodology

Pic 2. ConceptDraw PROJECT — Agile Project Management Software

Knowing the principles of agile project management would still not be enough unless the project manager who works on the ongoing projects has the necessary tools for accompanying his work. Such tools may be the applications used in project management, or one universal application developed by CS Odessa — the ConceptDraw PROJECT one. Having this software might ensure any project manager in arranging all work on a project in a proper way leading to the needed result.

Related How To's