Agile project management is a process that focuses on delivering a product or service frequently and continuously through a series of small, self-contained, value-adding releases. Agile delivery is the practice of implementing agile project management in an organization, and agile project managers are the practitioners of this process.
Agile project management, also known as APM is an iterative, incremental process that focuses on customer feedback and responds to change. It is a wonderful way to incorporate constant change requests from the customer into the project’s planning. Agile project management is a set of practices and principles, while the terms “Agile,” “Scrum” and “Extreme Programming” are also used to refer to the body of knowledge and methods involved in the practice.
Agile Project Management – Key Attributes
Agile is derived from the word Agility which means to be quick to respond to any kind of change. Agile is a mindset that is used to make things move quickly (even during the build phase of a project) to make room for change along the way.
Agile is not a specific methodology but it is a frame of mind and a set of practices that align the goals, strategy, vision, and team to produce a better outcome. Thus, the crux in Agile Project Management is keeping in mind the following key attributes:
The first attribute of Agile Project Management is communication. This is the procedure of exchanging ideas and information between the members of the project team. Agile project management is a process that requires constant communication between all members of the project team.
Communication also brings transparency to the process. This communication is not only limited to the work that is being performed but also covers all aspects like emotions, motivations, expectations to name a few.
2) Customer Oriented
The second key attribute of Agile Project Management is to put the customer at the center stage. The team should be able to clearly articulate the vision to their stakeholders. This helps the team in building the right product by keeping in mind the needs of the customers. This also helps in taking feedback from the customers and acting upon it at the right time.
3) Openness to Adapt
The third key attribute of Agile Project Management is to be open to innovative ideas, to be receptive to feedback, and to be flexible in the approach to implement the feedback to improve the process being followed to deliver a better product.
The team must not have a fixed mindset and must be able to learn and incorporate change. This assists the team in creating a robust culture of constant improvement. Openness also helps in building a strong relationship with the customers and other stakeholders.
The fourth attribute of Agile Project Management is to work in collaboration with others towards the product goal. The team must work together to build the product and must not be working in silos. This helps in building a strong relationship with the customers and other stakeholders. It furthermore helps the team in building a robust culture of continuous improvement.
The fifth attribute of Agile project management is individual accountability. Team members take responsibility for the work they deliver. If they fail to deliver, they are made accountable by their peers. Individual accountability also encourages team members to accept responsibility for their work and the work of their colleagues.
Agile Project Management – Core Values
The Agile project management focuses on the four core values. All these core values guide the development and delivery of high-quality working software which is delivered in shorter time spans. These core values when put into practice lead to Agile delivery.
These four core values are defined as follows:
1) Individuals and Interactions Over Processes and Tools
The first core value for Agile delivery is valuing individuals and interactions over processes and tools. This means that the focus of the team is on the person and their skills and capabilities to deliver.
Interaction means communicating and collaborating with the team members to understand their skills, roles, and capabilities to deliver. This also means that the team members are empowered to take decisions and are responsible for their actions.
The processes and tools are designed and implemented to support individuals and interactions. This helps in building a strong relationship with the customers and other stakeholders. This also helps in building a strong relationship with the customers and other stakeholders.
2) Working Software Over Comprehensive Documentation
The second core value for Agile delivery is working software over comprehensive documentation. This means that the team keeps working on the project as it evolves during the project.
Agile documents requirements are as minimal as a user story which is sufficient to get the work started. Agile project management values documentation but not as much as the working software.
3) Customer Collaboration Over Contract Negotiation
The third core value for Agile delivery is the emphasis on customer interaction at every stage of the product development and not before the beginning of the development. Negotiation with the customer only happens in detail even before the development starts.
However, in Agile project management, the customer is involved and engaged at regular time intervals during the development process, this ensures that the product will be as per the expectations of the customer.
4) Responding to Change Over Following a Plan
The fourth attribute of Agile project management is responding to change over following a plan. This means that the team builds a resilient and flexible system that can adapt to unexpected changes.
In traditional software development, the team builds the system with an elevated level of rigidity, so the process cannot adapt, and it is difficult to change.
In Agile, the team is agile and adaptive to change, so they respond to change by taking small iterative steps to build an acceptable piece of product. This means that each iteration is an opportunity to make changes to the process or the product.
All these four core values of Agile project management collectively empower the team towards Agile Delivery. Agile Delivery is an iterative product delivery model which is achieved by following the Agile project management. It is a holistic framework that includes all the activities and techniques required to deliver a product, in an iterative way, while ensuring that the highest level of customer satisfaction is achieved.
Agile Delivery can be applied to a wide range of products, projects, and services, regardless of scope, complexity, or industry. It is an adaptive framework, which means that it is continuously evolving to meet the needs of the customers and the business.
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