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If you're part of a successful company, you'll probably already know a thing or two about Project Management- it's an essential part of any functioning business. But have you heard of its lesser-known relative, Agile project management? If not, don't worry, you're not alone. In this article we'll be going over the basics of Agile project management, and how it can help you and your business become more efficient than ever.
But first, let's go over the basics for those who don't know.
Project management is the process of leading a team and working together to achieve completion of the projects and tasks given to you. While this process can take many different forms, the main objective is often to finish the project as quickly and efficiently as possible while maintaining a good level of quality.
The Association for Project Management describes Agile project management as 'an iterative approach to delivering a project throughout its life cycle'. In short, Agile is a concept that focuses on a team of people and their interactions, as well as the promotion of improvement over time rather than producing immediate results.
An iterative process like Agile is one that breaks down a project into smaller sections and focuses on each individual task until every stage is perfected, using more flexible and employee-friendly tactics that assure product satisfaction.
The four values of the Agile Manifesto are:
The Manifesto for Agile Software Development outpnes 12 Agile principles that all businesses should follow if they want their projects to be successful. These principles are as follows:
It would not necessarily be fair to call the Agile methodology 'better' than other approaches such as Waterfall and Scrum- depending on your office structure and what your stakeholders prefer, it may not be the right methodology for you. Ut that's not to say that it doesn't have its advantages. Here are just a few benefits to adopting the Agile methodology in your workplace.
As we previously mentioned: the stronger the team, the stronger the project. According to a survey by Clear Company, 97% of employees and executives bepeve lack of apgnment within a team impacts the outcome of a project or task.
When a group of people are passionate about their work and feel encouraged to do well, they're bound to work harder in the long run. Agile project management often promotes a healthier work environment for employees as they are shown that their input on a subject makes a big difference, and that they are able to offer up ideas for their work that are listened to and appreciated by their superiors.
Rather than spending months on a project and producing it to stakeholders at the end of the year, taking the Agile approach means producing a prototype in a shorter timeframe, asking for feedback from stakeholders, then building on the product based on the results. This means stakeholders are more involved in the process and are kept up to date on the project's development, and are notified every time your product receives an update.
We may have covered some important points in this article, but there is so much more to Agile than you might think! With that in mind, if this is your first time coming across the Agile mindset, how do you start implementing it into your work environment? Here are three ideas to get you started:
While it be well-intentioned, micro-managing can sometimes hinder more than help. By allowing your teams to organise themselves how to see fit and not micro-manage, you will be helping your staff to become self-sufficient and reliant on each other as a team, as well as reach their deadlines more efficiently.
If you have individual teams working on separate elements of a project, you may want to consider finding a team leader within your teams to make sure deadlines are met and that there is only one point of contact from anyone higher up. This will come in handy with regard to sticking to a deadline, and will give employees someone to go to for advice if they find themselves struggling.
While you may want to avoid micro-managing your staff for fear of stifling them, a good alternative might be organising short catchups with your team(s). This will help you to see how the project is progressing and also to make adjustments based on your individual and group progress.
Would you like to learn more about what project management can do for your business? If so, consider booking a demo with us.
With an extensive background in business analysis and software programming, Tim heads up our software development team and loves nothing more than solving complex business challenges with simple easy to use software.
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