Agile project management is a project management methodology that approaches projects by breaking them into sections called “iterations”. An iteration refers to a small section of the project. For example, in Agile software development, an iteration refers to a single development cycle. After each iteration is completed, it is reviewed and analysed by the project team. The main advantage of Agile project management is that teams can respond to issues as they arise and adapt to proceed with the project more efficiently.
How Agile Project Management Works
Agile project management allows teams to continuously deliver small segments of a project by breaking the project into iterations. Each iteration is completed in a short period of work that is often referred to as a “sprint” (in the Scrum Agile methodology). A sprint can run for weeks or days, but the average length of a sprint is between two and four weeks.
An Agile project management methodology allows teams to constantly release project segments, evaluate their success, and adapt to issues to avoid major failures. The Agile project management methodology is largely inspired by the main principle of the kaizen philosophy: continuous improvement.
Project teams continuously analyse their use of time, budget, and other resources during the course of a project in order to reduce waste and improve productivity. As opposed to traditional project management methodologies, Agile project management doesn’t require a dedicated project manager. Instead, the responsibilities of project management are shared among all members of the project team.
This doesn’t mean that project managers can’t be involved with the Agile project managers, they just often act as coordinators rather than being responsible for the whole delivery of a project. In the Agile methodology, project goals are determined by a product owner, and other team members divide scheduling, reporting, and other tasks that would normally be assigned to the project manager. In the Scrum Agile methodology, there is a team member appointed as “scrum master” who is the individual responsible for delivering the project to completion.
12 Principles of Agile Project Management
- Satisfy customers by continuously delivering useful products.
- Embrace change and use it to your advantage.
- Deliver functional products in shorter time frames.
- Management and project teams need to work closely together.
- Teams should be self-reliant and self-motivated.
- Use face-to-face interactions to communicate as much as possible.
- Functional products are the best measure of progress.
- Do work in short bursts of productivity to avoid burnout.
- Focus on continuously improving technically.
- Keep things simple to focus on project completion and avoid “busy work”.
- The best projects come from self-directed teams.
- Pause at regular intervals to reflect, analyse, and implement changes.