What is Agile Project Management: A Complete Guide

Agile project management is breaking projects down into manageable steps, emphasizing customer responsiveness and collaboration. This flexible project management style is a new method that is still being adopted by many businesses.

Manufacturers who implement agile project management tend to see products delivered more quickly. Agile project management benefits throughout the production process, not just at the end.

Project management is applicable across all industries, although this framework is gaining popularity in the software sector, some of its core values and principles relate directly to software development.

Agile Project Management: A Closer Look

Agile project management is different from traditional project management. In the conventional model, the project team would set a specific goal, create a series of steps to achieve that goal, and then implement the process.

Agile project management breaks the project down into smaller goals or sprints. It uses frequent assessments to reshape the steps and possibly even the final destination.

Traditional project management is linear—each step must be completed before the next one can begin, whereas agile project management is iterative—actions can be worked on concurrently and assessed simultaneously.

Among the many different methodologies, the following are some of the most common in this management process:

  • Scrums
  • Extreme programming (XP)
  • Crystal
  • Feature-driven development (FDD)

These methods apply the core values, principles, and steps of agile project management differently. One may be a better fit for your business than another. Exploring several methodologies before selecting one to advance your project is a good idea.

Core Values of Agile Project Management

Following are the four core values of agile project management:

1. Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

Agile project management states that human interaction takes precedence over anything else. Contact team members and customers frequently to ensure everyone understands the project and is happy with the lead.

2. Software that works through comprehensive documentation

Traditional project management requires extensive documentation in the form of written technical documents. Agile project management values documentation but recommends using software to achieve the necessary records efficiently.

3. Customer collaboration on contract negotiations

Include the customer in the design and production process. Their input throughout the project, not at the start and conclusion, will ensure that every action taken by the team is optimistic.

4. Respond to changes following the plan

Be prepared and willing to adapt as the project demands. Use data to inform your following actions. Instead of following a predetermined set of steps to a conclusion and then judging, use formative judgment to tweak your process to create the best possible product.

Agile Project Management Purposes 

There are various benefits and reasons developers choose the Agile Project Management method compared to other methods. This method will benefit developers and other stakeholders such as managers, vendors, and clients.

Specifically, the benefits for the client are being able to provide direct and regular input and feedback to the development team on software features, even though they have yet to be released.

Besides that, the benefits for vendors are that they can make efficiency because they can know the focus of development.

The final use for the developer himself is that the software development process can run concurrently without waiting for other stakeholders to complete the project.

While the goals of the Agile Project Management method include maintaining the quality of the software being developed, budget efficiency, and resources because work focuses on features needed by users, is more organized, and opportunities for collaboration between stakeholders.

Steps in the Agile Project Management Process

The project management process has six steps.

1. Project planning

Before any work can begin, the team must determine the project’s end goal. However, the goal should be relatively broad to account for revisions and improvements throughout the process.

2. Create a project roadmap

The project roadmap consists of all the features included in the final product. This is not a list of steps but rather a list of elements that can be completed simultaneously.

3. Release planning

After creating a project roadmap, create a release plan. This is a calendar of when prototypes or product elements will be sent to customers for review.

The expectation is that the individual parts of the total project will be reviewed frequently, and the project as a whole will be updated as needed.

4. Sprint planning

A sprint is a short cycle design time that ends with a release. Sprint planning must be detailed. Each team member should know what they are expected to achieve during each sprint day.

5. Daily meetings

Every workday during a sprint should start with a meeting. Here, team members will share successes and challenges from the previous day and confirm tasks and goals for the work day.

6. Sprint and retrospective reviews

Sprint review is the presentation of product elements to customers. During these meetings, the team will receive feedback and prepare to revise parts or adjust long-term objectives as directed by the customer.

After the sprint review, the team will meet separately from the client for a retrospective. Here, the team will reflect on the sprint. Issues such as workload imbalance, deadlines, and communications will be addressed and improved for the next sprint.

The advantages of the Agile Project Management method

Running software development using the Agile Project Management method has various advantages.

Multiple stakeholders can feel these benefits, including consumers, vendors, development teams, product managers, product owners, project managers, and C-Levels. The following advantages will be obtained by implementing the Agile Project Management method.

1. Advantages for consumers or users

The advantage of the Agile Project Management method for consumers is that the feedback provided can be improved or developed quickly in a relatively short period. In addition, this method is more responsive to requests for feature development from consumers themselves directly.

2. Advantages for vendors

The next advantage for vendors is that they can focus more on developing features that are considered more critical and a priority. In addition, by using this method, artistry and efficiency can be improved. For vendors can also control the waste of costs.

3. Advantages for the development team

For the development team, the advantage that can be obtained is being able to work more comfortably and focus. Where work focuses on priority features or product specifications to be developed. In addition, another advantage is that it can reduce piece that is not working.

4. Advantages for Product Managers

The development will be in line with feedback and needs from consumers. Then, the Product Manager can also have the opportunity to prioritize or not prioritize product development. In addition, another advantage is that it can produce maximum development results.

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