AGILE PROJECT MANAGEMENT

Here we will be talking about Agile Project Management and several other things related to it. We will be covering the basics of agile project management then we will check the relevance and principles of agile project management. We shall also see steps in agile project management. 

What is Agile Project Management?

Agile Project Management as the name suggests is a flexible approach to building a project. In Agile Project Management, the project is broken down into several stages or sprints. Agile Project Management does not work on the principle of delivering the final product at the end of the project. It works on delivering sections of a project or mini-projects. In process of Agile Project Management, there won’t be any central control of the project manager as it was there in the traditional way of working.

Agile Development Cycle: Agile methodologies consist of several small cycles or sprints. At the end of each stage, we will get a mini-project. There is a product backlog that explains new features changes in the existing features and several other improvements in the project. Then we have a sprint backlog which has a list of tasks that are to be completed during each sprint. The sprint consists of planning, designing execution testing, and deployment stages. At the end of each sprint, a mini-project is delivered. With every sprint, new features are added to the product. After all the sprints and early validation in the development, a final deliverable has fewer chances of failure.

Why Agile Project Management?

Let’s see why industries have started moving to Agile Project Management.

  1. High Product Quality: High product quality refers to the smooth working of the project keeping in mind the demands of all the stakeholders. To ensure high product quality testing is performed throughout the project development process. The team performs regular check-ups to improve project quality. 
  2. Higher customer satisfaction: The customer will have full knowledge of what is being done in the project. Agile project management also provides continuous and fast delivery. Customers may give changes at any point in the project.
  3. Reduce risk: The Project is divided into sprints, so even if a sprint is vulnerable to risk, it will not affect the subsequent sprints. Risk analysis is simultaneously done with other project processes. Agile Project Management helps in easy adaptation to the client’s requirements throughout the development phase.
  4. Better and faster return on investment (ROI): the project has now developed in several sprints and each sprint has its version. Therefore the project becomes market-ready after a few sprints. Since the projects can now be released with ease and shorter duration this helps the organization to stay ahead in the competition to other organizations which has still not moved to agile methodology. 

Principles of Agile Project Management

There are a total of 10 principles for successful agile project management. The first principle is the satisfaction of the customer by delivering the project fast and with the least number of errors. The next principle refers to decreasing the amount of time between the phase of planning and delivery. The third principle states that the team of managers and developers work together and increase the productivity of their work. The next principle states that the changes requested by the stakeholders can be taken into consideration and worked upon during the development phase.  The sixth principle refers to the process of monitoring and tracking the progress of the project at the end of each sprint and making amendments wherever needed. The seventh principle states that there must be a feeling of trust and support towards a team to complete the project’s objectives. The next principle emphasizes face-to-face conversations with the development team. The face-to-face conversation helps in both solving problems and easy knowledge sharing. Then the nine principles emphasize finding solutions and maximizing the amount of work done with simplicity. This ensures the timely completion of tasks by all the team members.  The last principle states that scrum pools like Monday.com or Zoho spirits must be used to simplify the complicated codes which further helps in saving time.

Steps in Agile Project Management

Agile Project Management is adopted to shorten the development cycle and increase the frequency of project releases. We will now check six steps in the Agile Project Methodology. 

Project Planning: Project planning is a step that ensures everyone understands the goal and value of the project. Here, the scope is developed, and the work is estimated by breaking it into sprints or iterations.

Roadmap Creation: A roadmap is a list of all the features that the final product should have. It acts as a plan of action on how a project will evolve. Hence, the road map is an integral part of the plan as these features are built during each sprint. 

Release Planning: A plan is made for all feature releases and this plan is revisited at the beginning of each sprint. Agile project methodology uses shorter development cycles or sprints, with features released at the end of each cycle.

Sprint Planning: Sprint Planning ensures each team member has an assigned task before the sprint begins. At the beginning of each sprint, the goal of that sprint is decided and steps to achieve that goal are taken.

Daily Meeting: This step emphasizes daily meetings. There are short meetings every day to discuss if the team was able to finish the task for each sprint and check if there are any amendments that are required. Each team member talks about what they achieved in the last sprint and what are they going to work on in the next sprint.

Sprint Review and Retrospective: There are two meetings after each sprint. The first meeting is for the sprint review. This meeting is with the stakeholders to show them the finished product. This helps both sides to build a relationship and discuss if there are any issues in the end product. The second meeting is for having a sprint retrospective. This meeting involves the stakeholders to discuss what went well and what went wrong during the sprint. Sprint retrospective takes place after the Sprint Review and before the next sprint planning. 

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