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An introduction to agile project management

Julie Lord
 


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A lot of project managers opt to follow the agile methodology. If you are new to project management, you may be unsure regarding what agile project management is and whether it is right for you. Agile project management is a methodology that focuses on the continuous improvement in the development of a service or product by using short development cycles, known as sprints. Below, we will reveal a little bit more about agile project management and the history of it.

Agile project management was first discussed in depth in the 1970’s, however many will argument that such development methods go as far back as 1957. Nonetheless, in the 70’s, William Royce published a detailed paper on developing large software systems, and this is often credited as the first acknowledgment of agile methodologies. It wasn’t until 2001 that a formal agile manifesto was introduced. This manifesto consisted of 12 key principles and four key values that must be followed.

These are the 12 key principles that you need to follow for agile project management today:

  1. Efficiency is improved by using regular intervals so that behaviours can be fine-tuned.
  2. Teams that are self-organising are most likely to develop the best designs and architectures, and meet requirements.
  3. Simplicity is a key element.
  4. Continuous focus on proper design and technical excellence will enhance agility.
  5. Agile processes whereby stakeholders and development teams can maintain an on-going and constant pace will lead to sustainable development.
  6. The ultimate measure of success is a final working product.
  7. The most effective and efficient format for project success are face-to-face meetings.
  8. Teams are provided with the support and tools they need, and they are trusted to meet project goals.
  9. Developers and stakeholders collaborate every day.

10. A service or product is delivered with higher frequency.

11. To ensure the customer has a competitive advantage, changing environments are embraced at any stage.

12. The highest priority is always customer satisfaction. This is achieved through continuous and rapid delivery.

If you implement the 12 principles mentioned above, you will follow agile project management at your business, and experience all of the benefits that come with this. Anyone can make the most of this form of project management. It was initially developed for the software industry. Nevertheless, many sectors have adopted the use of agile when developing services and products, as they prefer the more efficient and collaborative approach. You will find it used in industries such as finance, education, construction, marketing and advertising, and more.

The advantages of this approach are extensive, including increased frequency of feedback and collaboration, increased focus on customer needs, object project control, and faster detection of issues. There will also be increased success through more focused efforts, increased flexibility, and reduced waste through the minimisation of resources.

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding about agile project management and what it entails. There are lots of project management courses that teach agile methodologies, and it is definitely worth taking project management training to hone your skills. It doesn’t matter if you are inexperienced or a veteran, there are always new techniques to be learnt and new technologies to implement.

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