The Basics of Agile and Project Management

Still not sure what’s driving the Agile conversation? Or should that be agility? Still wondering what this has to do with project management and the role of project manager? In this guest article from Germain Paris, a consultant at Genius Project, we get back to basics to see perhaps where the drive is coming from, what that means, and how the practical aspects of Agile, things like SCRUM artifacts are managed.

According to a 2016 study by Accenture Technology Vision, 86% of executives expect an acceleration of tech developments in their sector within the next three years. The digital transformation and speeding up of processes have supported the growth of the Agile methodology.

Agile is a way of approaching project management. But in reality, it’s more than a methodology; it’s a broader concept of culture, philosophy, progress, and in some way, a state of mind.

agile-forest
An overview of different Agile approaches, taken from Henny Portman at the PMO Conference 2016. Click to expand

A different approach to project management

The Agile approach presents an alternative to more traditional methods for planning projects in detail. Agile management adapts more easily to changes in an environment of innovation.

A concept based on flexibility

The Agile method involves accepting change and therefore does not attempt complete project planning from the start. Quick iterations are favoured over slow and tedious documentation. Activities are planned in the short-term and the necessary changes are made after each step. This pace allows for constant adjustment. The Agile approach pays close attention to feedback, requires quick and frequent meetings and puts people at the centre of the project, whether they are a customer or collaborator.

A daily challenge

While Agile appears to be easy, it remains a challenge for many project teams. With the fast pace, people will often move too quickly which leads to mistakes and a lack of reflection. Agility requires teams to learn, adapt and improve.

Genius Project, enterprise project management software, supports Agile methods with specific tools such as product backlogs with descriptions and approval criteria, Sprints and Scrum meeting reviews. It’s perfect for those organisations that are delivering both waterfall and Agile projects, it also allows users to manage projects conventionally and with agility too.

Here are some tips for being Agile:

  • Accept uncertainty and change
  • Place collaborators at the center of the project
  • Seek to regularly improve and innovate

While the Agile philosophy may appear too lax or lenient, what it actually requires is flexibility and creativity. And the collaborators gather around one common goal, to deliver a great project.

 

For more information on Genius Project and its Agile features see www.geniusproject.com.

 

Accenture
The five trends from Accenture’s Technology Vision 2016
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