The focus of ‘agile’ project management is consistent improvements, team contribution, greater flexibility, and delivery of necessary quality products. The main methodologies in agile project management include scrum, lean, and extreme programming.
Understanding the agile model for project management
The waterfall methodology for project management was traditionally used, but it had certain disadvantages. These included extreme dependence on original requirements, limited or no scope of change during the project, possibility of product testing only at the end of the project, and so on.
Then entered the agile model for project management. The aim was to overcome all the limitation of the ancient waterfall methodology. The agile approach is ‘incremental’ rather than ‘sequential’. This means that developers kick-start with a simple project design/concept and begin working on various small modules. Weekly/monthly sprints are set for all these modules. When a sprint comes to an end, the project head evaluates priorities and runs several tests. It is easier to identify bugs with these sprints and incorporate customer feedback into the original design before running the next sprint.
‘Embracing change’ is the key driving factor behind agile project management. And this means being ready to embrace change even in the last leg of the product development stage. This model works to deliver products with the highest business value and using real-time information for closely managing time, scope, and cost.
Making your project model agile
You will find that the project manager is usually burdened with the task of balancing project cost, scope, risk, reporting, quality, personnel, and adaptation to change in a waterfall project management model. However, things are different in an agile project management approach. This model divides these overpowering responsibilities among 3 distinct roles.
- Product owner: This person is accountable for handling goal setting in a project. The product owner takes care of balancing the schedule, handling changes as per new and evolving requirements, and prioritizing product features.
- Scrum master: This person is responsible for guiding the team with regards to prioritizing of tasks and eliminates hurdles to task handling.
- Team: The team in an agile project management model is supposed to directly handle all task assignment, progress reporting, detail management, as well as quality control.
There are essentially seven distinct stages that make up an agile project management model.
- Identification of the product vision by the product owner
- Creation of a product roadmap by the product owner
- Development of a release plan or identification of a timetable for releasing working software
- Planning of sprints or cycles by the scrum master, product owner, and team
- Daily meetings during each sprint
- Sprint review at the end of a sprint
- A sprint retrospective meeting to identify bugs and make improvements
The agile project management model helps in reducing project complexity since it breaks down extremely long cycles into smaller sprints and testing product at every stage of development throughout the project. The end-result, a quality product that’s certain to impress the client, and get you more projects.