Project Managers have a great deal of responsibility – milestones to hit, customers counting on quality deliverables, and executives asking for fast, accurate information. As teams grow bigger, these responsibilities become more complex and difficult to manage. That’s why many organizations are ditching traditional waterfall approaches to project management in favor of Agile Project Management methodologies.
Agile project management is a value-driven approach that allows Project Managers to deliver high-priority, high-quality work–and look like rock stars to their stakeholders. It’s nothing like the plodding, costly and error-prone approach to project management, which has delivered inconsistent results for years.
Software projects change constantly. When customers are expected to finalize requirements before they can test-drive the prototypes, overhead and long delays often cripple the project. Agile Project Management is about embracing change, even late in the development stage. It’s about delivering the features with the greatest business value first, and having the real-time information to tightly manage cost, time and scope.
Agile Project Management reduces complexity by breaking down the many months long cycle of building requirements for the whole project, building the entire product and then testing to find hundreds of product flaws. Instead, small usable segments of the software product are specified, developed and tested in manageable, two to four week cycles.
In traditional waterfall project management, the project manager is burdened with balancing project scope, cost, quality, personnel, reporting, risk, and adapting as requirements change. Agile Project Management divides these overwhelming project management responsibilities among three Agile roles:
Unlike waterfall, agile project management continuously evaluates time and cost as primary constraints. Rapid feedback, continuous adaptation and QA best practices are built into the team’s committed schedules, ensuring top-quality output and proven processes. Agile Project Managers look at proactive, real-time delivery metrics - such as Velocity, Burndown and Cumulative Flow – versus out-of-date Gantt Charts and irrelevant or impossible project milestones. The net result? You have fewer costly end-of-project surprises, and the working product is delivered in weeks rather than months.
Deliver Working Products with More Business Value: The Benefits of Agile Project Management
A critical function of a Project Manager’s job is to meet project objectives, while creating a consistent formula for least-cost, best-ROI processes. Agile project management tools make this easy and repeatable for multiple or non-collocated projects and teams. By centrally managing all requirements, requests, tasks, tests and defects into a real-time tool, Agile Project Managers can streamline cross-team collaboration and decision making while eliminating waste and giving executives and auditors the numbers they need. Exactly when they need them.
Could Agile Project Management be right for you? Take the next step. Download these additional resources on Agile project management, including presentations and webinars covering Agile best practices, how to integrate Agile with minimal business disruption, and the benefits of Agile: