Agile Project Management


Agile project management: Manage a project successfully

Agile project management methods have their origin in companies and teams that develop software for different kinds of customers. As producing a digital product such as a software is different from other development-processes classic methods needed to be refreshed. This was more than necessary, because agile project management allows its users to react flexible on changes and simplifies working in a team.

A typical characteristic of this kind of project management is the absence of classic hierarchical structures. So even if an agile project management method knows different roles, it usually implies that every team member stands on the same level. Connected to the popular scrum method a useful project management tip is directed to people who became (or want to become) scrum masters.

  • A scrum master is responsible for ensuring that all the rules and artefacts of the scrum framework are respected by every team member. But instead of disciplining colleagues he or she is an expert that may explain what could be done different in the future to comply with this framework. The founders of scrum define the characteristics of a scrum master as a “servant to the team” even if this position might be interpreted as an hierarchically higher position.

Successfully managing projects – agile project management

Of course, working in projects isn’t always easy. There are deadlines, part-goals, and sometimes difficult meetings to define a goal that was formulated in unanimity. Also, it is absolutely usual, that in the natural process of a project problems and difficulties occur, that may affect the duration or the result of certain project work.

It is crucial for successful agile project management to know that this is absolutely natural and not automatically has something to do with a lack of own- or third-party skills. Often organizational complexity itself provokes such side-effects and must be accepted. An important agile project management skill of a project manager is to find ways to reduce this complexity considering different points of view: the teams view, the companies view and the view of third parties whose cooperation is necessary for a project.

  • So, in theory the question of “how to manage a project?” is answered by idealized cases and definitions. Practically a successful agile project management depends on the capability of the project manager to accept the environment a team is working in and finding ways to accomplish goals without losing focus on the projects progress in total.

Agile project management is not just useful in software development

Even if many agile project management methods have their roots in software development, most of them are popular among other business sectors too. Scrum, Kanban or OKR are the most widespread methods and users proofed that working by each of their rules or frameworks may result in a more efficient way to manage projects – and their results.

If you are already a project manager, we’d like to give you a special agile project management tip. Especially when you are an expert in a certain method you should try to think outside the box from time to time. If possible, even learn the basics of a different method and find out in which specific cases what method is the best for your team and your company. Also find out more about certain difficulties other teams or companies had in the past while using a special method.

  • OKR for example has a great potential to realize scale-effects but some companies had trouble implying this technique because of a lack of communication to their employees. You don’t need to make mistakes yourself. You can learn by the experience of others instead and contribute with your experience in a network with other experts.

The IFAAI offers different exams to certify your knowledge in a certain field of agile project management methods. If you want to become a project manager or looking for new career opportunities certificates may be the deciding factor for the answer to the question how will get a position or not!