Agile is a method for project management using sprints or short development cycles. It helps focus on constant improvement while developing products or services.
Software methods for incremental development started back in 1957. But the Agile methodology was only discussed in depth in the 1970s. Now communities for project management make use of this method too. Collaborative efforts determine solutions and requirements in this approach. They involve end-users and management teams.
Sprints are involved so the focus is on continuous betterment. Sprints are pre-fixed time frames within which teams have to complete a task. Teams then review performances to gather ideas about how they can improve further.
Currently, Agile is a method almost every manager and team seeks to use. This is why you should know the best practices for project management. Let us dive into the details without further delay.
Principles of Agile project management
Here are the principles that make Agile preferred by most teams.
- Customer satisfaction remains the highest priority in this process and teams achieve it through continuous and rapid delivery
- Members embrace changing environments at all stages of the project which gives a competitive edge to customers
- Members attempt to deliver products with higher frequencies
- Developers and stakeholders have a greater collaboration on a daily basis
- The process aligns team members and stakeholders towards an optimal outcome and lets them achieve this with the necessary tools and support
- Close meetings become the most effective and efficient path to project success
- The final product functioning is the bar to measure success
- Agile processes allow sustainable development with which teams and stakeholders can keep pace
- Enhanced agility is possible through focusing on proper design and technical excellence
- Simplicity remains the essential element
- Teams that self-organize are more likely to meet requirements and come up with the best designs
- Fine-tuning by teams at regular intervals for improved efficiency is ensured
Perks of agile project management
If you’re still not convinced about opting for the process you should take a look at the obvious advantages. These will help your team and the project you’re working on.
- Teams deploy solutions
- Members minimize resources; thus waste is lower
- Adaptation to change and flexibility is higher
- More focused efforts result in greater success
- Turnaround times are faster
- Teams detect more defects and issues
- Optimized development processes
- Framework has lighter weight
- Project control is optimal
- Focus on customer needs is more
- Feedback and collaboration takes place at increased frequencies
Top agile project management practices:
Development is iterative
Break bigger projects down into smaller chunks. Members manage these and conduct continuous tests. The cycles are repetitive in such cases.
This Agile practice helps teams get a clear idea about new functionalities and features. These are usually included in products or projects before the final delivery occurs.
Business people realize how important team meetings are for successful projects. Video calling apps and meeting note apps are effective tools for this. With Agile, members keep meetings to the point and short. At the same time, meetings are held regularly so teams can keep an eye on performances.
In these meetings, the team members discuss what they have done and what they need to do. Teams also get a heads up about obstacles headed their way which they can drop.
Identification of value
Agile implementation breaks down complex projects into smaller tasks and subtasks. It brings clarity and simplicity to the workflow. This helps teams determine what value to associate with project tasks and subtasks.
Even while using project proposal software, this method gives better estimates. Teams can now identify tasks that add the most value to projects and drop unnecessary ones. Agile project managers can decide if SMS marketing or website traffic optimisation measures assists the sales funnel the best, and they choose to drop other tasks from team members.
Using tools for project management
Having a robust project management software for quick implementation helps teams improve communications while structuring their work process better. This is especially useful for remote work. Professional management software can help streamline efforts. It is vital in tracking the progress of a project or file management. By providing coverage, teams can handle all aspects of projects.
Setting guidelines for communication
The success or failures of teams, especially for e-commerce platforms, depends on communication. Seamless contact is essential when teams are from different countries and continents. It makes goals transparent and project processes become faster.
The ability to visualize workflows is an important part of development cycles and makes progress tracking easier. They can also help determine where the project stands. Whiteboards are handy here because teams can determine where greater hurdles lie.
Sales funnels function in a similar manner helping to close sales. These are also helpful in conducting studies on how to streamline and improve workflows. You can also share those visuals to make your Instagram feed aesthetic look more friendly for new candidates, add them on your website, etc.
Limit works in progress
There are fixed constraints for projects in progress under the Agile method. Teams have to finish tasks within fixed time frames. It eliminates the need to reprioritize tasks. Also, the total number of subtasks for all tasks are limited. This reduces the amount of unfinished work.
Reduction of waste
Files, tasks and events that hold little or no value to project management are removed. Eliminating such wastes helps teams figure out a direction for the project. They can also add value to its process, helping to achieve timely and desired results.
Constructive and continuous feedback
This type of feedback mechanism is vital in Agile methodologies. When team members practice continuous feedback they realize how the project is going. This understanding helps them chart the process and pinpoint areas that need improvement.
We’ve already discussed that applying this method requires constant inclusion of improvements. This practice helps teams achieve results or products matching the guidelines. Keeping with instructions helps them cut waste and work.
Development is test-driven
Agile implementation suggests that teams should run tests before making the final delivery. It helps them check the usability and functionality of individual aspects and allows members to recognize situations that might not go as planned. Teams make changes so improvements get incorporated on time.
It helps the finished product to work without snags. This removes the need for callbacks or post-launch modifications.
Releases are small
Small iterations are part of the core philosophy of agile management. So, it makes small releases throughout the lifespan of the project cycle. Timely inclusions help create a good overview of what to expect after completion. Team members can identify glitches and fix them in time for the final launch.
Focus on flow
Teams keep a close eye on how the work is flowing so they can move along the process better. Members can thus ensure speed and smoothness every step of the way. With an Agile practice, project management is more predictable and steadier. Thus, teams can deliver the desired results on the right date.
Use burndown charts for sprints
Remember how we defined sprints as small development cycles? Using burndown charts for project monitoring helps everyone stay completely on track. You can get a graphical representation of the work that has commenced.
Based on this data, team members also see the pending work and the time in hand. The scope of the project becomes clear and surprises can’t creep up anymore. In the case of undelivered tasks and subtasks, alert members of potential risks.
Creating vision and backlog for projects
Creating a project backlog helps members know of all tasks that they need to complete which occur in the course of management. Great practice for this method is to create a backlog and vision at the same time. Team members can stay on the same page in this manner.
Throughout, members have a greater mutual understanding of what each team needs. They also know what they need to deliver. Thus, the total vision of the project is better aligned in this manner.
Agile is a method most teams prefer. Using it they enjoy constant insight into project steps. The teams might also need feedback and improvement in parts of the project cycle.
But, at the same time, Agile demands a lot of support. Team members must get acquainted with software solutions. It is an added benefit if they can handle project management tools. If you feel your team has the technical know-how, then this is the best option to complete a project.
This method won’t yield results if goals aren’t clear and teams aren’t adept. There’ll be problems if they don’t work well under pressure. But when you’ve successfully handled the basics you’ll see that this option provides deeper insights. Members also gain specific access to tailor their project.
As you can see, there aren’t any drawbacks to the system itself. But, compromises may exist in different portions of the management chain. Then, you won’t get the desired results.
We take our leave here. But, if you have any other doubts about the top practices for Agile, then do feel free to reach out to us.