12 Principles of Agile Project Management
Agile, derived from the word Agility, is one of the latest project management strategies applied to software development. Traditional software project management goes through the process of
Requirement Analysis → Development → Testing → Deployment
In each phase, we had a hard dependency on the previous phase – the previous phase should be completed before starting the next one. In Agile methodology, all the phases mentioned above go in parallel in order to create an environment of continuous improvement. So, instead of developing a full software, multiple pieces of software are developed and delivered continuously.
What is Agile?
Agile is a methodology developed for projects that require significant progress in software development and is composed of multiple short delivery cycles.
Why does it matter?
It allows you to show continuous progress in software/product development, thereby ensuring faster and more effective implementation. Agile project management requires minimal control and paves the way for real-time communication.
Who does it affect?
Business Leaders, Developers, Testers, End Users and Business as a whole
Since when has Agile been around?
Agile practices have been applied since 2001, and they are currently highly utilized in software development.
As seen in this article on TechRepublic, Agile PM is guided by 12 principles
- It helps satisfy customers by providing early and continuous delivery of software
- Changes in requirements provided even in the late stages of development can be handled.
- Software/Product components are delivered in multiple releases in regular short intervals, which allows the customer to work with delivered components without having to wait for the complete software/product to be delivered.
- Agile methodology provides the opportunity for frequent interaction between multiple stakeholders (Business, Tester, Developer) within the team on a day-to-day basis to track the status of the product and individual activities. Any issues/difficulties can be called out and addressed immediately.
- Each and every individual has to contribute, and hard dependency on particular team members is avoided since the workload is equally distributed.
- Multiple stakeholders, including Client, interact with each other during Day-to-Day Status/Scrum calls in a separate meeting room to monitor the activity status and avoid road blockers/showstoppers in the project.
- Software/working product is delivered in multiple releases, which in turn reflects on the overall product development, and helps in measuring the process.
- Development Lifecycle progresses steadily. Also, it paves the way for the development of a quality product, since only a minimal part of the software is developed at a time.
- Unlike in other project methodology where issues are fixed after the code is delivered to the QA team, tested and signed off, with Agile methodology, issues are addressed through day-to-day interactions.
- If the agreed software component cannot be delivered as per the planned schedule, the Project Manager and the Business Stakeholder can clearly differentiate the components/software that will be delivered in the subsequent delivery lifecycles/releases. This allows the PM to categorize/split up the delivery cycles based on product complexity.
- When the interaction between all stakeholders is optimal, a high-quality product can be delivered within the planned timeline. Mature agile methodologies are typically self-driven by the stakeholders in the absence of the Project Manager wherein each team player gets the opportunity to play the role of Project Manager/Scrum Master. This ensures that every member and their interactions with the other members is effective.
- Absences of stakeholders are planned in advance and the delivery lifecycles are planned accordingly. Retrospective meetings are conducted at the end of each release to discuss what went well, what could be done to improve the upcoming release and any concerns/suggestions from individual stakeholders.
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