7 Useful Tips for Managing a Successful Agile Project

Over the last decade, the work environment has become complex.

First, technological advancements have changed the way we do business. This includes instant messaging and the ability to work anywhere.

But these advancements have also led to an overwhelmingly fast-paced environment. So much so that how we manage things at work are prone to errors and unpredictability.

Agile project

That’s why this often challenges the conventional waterfall project management approach in a lot of fields. This is also the main reason agile project management has gained popularity. 

What is Agile Project Management?

Agile is a type of project management methodology that utilizes short development cycles. Also known as “sprints,” these cycles are designed to focus on the constant improvement of a product or service. 

An agile project management focuses on delivering a functional prototype. And such output is usually produced at the end of every sprint.

It is like having a mobile with all the essential features. And then, a few weeks later, you are prompted to update your app to enjoy added features.

The extra features you get to enjoy after every update are the result of a successful sprint. 

Thus, we can also say that agile project management focuses on providing constant improvement for added customer value. And this is made possible through team input, scope flexibility, and business adaptability.

In this post, we will talk about the eight useful tips on how you can manage a successful agile project:

1. Early prototyping

Start prototyping early. One of the most effective ways of figuring out what to do and what to avoid is to learn by doing. 

Using something as early as possible is vital even if that means releasing something quite different from your end goal. 

2. Constant planning

Planning is always essential.

Although it is quite impossible to know every detail in advance, that is okay. Your main goal is to stay on top of your planning so that you are always one step ahead when it comes to your development efforts. 

It might be tiring at first, but spending enough time planning will pay dividends in the long run. One great way is to start organizing a planning session with your whole team. Use that time to let your team probe and ask questions. 

This is also an excellent opportunity for you to uncover areas that need research.

Planning allows you to identify areas that you might have to research further. It also lets you know what you do not know yet and figure out what risks it may pose. 

When a project is underway, planning is also vital. You need to keep an eye on your backlog, or the amount of work your team id delivers. 

You also need to know the variables that you are working with. That way, you can accordingly for any upcoming sprints, or adjust your existing sprints if required. 

Regularly work with your team to plan, re-prioritize, set, or (reset) expectations. Just when you think you are already done with planning, get ready to plan some more. 

3. Use the right tools

Teams have to understand the project’s workflow and processes and their responsibilities.

The last thing that you want to happen is to delay project delivery due to miscommunication. 

To have effective communication, every team member should update their team to stand up meetings. The team should also be operating consistently, and all communications should be done promptly. That way, it will be easier to track progress. 

You also need to look for ways to offer visibility to those that need it.

A dashboard can be a great tool to showcase how your work is progressing. It also lets you check if there are any risks (when it comes to the project’s scope, resources, and time). 

4. Accept changes

Non-agile methodologies often assume that certain requirements are already final. If there are any changes in the management process, it can only accommodate minor variations in them. 

Design requirements will be subject to regular, planned changes in Agile iterations. Agile allows product managers to showcase working software, which can elicit customer feedback. 

When the user’s needs are not met, developers and product managers can do either of the two:

  1. Make change requests on the application code
  2. Make changes to the delivery schedule

Therefore, change management is an important part of the agile software development process.

5. Prioritize customers

One of the core principles of agile management is to satisfy its customers through an early and constant delivery. This means that your team should prioritize solving problems for your customers. Also, to create features that are cool but are not difficult to use. 

Having this kind of strategy will encourage your product decisions to be data-driven. 

The agile methodology significantly decreases the time from project initiation to customer feedback. As the customers’ needs change, your team should be flexible enough to address these. 

In a way, this also creates a process where there is a feedback loop for constant improvement. 

6. Risk project management

You cannot eliminate risk in any project. You can still manage it through risk identification, response planning, quantitative analysis, controlling, and monitoring. 

7. Communicate with team

When facing a crisis, it might be quite tempting that you skip this step. But if you do not communicate with your team, you will not get things done. 

If you do not offer details on the change in the story, you will also be unlikely that you will get the output you are expecting. 

So, you must tackle these changes head-on. Start as early as possible and talk with your development staff about the changes coming in from your customers. 

Over to You

Do you still have a long way to go in your agile project management journey?

As companies and brands shift to doing things digitally, the more you need to hone your project management skills. That way, you can ensure flexibility, speed, and enhanced productivity. 

Whether you are a project manager or part of the product development team, applying the seven tips listed above will allow you to take the right direction.

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