Agile and Project Management: a Perfect Partnership
As a project manager, it’s your responsibility to inform, influence and lead people. Equally, it’s your responsibility to enable those people – through listening, understanding and, where required, finding timely ways to unblock tasks and remove the issues which threaten to delay or disrupt progress.
How does Agile enable you and your team to avoid the pitfalls and achieve a successful outcome?
An agile team has clearly defined roles and responsibilities, but it is worth noting that some roles you may expect to see are not included by default, including that of Project Manager.
Fortunately, frameworks such as PRINCE2 Agile® have been developed from a project management perspective, which is helpful in terms of removing ambiguity and improving alignment with existing corporate structures.
The agile processes and frameworks provide the opportunity for regular and timely communication, with feedback loops throughout the lifecycle of the project. One of the great things about PRINCE2 Agile is that you can use it with any agile framework. Here’s a quick run through of the core meetings in Scrum:
- Sprint Planning focuses on the sprint backlog (this is your ‘to do’ list of things that need to be done in the coming sprint). These backlog entries are reviewed, prioritised and the amount of effort needed to deliver them is estimated. The amount of work that can be expected within the bounds of a sprint is informed by the speed and capacity of the team. Something that an agile approach helps you to find out!
- The Daily Standup is the vehicle where the team give a brief update on their current task, enabling the team to identify when intervention is required to keep things progressing at pace.
- The Sprint Retrospective is a session of self-evaluation for the team. 360 degree feedback enables the team to identify what went well and what they should keep doing, what could have been better, what they should stop doing, and what action to take to ensure they continuously improve.
- The Sprint Review is an opportunity for the team to share the work completed in the current sprint with the stakeholders. This gives stakeholders sprint by sprint visibility of the work being done, enabling ongoing review and discussion which, if managed properly, means there will be no reason to argue about acceptance or indeed contest the invoice.
The great thing here is that all of this is now covered widely by frameworks and training courses; the right training will give your agile project management career a huge boost – and the right certification can open doors! One of the core principles of agile is continuous improvement and this not only applies to your project and your team, but to your personal and professional development as well.
You, your team(s), your managers, your customer, your stakeholders and your organisation are all unique. Different organisations adopt different frameworks of agile. Scary? Of course not. We’re project managers. We are copers. We get things done. There is a plethora of support available through training, frameworks and your colleagues. Take advantage of all of that support.
Mark Brown is an IT Project Manager and Agile Scrum Master
PRINCE2 Agile is the world’s most complete agile project management solution, combining the flexibility and responsiveness of agile with the governance of PRINCE2®. It works with any established Agile approach.
Click the link to find out how you can achieve PRINCE2 Agile accreditation.
One of the great things about PRINCE2 Agile is that you can use it with any agile framework
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