The 5 Significant Agile Project Management Techniques For Your Organization
Agile methods have created a significant impact on various businesses. Even it was orignally created for engineering, information technology, and software development, agile has expanded to different industries such as project management. The function of agile project management is focused on improvement, team effort, scope, and quality products and services.
With so many existing agile project management techniques, project managers and their teams are basically gambling on which of these techniques will create a huge impact on the project. Some agile project management techniques don’t work for organizations hence, a lot of time and resources are wasted implementing a technique that barely affects the system.
So what exactly do we look for in agile project management techniques? Is it their maturity? Their reputation in terms of effectiveness and efficacy? Incorporating techniques in your organizations’ infrastructure can be an uncertain and scary journey. With that, you need to look into elements that are often overlooked by companies and the project teams.
The beauty of agile project management techniques or techniques in general, is that they can work in any type of organization, in any type of project management methodology.
Below are the five agile project management techniques that have versatile traits, that can work in any type of project and process. Surprisingly, they are fairly easy.
Agile Project Management Techniques #1: Refrain from Calling It Agile
The word Agile appears to have been overused or in this case, not used properly. Some organizations attach agile project management techniques and agile in general into the negative light that is equivalent to absence of requirements and documentation. A lot of people and even organizations misunderstood the true essence and purpose of Agile. The reason we incorporate agile project management techniques in our company’s infrastructure and workflow system is to contain risks and minimize wastes in order to focus on the business value of a product or service.
Come to think of, all types of techniques, disciplines or processes fall in that same goal. So why label it as Agile then? It still doesn’t matter at the end of the day—you are still creating value to fulfill those stakeholder expectations.
Agile Project Management Techniques #2: Never Neglect Your Communication System
So how do you greatly improve your agile project management techniques? Never underestimate the power of a clear communication system. One of the most common reasons projects fail is a lack of communication and engagement with managers, teams, executives, and stakeholders/clients. Part of Agile is to ensure that this certain issue will not happen. A face to face communication is deemed more effective than e-mails or instant messages since issues are resolved easily and everyone will get to lay down their contribution in the open and discuss it with the others. As much as e-mails are convenient, nothing beats the traditional face to face. Plus, a clear visual on the project’s operation make the whole process smoother and easier to manipulate.
Communication must be constant, as well as clear. There should be a standard channel for teams, such as setting up regular brief sessions before starting the day. Sessions, not meetings. This means they will not be longer than 15-20 minutes and should tackle the tasks for the day as well as discuss any issue they might have encountered. It also pays to acknowledge each one’s achievement since it’s one of the factors to strengthen your team dynamic and trust. Next, have a bi-weekly session capping the tasks done by each team members. This will elicit more discussions and even help you identify problems that you haven’t noticed on your previous sessions. Meetings should be done in a week to gather achieved tasks or brainstorm new ideas.
If in any case that you can’t meet face to face, opt to have the sessions in video conferences via Skype. It’s fast paced and in real-time, unlike e-mails that make you wait a minute or two for a response from the other party.
Agile Project Management Techniques #3: Track Your Tasks
Ensure that everyone has a clear line of sight of the tasks to be accomplished today or this week. Tracking your team member’s tasks and goals will help you monitor each of their progress. You can do this using charts or board containing task information and the individual or teams in charge of them. It doesn’t have to be that complex—a simple visual board will do or Post-It’s on a corkboard. Make sure that tasks are divided based on their status (pending, completed, in progress).
Agile Project Management Techniques #4: Check Everyone and Everything
And do so regularly. Think of it as a roll call in school where you check who’s present and who’s not. Daily checkups are helpful to keep track of the tasks’ progress and also cite issues and risks that pop up during the work process. Take down all the necessary data and ask assigned members for their task status if needed to ensure that everything goes smooth on their end. Regular check-ups will help you save time rather than letting it fall into mundane tasks that don’t contribute to your project.
Agile Project Management Techniques #5: Create a ‘” Done” Checklist
Yes, a checklist that is specifically for projects that need to be done on a certain schedule. Do this for any type of project you have and talk it over to your team members which project should be done immediately. Create a separate checklist devoted to project stages and processes so that you will know what’s the next step to take. Your regular check-ups are a good avenue to run over your checklist on which items or tasks to add or omit from that list.
The following agile project management techniques are easy to follow and will not disrupt your existing project methodology or structure. Take it not only as a technique that involves controlling, monitoring, or jotting down items or tasks, but treat it as mindset and practice as well. Remember that some agile project management techniques take mind power to affect the process effectively.
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