Agile project management is the process by which projects can be managed and implemented in small chunks of work. Agile projects deliver value to the business in frequent small deliveries of product called features. And their traditional waterfall methodology the requirements for the project would be documented up front. Then the design of the whole solution would be completed. Followed by the development, testing and finally, implementation of the product. If this whole process takes a year to complete, the business does not see any tangible value until the very end of that project.
With agile projects, items are created by a small logical chunks of work called iterations or sprints. Agile is a great technique to use when business needs are frequently changing or when the business wants to receive product benefits earlier. With Agile you can focus on what the business needs now and if that changes the new business needs can be accommodated in the next iteration. Agile is frequently used to manage IT projects, but can also used to manage non-IT projects.
Examples of non-IT projects that are suitable for Agile are facility moves, company reorganizations, or changing business processes within a department. Just about any project can utilize Agile if deliverables can be produced and implemented in a short period of time, and can be expanded or added to with future capabilities. Just like building blocks coming together, Agile projects build capabilities one piece or a few pieces at a time. Let's talk next about the characteristics of successful Agile projects.
First, sprints or iterations are typically four to 12 weeks long. Face to face communication is emphasized over documentation. We want to produce a product, not product documentation. Business and technical team members are co-located or use very rich virtual tools to simulate being together. In addition to these, a sponsor who is 100% committed to the Agile process is vital. And lastly, requirement changes are anticipated and accommodated.
There are other items required for Agile projects to work that do not differ from traditional projects. These include having a vision for the end game. Following a universally understood project lifecycle. Your requirements must be understood. You should use a shared and managed schedule. You have a dedicated team that is focused on getting the job done. And lastly, communication with all stakeholders is critical. There are several agile methodologies and processes in use today.
For the purposes of this course, we will describe and explain an Agile methodology that uses the following life cycle stages. Envision, defines the boundaries of the project. You then loop through the Speculate, Explore, and Adapt stages. And you perform a close phase once, at the end. Now that you've heard about the common characteristics and benefits of an Agile project, let's go deeper and explore all of these in greater detail.
- What is agile project management?
- Selecting an agile project
- Scoping the project
- Designing your sprint structure
- Collecting requirements
- Running stand-up meetings
- Managing issues and risks
- Tracking lessons learned
- Responding to change requests
- Closing the project
- Spotting signs of trouble