Eight reasons to adopt Agile Project Management
Introduction to Agile Project Management
Agile’s influence on the project management industry continues to rise at pace. More organisations and project professionals than ever are embracing Agile tools and frameworks as they aim to increase the success of – and return on investment from – projects and other change initiatives. Key benefits often attributed to Agile include improved revenue and speed to market, developing the right product/solution (through iterative development and incremental delivery) and increased collaboration and customer satisfaction. Since its introduction in 2010, AgilePM has fast established itself as the leading framework and certification for agile project management.
Based on the Agile Business Consortium’s Agile Project Framework, the AgilePM guidance offers a practical and repeatable methodology that achieves an ideal balance between the standards, rigour and visibility required for good project management, and the fast-pace, change and empowerment provided by Agile. AgilePM offers a structured and scalable corporate Agile framework based on proven practice. So why should organisations and project professionals consider AgilePM to support their adoption or improvement of agile project management practices?
Why choose Agile Project Management?
Why should organisations choose Agile Project Management? Below are eight key reasons to embrace Agile Project Management:
- A tried and tested corporate approach: The AgilePM methodology is essentially a project manager’s subset of the Agile Business Consortium’s wider Agile Project framework. The framework – established for over 20 years and regularly refreshed to reflect current practices and business requirements – provides governance and rigour along with the agility and flexibility demanded by organizations today. AgilePM and the underlying Agile Project Framework have been adopted as the chosen approach by a wide range of organizations representing various sectors and industries.
- Addressing the full project lifecycle (beyond product development): For organizations delivering projects and programmes, and where existing formal project management processes already exist, the informality of many of the agile approaches is daunting and sometimes perceived as too risky. AgilePM offers a mature approach that, whilst offering agility and flexibility, retains the concepts of a project, project delivery and project management.
- Inclusion of change management activities: AgilePM goes further than other project management approaches, because it has a specific process for considering how what has been created will be implemented. This deployment step is integral to the AgilePM lifecycle and ensures that there is a focus on how to support users once the deliverables are made available to them.
- Quality & governance controls: One of AgilePM’s underlying principles is Never Compromise Quality. In an AgilePM project, high-level acceptance criteria is agreed at various stages throughout the project lifecycle, from high-level criteria at the feasibility stage, to objectives for each stage of product/solution development. The responsibility for ensuring that what has been created meets its quality criteria is a core part of all roles, and quality is understood before any work is undertaken, so everyone knows what good should look like before they start work. This is a far more efficient approach than rejecting work after it has been created because it doesn’t meet quality criteria that were not clear at the start. This is all geared to ensuring the solution will meet the business need and the project objectives.
- Risk management: AgilePM provides practical ideas for managing risk, directly addressing many of the common risks for projects (e.g. missing fixed deadlines and having unclear or volatile requirements). The Project Approach Questionnaire provides an effective starting point for creating a clear, shared understanding of project risks and their mitigation.
- Clear roles & responsibilities: People working together effectively is the foundation of any successful project. AgilePM recognises this and assigns clear roles and responsibilities to each person in a project, representing the business interests, the solution/ technical interests, the management interests and the process interests. Everyone involved in an AgilePM project works closely together in order to break down potential communication barriers, with the best solutions emerging from self-organizing, empowered teams.
- Popular agile practices incorporated: AgilePM incorporates and encourages a range of popular agile practices to support effective product and solution development. These include MoSCoW Prioritisation (a technique for helping to understand and manage priorities), Timeboxing (a Timebox is defined as a fixed period of time, at the end of which an objective has been met) and Iterative Development (a process in which the evolving solution, or part of it, evolves from a high-level concept to something with acknowledged business value).
- Integrate with existing processes: Whilst AgilePM can be utilized as a stand-along approach to project management, it has been designed pragmatically to work alongside more formalized project management approaches such as PRINCE2, and can be dovetailed into formalized quality processes such as ISO9001.
The AgilePM framework is underpinned by the Agile Business Consortium’s eight principles for effective agile project delivery:
The eight principles are designed to support the Agile Business Consortium’s underlying philosophy that:
“best business value emerges when projects are aligned to clear business goals, deliver frequently and involve the collaboration of motivated and empowered people”.
The AgilePM framework is supported by accredited Agile Project Management training, of which Cybiant is a leading training provider and certifications via APMG. Over 65,000 exams have been taken globally since 2011 with numbers increasing rapidly year-on-year, and candidates representing a broad range of organizations and industries.