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What is Agile

Agile is a dynamic Project Management approach focusing on adaptability, collaboration, iterative progress, open communication, and customer involvement.

Agile development’s most significant benefit is that it helps teams produce results more quickly, with higher quality and predictability and a better ability to adapt to change. This is evident by the fact that 98% of companies have become more successful since implementing Agile, according to Enterpriseappstoday.

So, it’s time for companies to adopt this methodology who are looking to increase their Project Management. In this blog, we will understand What is Agile and the various Agile Methodologies, phases, key elements, values, and benefits.

Table of Contents

1) What is Agile? 

2) What are the various Agile Methodologies? 

3) What are the distinct phases of Agile Methodology? 

4) What are the key elements of Agile?

5) When should you use Agile Project Management?

6) Agile values and principles

7) The benefits of Agile Manifesto 

8) Wondering how to get an Agile Certification?  

9) Conclusion

What is Agile? 

Agile is an evolving approach to Project Management that emphasises frequent value delivery and quick market feedback to quickly adapt to latest changes. It emphasises:

1) Process small batches;

2) Process visualisation for transparency;

3) Collaborative customer interaction, and

4) Get responses as soon as feasible.

This enables you to quickly adjust to changing demands and generate enhanced products or services to meet your customers' needs better. 

Teams using the Agile technique can perform tasks more quickly, adjust to shifting project needs, and streamline their work processes. 

Agile enables teams to be better prepared to quickly alter focus and direction, as the Agile model definition implies. Software corporations and marketing firms are particularly mindful of the trend for stakeholder engagement changes to occur weekly. The Agile Methodology enables teams to review their work in progress and make adjustments in predetermined increments to ensure that as the work and customer landscape evolves, so does the team's emphasis.

If you are unfamiliar with Agile Project Management, it may initially appear to be a complicated and challenging approach to handle. However, whether you realise it or not, you already carry out many of the requirements of Agile. You can move toward more minor, periodic product releases and shorter development cycles with a few adjustments.
 

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Agile values and principles

Agile Project Management is based on 12 principles and four values which are listed out in the Agile Manifesto. The document was originally written by seventeen software development managers who wanted to simplify the process by introducing common sense as was domain-specific values into the process. The twelve Agile principles are as follows:

a) Satisfying the customer through continuous delivery

b) Welcoming change at all stages of development

c) Frequently delivering working software

d) Businesspeople and developers constantly working together

e) Building projects around motivated individuals

f) Having face-to-face conversations with the team members

g) Making working software as the primary measure of success

h) Promoting sustainable development using Agile processes

i) Enhancing Agility using good design and technical excellence

j) Maximising the amount of work not done

k) Having self-organising teams to develop the best architectures and designs

l) Reflecting regularly on how to become more efficient

Agile values

Agile values make the foundation of the Agile Methodology, a flexible and adaptive approach to project management and product development. These values, outlined in the Agile Manifesto, promote collaboration, responsiveness, and customer-centricity.

a) Individuals and Interactions over processes and tools: Agile places a strong emphasis on human interactions and teamwork. It values the contributions of individuals and recognises that effective collaboration is the key to success.

b) Working software over comprehensive documentation: Agile prioritises delivering functional, valuable products over excessive documentation. It encourages continuous development and iteration to create software that meets evolving customer needs.

c) Customer collaboration over contract negotiation: Agile fosters close collaboration with customers and stakeholders throughout the project. It values feedback and adjusts plans accordingly to ensure customer satisfaction.

d) Responding to change over following a plan: Agile embraces change as a natural part of the development process. It emphasises adaptability and encourages teams to respond to changing requirements and priorities.

What are the various Agile Methodologies?

Agile Methodologies are a distinctive set of approaches with common shared principles based on repetitive customer-focused development. Let us look at the two most prominent Agile Methodologies:

How does Scrum work?

Scrum teams pledge to finish a piece of work that may be shippable during predetermined intervals called sprints. They develop learning loops that would enable them to swiftly acquire and incorporate user feedback. To keep things moving forward, team members adopt particular roles, produce unique artefacts, and conduct periodic ceremonies. 

The main goal is to assist teams in producing goods with the maximum possible value through productivity and creativity. Three functions are immutable:

1) The Product Owner

2) The Scrum Master 

3) The Team 

Become a Scrum Master. Register for our Scrum Master Certification Course now! 

How Kanban works?

The Kanban technique was developed a decade ago. It focuses on continual operational efficiencies and evolutionary change. 

There are six important prerequisites in the method:

1) Envision the work

2) Minimise ongoing projects

3) Control flow

4) Create explicit process policies

5) Establish feedback loops 

6) Build collaboratively 

Get your Kanban Certification today! Register for our Certified Kanban Foundation and Practitioner Training!
 

Methodology 

Scrum  

Kanban 

Origin 

Software development 

Lean manufacturing 

Ideology 

Learn from your mistakes, set priorities for yourself, and evaluate your successes and failures to get better over time. 

Use graphics to enhance ongoing projects   

Measure 

regular sprints of a defined length (i.e., two weeks) 

constant flow 

Practices 

Daily scrum, sprint review, sprint planning, sprint retrospective 

Limit the amount of work that is still being done, regulate the flow, and use feedback loops 

Roles 

Product owner, scrum master, development team 

No required roles 


Join our Agile Project Management Foundation and Practitioner Course to learn more about the Agile Methodology!

What are the distinct phases of Agile Methodology? 

The steps of the Agile project delivery procedure can often be summed up as follows:

1) Envision – Create a high-level vision for the product or service for the target market. Also, decide who will be engaged in the project. 

2) Speculate – It is a continuation of the "Envision" phase, in which teams assemble the broad basic requirements for a product or service and create an iteration plan based on the vision. 

3) Explore – Concentrate on the project deliverables with a focus on flow, hoping to gather client feedback as soon as you can. 

4) Adapt – Review delivered data and make any necessary adjustments in light of the situation. 

5) Close – Finalise the study and communicate any important discoveries.

What are the Key Elements of Agile? 

1) User stories- A user story can be defined as a high-level description of a task request. It gives just enough details for the team to accurately estimate the time needed to complete the request. This concise, straightforward explanation concentrates on expressing what your customer requires (their goals) and why from the user's point of view. 

2) Sprints- Sprints are brief iterations that mostly last one to three weeks. During a sprint, teams focus on tasks decided upon during the sprint planning meeting. The goal is to keep repeating these sprints as you advance until your product is feature-ready. After the sprint, you evaluate the product to determine what is and is not working, make improvements, and start a new sprint to strengthen the service or product. 

3) Stand-up sessions- Daily stand-up meetings, also called "daily Scrum meetings," are an excellent approach to ensure everyone is informed and on track. They should last at most 10 minutes. Because everyone must remain standing throughout these regular meetings, they are known as "stand-up" meetings. This helps to keep the discussions brief and to the point. 

4) Agile Board- Your team can monitor your project's status with an Agile Board. This might be a feature in your Project Management software, a simple Kanban board, or a whiteboard with post-it notes. 

5) Backlog- Project applications are added through your intake system and put into the backlog as pending stories. Your team will provide a rough estimate of narrative points for each job during Agile strategy meetings. Stories from the backlog are shifted into the sprint for completion during the iterations during sprint planning. In an Agile setting, project managers are critical in managing their backlog.
 

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When should you use Agile Project Management?

Agile Project Management is a flexible and adaptive approach that should be considered in various situations to enhance project success. Here are instances when you should use Agile Project Management:

a) Unclear requirements: Agile is ideal when project requirements are not well-defined or are likely to change during the project. Its iterative nature allows for adjustments as requirements evolve.

b) Complex projects: Agile thrives in complex projects where the scope and goals may not be fully understood upfront. It enables teams to break down large projects into smaller, manageable increments.

c) Highly innovative projects: Agile is suitable for projects requiring innovation and creativity, as it encourages collaboration, experimentation, and continuous improvement.

d) Frequent customer feedback: When customer feedback is essential and you need to incorporate changes quickly, Agile provides a framework for continuous interaction with stakeholders.

e) Rapid development: Agile is effective for projects with tight deadlines and the need for quick releases. It enables incremental development, allowing for the delivery of valuable features early.

f) Dynamic environments: In industries where market conditions change rapidly, such as technology or software development, Agile can help organisations stay responsive and competitive.

g) Cross-functional teams: Agile encourages cross-functional teams that include members with diverse skills. This is beneficial when multiple areas of expertise are needed to achieve project goals.

The benefits of Agile Manifesto    

Because various teams execute best practices in diverse ways, the advantages of Agile Project Management will vary from situation to situation. However, it is widely acknowledged that Agile provides the following fundamental benefits: 

1) Satisfied clients- 

Agile teams communicate with their clients and demonstrate that they respect their feedback by including them in the development process. Stakeholders want to be involved at every stage of the project life cycle to provide feedback and guarantee the outcome will meet their needs. These customised outputs will enhance user experience overall and increase client retention. 

2) Enhanced quality- 

Agile Project Management practices take an iterative approach in which procedures are enhanced with each iteration. One of the fundamental ideas of Agile is that continuous improvement and quality control lead to better products. 

3) Flexibility- 

Flexibility is Agile's central tenet. Agile teams are adaptable to change and can do so without much disturbance, even at the last minute. Since project deliverables are flexible, teams may review their strategies and realign their priorities to meet revised objectives. Flexible teams can deliver consistently and successfully handle clients' shifting requirements. 

4) Predictability- 

Agile teams complete their work in brief intervals, known as sprints. It is simpler for project managers to assess team performance and allocate resources per these predetermined durations (such as two weeks). Additionally, the estimation process is made simpler because expenses are more accessible to predict for short-term projects than long-term ones. 

5) Lower Risk- 

Developers constantly evaluate their progress during sprints, giving them increased project visibility and the ability to identify roadblocks rapidly. These minor problems can be resolved before they become more serious, resulting in an efficient risk mitigation procedure and increasing the project's likelihood of success. 

6) Improved communication- 

Agile teams prioritise face-to-face contact and ongoing interaction. They typically hold daily meetings to ensure everyone is on the page and pursuing the same goals. They avoid uncertainty by often communicating with one another, which helps them accomplish their goals.

Thus, Agile Methodology offers many benefits to teams in software development and other sectors.  

Become a certified Agile project manager. Register for our Agile Programme Management Course now! 

Wondering how to get an Agile Certification?   

Considering obtaining a certification in Agile Project Management? We have all the details you require if learning about Agile Project Management gets you thinking about making it your career. Getting certified is the most significant route to becoming a professional in Agile Project Management. A certification will assist in validating your abilities and commitment to Project Management.  

APMG recognises the Agile Project Management course at The Knowledge Academy. Those who desire to manage Agile projects should get the AgilePM Foundation certification. You will learn how to manage projects and improve your decision-making abilities.   

According to Glassdoor, people with an AgilePM Foundation certification can earn an average annual salary of £50,943. 

Conclusion

Agile Project Management is a cutting-edge method for many types of projects, not just software ones. Agile enables businesses to create better-quality products that satisfy customers by giving them the flexibility to adapt to change throughout the development lifecycle. The methodology a corporation chooses to use will depend on its unique requirements and goals.  

Want to become an Agile Project Manager? Register for our our AgilePM Foundation Certification course today! 

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