Agile Project Management has been taking the world by storm in the past few years. Agile is so unique in allowing the workers of a company to work on specific things that the company wants, no time is wasted on documentation or contract negotiations. Although it was designed for software development teams, Agile can be used in almost any industry due to the versatility.
What Even Is Agile Project Management?
Like most project management solutions, it is simply a set of values and principles that the team believes in. As the name implies, agile is more focused on being agile and being flexible with the constantly changing world. One of the big ideas of agile management is breaking up each project into small “sprints” that are somewhat of a mini project themselves. Having smaller sprints in a project allows teams to focus on what is important to do now and allowing flexibility by not committing a large amount of time to a project that may not be desired by the time it finishes. The most important thing about this whole concept is the values that the must hold to be an effective, agile team.
What Are The Values of Agile Management?
Although these values can be adjusted for your specific use case, let’s look at what the original manifesto valued.
- Agile teams value the individuals and the interactions experienced every day to be more important than processes and tools. This simply means that the individuals working on the project should be the guiding light compared to what the tools they have available say so. For instance, if you don’t have a leaf blower, you still can come up with a solution to clean up the leaves. You must allow your works to think about solutions to problems even if there isn’t a simple solution.
- Agile teams value working software over comprehensive documentation. As you can tell, this is where software development leaks in, however if you change the words around, it can be used anywhere. Agile teams should focus on completing the project rather than writing in a paper on how they plan on completing the project. The more time focused on going through with a solution will result in a faster and better solution.
- Agile teams value customer collaboration over contract negotiation. This one is similar to the previous one where agile teams want to waste as little time as possible while providing the best product as possible. Teams following the agile management plan will want to work directly with their customers throughout the project without worrying about any contract negotiation. Usually the negotiation will be light at the beginning and won’t be mentioned throughout the project. We simply want to give the customer what they want, as fast as possible.
Finally, agile teams value responding to change over following a plan. Although a general plan is still important, responding to the ever-changing desires of the customer and the world is a lot more important. Agile teams will focus on the next few weeks rather than the next few years, since the next weeks are likely more important to the customer. If you would follow the overall plan, you may not be able to include parts the customer decides they want halfway through. So, focusing on change does allows for more flexibility.Featured Photo by Brodie Vissers from Burst