If you have ever taken part in a sport, then you might be familiar with the advice “Stick to the basics”. Fortunately, this also holds true in any other domains too including project management. Jim Rohn highlighted the importance of fundamentals when he said, “Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying the fundamentals.” In short, if you want to achieve success, then knowing the basics is mandatory, especially in agile project management.
One project management methodology that stands out from the rest is agile. According to Pulse of Profession report, agile is the most successful project management methodology. In this article, we focus on 12 fundamental principles of agile project management to give you a better idea about this popular project management methodology.
Principle 1: Our Highest Priority Is To Satisfy Customer through Early and Continuous Delivery
As a project manager using an agile methodology, you need to make sure that you deliver a solution that solves user’s problems. Ensure early and continuous delivery as well. You can achieve that by minimizing the time spent on each phase of the project. Make the process more efficient and cut down on unnecessary activities to satisfy your clients.
Principle 2: Welcome-Changing Requirements Even Late In Development. Agile Processes Harnesses Change for Customer Competitive Advantage
Probably, the biggest advantage of using agile project management methodology is that it offers you the flexibility to change. Unlike other rigid project management methodologies, agile allows you to make changes even late in the development process. All you have to do is reduce the time between conception and implementation of the change. This results in better customer satisfaction and customer competitive advantage.
Related Article: Project Management Methodologies Guide For Beginners
Principle 3: Deliver Working Software Frequently (Weekly or Monthly) With Focus on Shorter Timescale
While other project methodologies are heavily dependent on documentation and 100% completion, agile methodology takes a different route. Agile project management methodology reduces the documentation and planning to a minimum and put more emphasis on development. Due to this, most projects that use agile methodology completes before the deadline.
Principle 4: Business People and Developers Should Work Together Daily
One of the most important principles on this list is business people should closely work in collaboration with developers or product engineers to achieve success. Your business and technical team should be present at the same place to make this possible. Even if they are not, you can use collaboration and task management software to communicate with them.
Principle 5: Build Projects around Motivated Individual. Provide Them the Environment and Support They Need and Trust Them To Get The Job Done
In agile project management, teams are self-reliant and self-directed. More importantly, there is no micromanagement. The important part here is that you should hire the right people to work for you and provide them with everything they need to accomplish project goals before the deadline and inside the budget. Project managers must trust their team to deliver results.
Principle 6: The Most Efficient Way to Convey Information to Your Development Team is Face To Face Conversation
Despite the advancement in technology and emergence of digital communication and collaboration tools, the face-to-face conversation still holds its own. That is where working under the same roof comes into play. In agile project management methodology, we need to get quick answers to questions and there is no better way to achieve that feat than face-to-face conversation.
Principle 7: Working Software Is a Primary Measure of Success
For agile project teams, there is nothing more important than a working prototype. Irrespective of how many bugs you have fixed or how many hours you have put in the development of a product, the only thing that count is a working product. If it is not working properly, then all the factors become irrelevant.
Principle 8: Agile Process Promotes Sustainable Development. Sponsors, Developers and Users Should Maintain a Constant Pace
Are you bored on working on the same project for a long time? Agile project management methodology resolves this issue as well. In agile project management, work is done is short productive bursts to ensure better productivity and outcomes. Setting the right pace is crucial for success in agile project management. If you move at the same pace as sponsors, users, developers, etc. you can easily drive your project to success.
Principle 9: Continuous Attention to Technical Excellence and Good Design Boosts Agility
Two of the most important factors that play their part in success is technical expertise and good design. When using agile project management methodology, you do not have to spend time in refining your code. It will get better automatically with every iteration so you do not have to worry about it. The use of scrum tools can further enhance the speed of the process so you can achieve more in less time without compromising on the quality of the final product.
Principle 10: Simplicity—The Art of Maximizing The Amount of Work Not Done but Is Essential
When it comes to managing projects through agile methodology, you should keep things simple and reduce the time required to go from comprehension to completion. Track all your team members and the time they spend working with the help of a project management software. This will ensure timely completion of critical tasks.
Principle 11: The Best Requirements, Architecture, and Design Emerge From Self Organizing Teams
As mentioned above, agile teams are self-directed. You will not have to tell them what they have to do. Instead, they will find a way themselves and remove any hurdle that comes in the way. The project manager will only interfere when there are some warning signs or situation gets out of hand. In normal circumstances, everything goes smoothly and all credit goes to well-organized teams.
Principle 12: At Regular Interval, Team Reflects on How to Become More Effective and Tweak Behavior Accordingly
In today’s dynamic agile project environments, it is important that we keep on looking for flaws and improve. More importantly, adapting to a certain situation is crucial for success. Project managers who are still using older methodologies will struggle in today’s rapidly evolving project environments. They will have to keep pace with emerging trends and adjust according to the situation in order to achieve project goals.
If you adhere to aforementioned 12 basic principles of agile project management, then you can reap the rewards of using agile project management methodology. In addition to delivering the project before the deadline, you can improve productivity risk management and cost control. By doing the basics right, you are increasing your chances to succeed at project management especially when using agile project management methodology.