SKILLFULLY MANAGING AGILE PROJECTS

Agile processes are rapidly being implemented throughout information technology departments on a global level.  With the adoption of this fluid software process, comes a need for the project managers who run these departments to be equally nimble in their management approach.  For project managers to be successful in this new environment, they must integrate the following facets into their management strategy:

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1)  Understanding Agile software:   The Project Manager needs to become acquainted with the development framework.  Training is sometimes required not only for the project manager, but also for the entire team, to ensure that everyone is speaking the same “language.”

2)  Measuring Data:  Data from Agile projects is measured more abstractly than the finite deadlines found in traditional methods.  Project managers need to be careful not to automatically translate certain elements or points into time that are particular to Agile, such as iterations.

3)  Tracking Data:   Agile-specific data needs to be measured and tracked consistently to provide the Project Manager with a complete picture of the project status.

4)  Collaboration:   Teamwork is an integral part of working in an agile environment, since the roles and responsibilities of each team member can become intertwined.  Rather than controlling the team’s work processes, the Project Manager focuses on the team’s ability to work together effectively by maximizing upon their individual skills set.

Ultimately, the Agile Project Manager tends to be more of a facilitator than a traditional manager.  By understanding the various processes involved in the Agile software environment, this new breed of Project Managers can be instrumental to the success of their team.

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