written by
Sthomas

4 Key Values that Guide Agile Project Management

Agile Project Management 5 min read

The agile methodology is a project management technique that utilizes small development cycles known as sprints. Every project is broken down into small subsections that produce a usable product or service in the end.

The project team, consisting of all relevant stakeholders, reviews each of these subsections to optimize the project management cycle. After each sprint or iteration is completed, the team analyzes the iteration and uses insights from this analysis to determine which step they should take next.

This allows the team to address problems as they rise, and they are able to respond to issues over the course of the project. A timely adjustment in strategy allows teams to save resources and deliver a project on within the constraints of time and budget.

Furthermore, the methodology enables project teams to release segments of the project as they are completed. This continuous release schedule determines whether or not that component was made successfully and helps the team to test and fix the flaws of any given iteration.

However, the agile project management life cycle runs on an extremely tight schedule. Therefore, following the agile methodology is extremely difficult unless you are familiar with the values of agile project management. In this article, we will discuss four key values that guide agile project management.

1. Communication over Procedure and Tools

The first core value of agile project management is its emphasis on teamwork and communication. We have often seen that some organizations develop complex procedures for completing projects.

While these procedures are set to make the workflow more transparent, they cause unnecessary delays and slow down progress. Moreover, when the organization has multi-layered hierarchies, it creates further complications in the chain of command and causes even more delays.

For this reason, agile methodology encourages peer-to-peer communication. It dictates individuals to prioritize effective communication rather than relying on tools and procedures during the project lifecycle. It’s true that sophisticated tools and procedures are helpful, but without productive interactions with stakeholders, they can’t achieve much on their own.

2. Working Software over Extensive Documentation

Photographer: Shahadat Shemul | Source: Unsplash

Since the agile methodology has spawned from the domain of software development, it has many key terms emerging from the same field. One example of this is the second tenet of agile methodology. It states that project teams should focus on “working software over extensive documentation.”

This simply means that teams should focus on making working solutions rather than spending time on comprehensive documentation. Like the agile methodology value above, this rule eliminates any chances of unnecessary delays caused by extensive documentation.

In many projects, a major portion of time is spent on technical specifications, test plans, and design documents. Moreover, the project leads have to get these plans approved before having the chance to continue on a workable solution. This kind of detailed documentation can force the team to focus on things that are not even relevant to the project process.

Agile management, on the other hand, streamlines documentation in a way that gives the team enough information to start working on the project. While a portion of the team is making a usable function for the project, the rest of the team plans on which step would be required to optimize the process even more.

Logically, a customer would prefer a working software or any product or service instead of an extremely detailed document which they don’t have the time to read. Even if the customers opt for a change, the agile team can make continuous improvements to resolve them.

3. Customer Collaboration over Contract Negotiation

This CEO and entrepreneur are working on their laptops building a social media marketing strategy to showing bloggers how to make money on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram. Teamwork on this promotion will bring lots of sales for their startup.Photographer @breeandstephenphoto.  Models: @austindistel and @argelalgura.❤️ If you use this photo on your site, I would be very appreciative if you would please credit in the caption or meta to "www.distel.co". ❤️
Photographer: Austin Distel | Source: Unsplash

The third value builds on the second tenet of agile project management. Since the agile project management methodology dictates teams to avoid extensive documentation and rely on customer feedback to deal with changes in requirements.

As a result, the team has to focus on comprehensive collaboration with customers. By communicating with the customer regularly, the team is able to understand exactly what they want from the product. This methodology allows you to shape requirements from your client while working on a usable product.

Traditional methodologies don’t allow customers to make any changes after a set of requirements are part of the contract. However, the agile methodology allows customer involvement in the entire procedure. Not only does this methodology helps in building an enduring relationship with the customer but also helps you make a more satisfying product.

4. Responding to Change Instead of Following a Plan

Lastly, the agile methodology encourages teams to embrace change instead of following strict schedules and plans. Many people believe that accepting changes to the original requirements is expensive and time-consuming and that they should avoid it at all costs.

However, this normally happens when people give unnecessary focus to detailed documentation. Other times, it happens when the customers are unsure about what they want in the beginning. As a result, they end up being dissatisfied with the product in traditional methodologies, especially if no feedback was taken from them.

Moreover, in many industries, change is inevitable. The market is extremely competitive, and companies come up with new innovations to outperform their peers. If a project manager is not ready to accept change, their plans will become obsolete eventually. Moreover, they will never be able to satisfy customers.

The agile methodology teaches us that change is not an expense. Instead, it is necessary feedback that results in a more refined project. The change initiated by feedback adds value to the project and results in a satisfied customer.

All of the four values in agile project management rely on each other to deliver results. For instance, a team will not be able to implement a change effectively if they don’t choose communication over procedures and tools. If people wait for lengthy procedures, there is no way they can implement changes under the deadline.

These values allow agile teams to work swiftly and optimize the project workflow. You should always remember the ultimate goal of the project and address hindrances as they come. Educating your team members about the tenets of agile project management can help you build a robust team and increase their productivity.

Want to stay in the loop visit us a Projectvanguards.com or sign up below to see new blogs!

ACP Agile Management