Agile Project Management

Wed, 05/27/2015 - 04:29 -- Umar Farooq

We hear a lot about agile development practices nowadays. Earlier it was known to be restricted to software industry but now it has a larger scope. These practices have entered other fields as well to serve the organizations in managing their projects in an advanced manner. In this piece of writing we will be having a brief introduction of agile project management and whatever it achieves for us.

What is Agile Project Management?

Agile software development is all about planning and managing long projects. Agile has no doubt appeared as a lawful substitute to development methodology. The term agile means a group of methodologies that include the extreme programming, Scrum, Lean etc. Among all of these, the Scrum has the largest market share. Each tactic has its own distinctive characteristics.

What actually happens is that the project is divided into iterations. Literary meaning of iteration is small box. Under this method of project management, iterations are small parts of the project. Iteration has its own planning, development as well as execution phase. In other words, it would be right to say that iteration is carried out as a complete project. This is what makes this method more useful as compared to the other traditional methods.

Agile Project Management Definition

Knowing all the above information, we can define agile management as a group of methods that are software development related. All kinds of organizations either small or large, not restricted to the software industry are making use of these agile methodologies to add to their product quality.

This method of project management responds and promotes the change in a natural manner. It enables the flexible approach towards project development. Though this approach is different from traditional methodologies of development where the outcomes of the projects are thoroughly planned and the result is fixed. On the other hand, the end result with the agile project management is usually less predictable and this is not a drawback. It is because these methodologies are always flexible enough to adapt the changes, respond to the issues as they occur during the project and resolve them accordingly. This always leads to a more successful outcome than the traditional teams who simply move towards their end result without adapting to the situations.

Basic Terminolgies

Some of the related terms can be defined as follows:

  1. Agile development practices: This is all about the techniques and procedures that are employed to carry out the agile software development.
  2. Agile software development: It is the software development by using the agile project management and agile development practices. Its features include emphasis on collaboration, reduction of waste throughout the development cycle and responsiveness to change. Also its focus is to keep the code simple and test it often as well as to deliver the functional bits of the application.
  3. Application Lifecycle Management: It is an uninterrupted process of project management through development, governance and maintenance.
  4. Blocking: Blocking is all about neutralizing the variables that cannot be eliminated through randomization.
  5. Certified Scrum Master: She/he is person who has a two day certified ScrumMaster class to achieve the certification. 
  6. Extreme Programming: It is a software development methodology that intends to improve the software quality and responsiveness to the changing requirements. 
  7. Iteration: It is a short time period that usually ranges from one week to two months duration. During this period of time, the agile development team completes all the phases i.e. requirements, designing, coding and testing of the software within an iteration.
  8. Scrum: Scrum is the framework for the development of multiphase products for iteration and it is compatible with agile project development practices e.g. extreme programming. 
  9. Scrum Team: It is a self managed, cross functional group of professional that are responsible to deliver software or a product.
  10. Scrum Master: Scrum master is a person who plays the role of ScrumMaster who has attended two day certified ScrumMaster class to get hold of the certification.

In short, it will be right to say that agile project management is facilitating long projects. It is all about carrying the activities in a well planned manner and then executing them accordingly, meeting the changing needs of the external and internal factors.