Updated May 26, 2023
Introduction to Principles of Agile Project Management
The following article provides an outline for the Principles of Agile Project Management. Agile Project Management is a software development method with an iterative approach to planning and guiding project processes focusing on quick roll-outs from an efficient and flexible team. It fragments the project into small sections completed in work sessions and runs the design phase to testing and quality assurance. These sessions are called Sprints, and the sections are called Iterations.
In this era, where the business environment changes within a blink of an eye, mid-project changes have become a common sight. Such changes can cause a downfall in on-time and under-budget project delivery. To avoid such a scenario, APM can come to your rescue and provide high flexibility for project managers. With the help of APM, the continuous inflow of feedback and the few updates can be solved in shorter phases in the development cycle rather than updating everything. Thus, we can constantly release steady and elevated quality incremental improvements through APM.
One of the benefits of APM is its ability to respond to issues that arise throughout the course of the project. Making necessary amendments at the right time can save resources and time and ultimately help deliver projects on time and under budget.
12 Basic Principles of Agile Project Management
The 12 basic principles that assist in successfully running Agile Project Management throughout a project are as follows:
Principle 1: Prioritize Customer Satisfaction through Continuous Delivery of Software
Delivering smaller software deliverables with 100 percent functionality is advisable rather than providing a single product to the stakeholders that may not serve the actual purpose. During the process of developing software, one should not forget the basic purpose of it, which is to solve a problem.
So, if the distance between the requirement gathering and customer feedback is reduced, then it will give you more opportunities to provide a satisfactory product to the end user.
Principle 2: Welcoming Change
This is the core of Agile Project Management.
Changes can be implemented occasionally; it doesn’t need to wait. Agile processes harness change for customers’ competitive advantage.
Reduce the time between conceiving and implementing a significant change. If the development process takes time, don’t panic to shift.
Principle 3: Deliver Working Software in a Shorter Time Span
The shorter the time frame between planning and delivery, the better opportunity to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the work. This will create more opportunities for end-users to record their input and provide the development team with feedback.
The previous developments were mainly documentation and had the benefit of the doubt of completing the 100 percent requirement. But the end result portrayed nothing at all. So this step was needed where actual changes are done and no documentation for better output.
Principle 4: Business People and Developers must work as a team
This is a crucial step because it takes a lot of effort and doesn’t come naturally to people. It’s very easy to miscommunicate when a project manager handles a remotely located team. Communication tools are the best option in such cases to keep the project moving.
Principle 5: Build Projects Around Motivated Individuals
Agile Project Management focuses on developing better end products and how project managers can encourage a productive and effective development environment.
Agile teams are cross-trained and self-organized without any management restrictions to maintain flexibility, productivity, effectiveness, efficiency, and agility. It is advisable to avoid micromanagement because it restricts motivation and prevents the team from reaching its full potential.
Principle 6: Face-to-Face Interaction for Efficient and Effective Communication
Communication is the key to great team performance. Emails, messaging, etc., are good forms of communication. However, there is no other substitute for face-to-face communication.
The environment face-to-face communication can provide no other mode can do. The clear and concise feedback and appreciation conveyed through face-to-face communication can motivate the entire team.
Principle 7: Working Software – A Measure of Progress
There are many matrices available for measuring the progress of a project. This is the primary way to do so. Additionally, you can use this principle to measure the wrong steps taken.
All the effort put into developing the software, the amount of documentation, and changes made, will go in vain if the software is not functional.
Principle 8: Agile Processes Promote Sustainable Development
When the project duration runs for a more extended period, then it is quite usual that the team will burn out. To prevent such a situation, it is advisable to work in short productive terms, as excessive overtime can result in a decline in product quality. The project manager needs to decide the work pace of the team members so that they leave the office tired yet satisfied.
Principle 9: Continuous Attention to Technical Excellence and Good Design Enhance Agility
Polishing the code should be done regularly. At the same time, it does not mean rushing. Developers should remove unwanted or confusing codes time-to-time. Keeping it as a later task can ultimately result in it never being addressed.
The term “technical debt” describes the relationship between the speed of production and the quality of coding.
Principle 10: Simplicity is the Art of Maximizing
Keep everything simple and minimize the duration between comprehension and completion. Keep track of your team, and count the working hours using tools like Dashable, Trello, and InVision. Please don’t focus on the things that don’t matter, as it simply uses a lot of mental work and leads to an exhausted and underperforming team.
Principle 11: The Best Architecture, Requirements, and Designs Emerge from Self-Organizing Teams
A self-motivated team molds its path. They don’t need to be directed on every path for what needs to be done and what action should be taken.
Although project managers are an essential component in the Agile process, they only play some role in the architecture and design of a project.
Principle 12: Inspect & Adapt
This is an essential principle of Agile Project Management. The team should, a regular interval should, reflect on how to become more productive and adjust its behavior accordingly. If there is a smart way to move the project forward, the team should implement those adjustments.
When you’re in the middle of an Agile Development Project, keep these principles in mind, and you’ll be able to hold your team and project on the right track. But once you forget a single principle, the project and team will start to slip apart.
This has been a guide to the Principles of Agile Project Management. Here we discussed the basic concept with 12 basic principles of agile project management. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –