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A Comprehensive Guide To Becoming An Expert On Agile Project Management Methodology

By July 29, 2022No Comments

A Comprehensive Guide To Becoming An Expert On Agile Project Management Methodology

Professionals in project management often do comparisons between the Agile and Waterfall approaches. Given the situation and goals of a project, both offer benefits and drawbacks. Therefore, we cannot choose a single ideal option that would work perfectly for any project. Thus, we will go into detail about Agile Project Management approaches in this article, so that you may utilize it to benefit your projects by using the tools, frameworks, and methodologies that fall under the umbrella that is Agile.

The Strong Pull Of Agile Project Management Methodology

Organizations need to push their goods to the market to gain more customers faster as the worldwide competitive landscape continues to heat up. As a result, businesses are under continual pressure to meet rising customer expectations and pursue continuous development. The Agile Project Management methodology is positioned as a collaborative strategy that serves a constant delivery, sustainable development, and competitive advantage. The principles and values of Agile methodology continue to offer an understanding and knowledge of constant improvement to all professional practitioners.

How Can We Define Agile Project Management Methodology?

Agile is an iterative, time-boxed methodology that assists organizations and their project teams in giving prompt and accurate solutions to their project’s needs.

Maintaining customized agile procedures in your business has also been shown to support providing clients with high-quality items quickly and continuously. The Agile Manifesto’s principles are clear-cut and straightforward to promote practicing right away. They are placed there in order to support any active agile team that works closely with one another and is willing to collaborate with their stakeholders so they can generate better deliverables that are quickly informed to the client. So they produce the maximum value in what is the shortest amount of time possible. The key to achieving these benefits while utilizing whichever framework suits your organization’s procedures best is to adopt an agile project management methodology attitude.

The Agile Alliance And Their Agile Manifesto

Agile Software Development’s Manifesto was issued back in 2001 by a group of software and IT experts known as The Agile Alliance. With the principles and values recognized as the fundamental building blocks of the Agile Project Management methodology, they sought to describe effective approaches to apply an agile type of working style.

Agile Project Management Methodology And Its Main Values

According to the Manifesto, it is preferable to choose the right course of action whenever a value’s right and left sides intersect. The main four values are:

  1. Persons and relationships, rather than procedures and tools
  2. Functional software above thorough documentation
  3. Customer involvement during contract negotiations
  4. Adapting to change vs sticking to a plan    

The 1st value emphasizes the significance of the individuals who carry out the project’s activities as well as the relevance of the relationships between stakeholders involved. It may be applied through several tools and techniques to improve the effectiveness and level of interactions.

The 2nd value of the agile project management technique places an emphasis on getting to work on the item as quickly as possible by minimizing the quantity of documents that can get in the way of productivity when workers try to incorporate all parts of the task. This doesn’t imply leaving writing behind. In this situation, it is preferable to break up the documentation effort into smaller, more manageable chunks while continuing to keep the work and writing simultaneously.

The 3rd value serves as a reminder of the rationale behind our work, which places the client at the heart of all we do. Therefore, the project team must be certain that the client is involved in the project activity and that they are happy with each delivery. Determining the correct client, who has to be the end users or the individual who represents them, is another crucial component.

The 4th and final value of the agile project management approach emphasizes shifting needs as chances that produce positive outcomes when the staff accepts them and modifies their activities to give the client an edge. The value which deviates most from conventional waterfall project management approaches is also the most difficult to implement.

A Guideline To Reaching An Agile Mindset

The Agile Project Management technique is guided by a dozen supporting principles that serve as a kind of manual for the community that wishes to put Agile concepts and the Agile mindset into practice. Here they are:

  • Customer satisfaction is our first focus, and we achieve this via timely and consistent delivery of high-quality software.
  • Even late in the development process, accept changing needs. Agile methodologies embrace change in order to benefit the customer’s competitiveness.
  • Deliver functioning software regularly, preferably in shorter time frames of a few weeks to a few months.
  • All through the project, executives and programmers must collaborate everyday.
  • Build initiatives around ambitious people. Empower them to complete their task and provide them with the atmosphere and assistance they require.
  • Face-to-face communication is the best way to share information in an effective manner with your development team.
  • Progress is mostly measured by usable software.
  • Sustainable development is promoted through agile methodologies. It should be possible for the supporters, developers, and consumers to continue at the same pace permanently.
  • Agility is improved through constant focus on technical perfection and smart design.
  • The virtue of simplicity, which maximizes the amount of effort not done, is crucial.
  • The finest specifications, designs, and structures come from teams that are able to self-organize.
  • The team adapts and modifies its actions in relation to periodic reflections on how to be more productive.

Defining Agile Project Management

The Agile Project Management technique was developed with the goal of assisting and directing software developers in order to increase adaptability, improve flexibility, and foster teamwork to generate worthwhile and feasible results in a timely manner.

To put it another way, the Agile Project Management methodology is a systematic way of creating a cooperative and quickly improving work environment where employees are ready and able to engage with clients for their evolving needs for the good or service while taking into account the value of their actions.

It’s worth mentioning that the Agile project management technique should not be called hybrid project management. The word “hybrid” refers to the use of several techniques (such as waterfall and scrum) by various teams within one project’s life cycle. Tracking the development of a project using hybrid management techniques is one of the difficult issues to examine and decide.

Advantages of Agile Project Management

With its popular frameworks, tools, and artifacts, the Agile methodology and mindset  offers project management teams and stakeholders numerous important advantages, such as continuous integration of solutions for products and projects, fostering creativity by allowing the utilization of minimal resources, embracing change to improve flexibility, and the team’s development.

Other advantages include improving success rates through more concentrated activity, speeding up production, enhancing response times to defects, optimizing workload distribution, reliably tracking project activities, high ability to organize the most important customer needs, and high standard of work for interpersonal relationships.

The Most Popular Agile Frameworks

There are several agile frameworks that are often used to divide activities into manageable chunks with the least amount of preparation required to enable continuous agility. We will now go into the most well-known and widely used frameworks, such as Scrum, Lean, Kanban, and XP.

The Scrum Framework And Agile Project Management

Back in 1995, Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland developed Scrum. Scrum is a straightforward framework with events, roles, rules and artifacts used for managing work on complicated projects. It offers team members a useful and original viewpoint and is simple to comprehend and apply to diverse projects in many disciplines. It continuously aims to create the most value in a given time frame. Keep in mind that Scrum is currently the most widely used agile project management technique, and several firms use Scrum.

Sprints are the foundation of scrum. The steps taken from the beginning of a sprint right until the end are these: Customer requests (tasks that need to be worked on) are organized in a backlog that is managed by the owner of the product. Under the direction of the product’s owner, the team chooses which things to add to the product’s backlog and, based on their areas of expertise, they decide how to complete the work by the conclusion of the sprint. Collaborative work is done throughout the sprint. Every day, whether there are challenges or not, the Scrum Master watches over the team. He offers advice all the way during the sprint. At the conclusion of every sprint, they sporadically convene sprint reviews. Up until all of the work is added to the product backlog, the process is ongoing and iterative.

The Values That Rule The Scrum Process

  • Courage: Scrum helps agile project management members of a team to act appropriately at the correct moment when they encounter challenging issues.
  • Focus: Everyone who puts out effort to make the project activities has as their primary goal the delivery of the anticipated outputs at the conclusion of a sprint.
  • Commitment: Individuals commit to taking ownership of the procedures and sprint goals.
  • Respect: All of the team members appreciate one another’s abilities, backgrounds, and drive.
  • Openness: During the sprint work, difficulties are met with an open mind and a transparent attitude.

Three roles make up each team’s Scrum structure: the development team, the product owner, and the scrum master. Within each Sprint, Scrum divides the work into five events, each of which is an independent event itself: Sprint planning, sprint reviews, daily scrum, sprint retrospectives and the sprint. The task of Scrum Artifacts is to record the work completed while the Scrum team is working. They are: Increment, Sprint Backlog, and Product Backlog.

The Kanban Framework And Agile Project Management

In the early 1940s, Taiichi Ohno, an engineer at Toyota, created the Kanban framework. Back then, Toyota needed to take the initiative in gaining a competitive edge over its rivals. They thus developed the Kanban method so they could increase production while decreasing the expense of holding their items in stock.

The fundamental goal of the Kanban methodology is to utilize resources effectively for any tasks that need to be completed in accordance with the team’s capabilities. During their actions, the team strives to complete the work as quickly as feasible. Additionally, the approach offers the chance to respond to changes even quicker than scrum.

Working on a project only using Kanban typically entails doing away with distinct backlog documents. With the intention of showing the entire work in a transparent way to the team members, every item is evenly allocated across the columns labeled TO DO, DOING, and DONE. This forces Kanban teams to concentrate on productivity by regularly monitoring the list to improve overall performance and selecting the most useful things from each list. Each member of the team has their own goal to begin work on the subsequent assignment as soon as the previous one is finished.

However, the number of tasks that may be simultaneously completed has a limit, which is determined by the team’s size and ability to handle the most jobs concurrently.

A Typical Kanban Workflow

  • Ideation: Working along stakeholders to determine the product needs.
  • Replenishment Meeting: The individual playing the role of the product manager plans a replenishment meeting, which takes place just after the planning meeting for Scrum.
  • Development: Selecting tasks that come from the list labeled “TO-DO”, based on the team’s capacity constraints.
  • Acceptance: Reviewing the finished products with key stakeholders before delivery.
  • Production: Releasing the products that are ready to use and then beginning over with the initial item while doing continuous improvement tasks

Kanban’s steady workflow sets it apart from Scrum’s iterative methodology. Kanban does not have to adhere to time constraints like the sprint in Scrum. Additionally, if additional jobs with a major priority arrive, the work’s content is flexible. Due to its nature, it’s a right match for environments where unforeseen hazards might occur or unanticipated demands might be fulfilled throughout the course of scheduled activity.

Lean Software Development

In a 2003 book, Mary Poppendieck and Tom Poppendieck applied the ideas of lean manufacturing to the processes of software development. After having tremendous experience using Lean manufacturing concepts to boost productivity at her job, Mary Poppendieck made the decision to publish this book.

Lean is based on seven concepts that are similar to those used in lean manufacturing. These are the tenets of this agile project management approach.

1) Eradicate Waste

This idea emphasizes getting rid of anything that isn’t necessary for progress. Overproduction, pointless transportation, overstock, task switching, flaws, overprocessing, and delaying are a few examples of inefficiencies in lean manufacturing. These wastes were introduced into the realm of lean software development in various ways, for the same objectives.

2) Boost Learning

Continuous improvement is encouraged in Agile frameworks for both team members and product aspects. The team, which is made up of people who want to develop their abilities to handle difficult jobs better, can benefit from Lean, which facilitates learning by allowing individuals to practice with code rather than anticipating extensive documentation.

3) Make Late Decisions

Planning, which includes vital decision-making procedures for every approach and framework, is among the most important management abilities. This concept also emphasizes the need of refraining from taking any steps without having access to sufficient quantitative data and unambiguous facts in order to avoid unfavorable outcomes.

4) Produce Fast Deliveries

 The major goal of delivering quickly is to get consumer feedback as quickly as possible for subsequent revisions that will improve the product’s reliability and quality. Additionally, this helps clients understand their requirements and wants for the initial product version. Additionally, while discussing a live item, it is usually preferable to know where to go next.

5) Motivate The Team

Teams that take responsibility towards their processes and products have been shown to deliver outcomes of higher caliber. A team that adopts an agile mentality is encouraged to develop products quickly while also respecting the team’s initial needs.

6) Maintaining Integrity

In order to maintain a constant pace over the subsequent phases of the development lifecycle of a product, team members are needed to have integrity toward clients. Maintaining an integrated architecture is a difficult task for stakeholders, and keeping up with technological advancement is always of utmost importance. Refactoring is a useful activity to assess the overall health of the software system before restructuring and enhancing the software’s conception and implementation. Postponed tasks that we must occasionally do are referred to as having technical debt. You must also incorporate a well-established and ongoing product development cycle in conjunction with automation technologies.

7) Optimizing The Process

Process standardization enters the picture to foster positive relationships and productive interactions amongst shareholders throughout project execution. Setting guidelines to govern value creation tasks over the long haul is significantly more advantageous than focusing only on immediate outcomes.

Lean and Kanban both share the goal of reducing waste. Therefore, it is important to optimize the burden throughout operations by distinguishing the necessary from the unnecessary.

XP And Agile Project Management

One of the earliest Agile software development strategies that combine difficult programming techniques with Agile concepts is extreme programming. This approach was first proposed in the 1990s by Kent Beck.

The agile project management extreme programming technique is centered on creating top-notch software products by giving software development expertise of a high quality to team members. This framework places a strong emphasis on software engineers and looks for high-caliber teams that are built with seasoned developers. In XP, the function of the tester is defined as helping and mentoring customers and programmers. Additionally, automation is a must for implementing XP in your businesses. To continue daily recurring deployment activities, XP teams require committed team members that come from different IT departments, such as operations. It’s advised in XP to staff the first management level just with highly qualified technical managers that will be able to comprehend the actual significance of software development techniques.

This form of agile project management can be often referred to as the next development following the deployment of the Scrum framework.

After XP adopted this method in place of code reviews to speed up bug identification and rectification, pair programming gained popularity. The XP approach is practiced using the following additional techniques.

Additionally, other techniques are employed while applying the XP approach, such as: Planning game, TTD (test-driven development), The whole team, CI (Continuous Integration), Small releases, Refactoring improvements of designs, Coding standards, Simple design, Collective code ownership, System metaphor, and Sustainable pace.

How About The Other Agile Project Management Methodologies And Frameworks?

There are numerous other well-known Agile approaches in addition to the frameworks mentioned above. Dynamic System Development Model, Disciplined Agile Delivery, Crystal, Adaptive Software Development, Crystal Clear Methodology, Agile Unified Process, Feature-Driven Development, Rapid Application Development, Safe, and Scrumban are some of these techniques.

Training To Acquire Agile Project Management Certifications

It is wise to invest in acquiring new agile-related talents because they are in great demand due to their competitive advantages for firms. Here, we have provided you with a useful list of various certifications that are agile-specific that you should consider obtaining.

  • PMI Agile Certified Practitioner
  • Scaled Agile Academy
  • APMG International
  • Associate Strategy Certificate or Master Strategy Certificate in Agile
  • Agile Certification Institute
  • International Consortium for Agile
  • Scrum Alliance

Summary – Agile Project Management Methodology

Project managers will continue to experiment with different combinations of the Agile Project Management approach to find more efficient ways to shorten the time it takes to market well made goods of the highest quality. This article is a fantastic place to start for anyone who wants to create an agile process that is specifically customized to the needs of their company. Compared to Agile Project Management using Scrum, you would consider that this approach is more well-liked. However, you can always combine them together to create a customized Agile Project Management Methodology. Let’s consider the structure and resources that will enable your team to truly alter the game to find what works best for you.

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- Cameron

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Teaches the PMP in a solid manner, some things you need to know as a potential consumer: -The Samurai backstory is extremely short, and didn’t really assist me with recall in any in-depth way. It only gave broad brush-strokes as to what each phase entailed. -MOST of what was on the test was covered in the lessons, however if I had zero real prior PM knowledge prior to the test, I would have failed. -The first practice test forces you, as the student to actually read into the PMBOK, which was a benefit in the long run as it assisted me with quickly referencing what I needed to find. -The course will likely cover wave tops and subjects, forcing me to self-study for a week before my test... not a bad deal all things considered. -Brain Sensei’s course has incorporated Agile into one of their practice tests, and this test IS mandatory. This may seem strange, and I didn’t get a satisfactory reason why I needed to take a purely Agile test when I only wanted to take the PMP, for anyone else in this scenario, this is the reason: In June, PMI is revamping the PMP test to include Agile as a significant portion of the PMP. Brain Sensei is just ahead of the curve trying to get students prepared... fret not. Their customer service is extremely responsive and does take care of their members. My program had a couple bugs, and the customer service fixed my problems within 24 hours. All in all... it was absolutely worth the money for me.

- Kevin

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I am very impressed with this learning system. The content is laid out in a way that will make any learner understand all the process groups and ITTOs in order to understand Project management and be equipped to excel in the test. The learning system is engaging and fun at the same time. It's very different than other learning material which is composed mostly of videos. Some improvements are needed, but in my opinion Brain Sensei is great value for money

- said durra

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At first, I was attracted to Brain Sensei training for their original learning program using a Samurai's story. And indeed it made the whole learning experience funnier - so easier. I felt like the Samurai. Then, I was amazed by The Brain Sensei Team's reactivity and help when I reached out through contact@brainsensei.com Their support was constantly reliable and efficient. I appreciated their professionalism and didn't feel on my own. At last, the course and the practice exams proved to be efficient since I passed the PMP exam - with 'Above Targe't in all Domains. So thank you so much Brain Sensei Team !! Charlene

- Charlene LU

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Overall very good. Got stuck a few times trying to find resources which I should have downloaded the before starting the program. Customer service has been great.

- Jonathan Williams

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SO far I am thoroughly enjoying the Brain Sensei PMP prep course. I have taken a Project management class as a part of my degree which I recently completed and project management has always interested me. I find the course to be educational and easy to follow. I am grateful that this course has been designed in such a way that is simple to understand all of the complexities in project management and that allows me to study at my own pace.

- Eric Browne

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The content is good and easy to understand

- Glenn

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This review is based on completing all course work through module 102. The story and interactive nature of the course are helpful for learning and relating the material. It would be nice to have the page numbers to the PMBOK guide where references are made to it. Other information that will be helpful, are the explanations to the practice questions at the end of each module. These are provided only after immediately answering the questions. Having these available in the score summary from the 'history' tab will be helpful to refresh why the answer is correct and other options are not.

- Rohan Punit

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Overall I would rate this course an 8/10. I liked how there were exams towards the end of every module and I felt that it was very useful having it laid out in different scenarios. I rate it only an 8/10 as I had some glitch/software issues and lost my progress resulting in me having to re-do modules/exams multiple times. All in all, that was maybe useful in the end as it was a way for me study or 're-learn' the course material. Thank you!

- Nikki Cordy

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Clear and precise explanations of how things work. I was never lost navigating the course.

- Gary Nicol

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A smart approach to present the information which makes it fun and engaging while at the same time preparing for the PMP exam. Brain Sensei differentiates itself from other PMP exam preps in that it delivers the knowledge through the use of storytelling technique. I recommend this course because it will help you pass your PMP exam on the first try.

- Jamal

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Loved the story telling and the practice exams. I felt very prepared when the actual exam came around.

- Josh

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One of a kind training that was truly engaging!

- Claire

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Excellent course for preparing for the PMP exam in a fun and engaging way! The practice questions resemble the actual questions on the exam making it a completely worthwhile experience.

- Rossetta

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I passed the PMP exam after taking Brain Sensei's Online PMP Certification Exam Prep. The practice exam questions were so similar to the questions that appeared on the exam. On exam day, when I sat down to take the test and started running through the questions I felt so relieved! The practice exams are also timed so you get more comfortable with the exam experience and feel better prepared when you sit down to take the test. The other differentiator was the video content throughout the modules. The concepts are taught through a story of a young samurai defending her kingdom. This will probably be the only PMP prep course where you can learn all the knowledge areas and feudal Japan at the same time. I'd recommend this course not just because of the videos but because it helped me pass my exam on the first try.

- Jackie

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Good course, but a few grammatical errors with how some questions were worded.

- Sonia

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It was good!

- Sergei

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Loved the unique approach and it still had all the info I'd expect from a full PMP exam prep course. Very responsive on questions too.

- Chris