Project Management is a mixture of science and art
Getting the right balance is based on years of experience and an thorough understanding of best practice and methodologies to determine the most promising approach and mix of Waterfall
Determining the most suitable Agile methodology depends on organisation’s culture, project history and business capabilities.
Agile isn’t a fully defined process. It is a manifesto of beliefs, many different frameworks and methodologies like Kanban and Scrum.
Agile is a collaborative approach. Executive level sponsorship is key to Agile success and how this cascades down through the business.
Project Management Planning
Regardless of the type of methodology a robust plan is essential for successful project delivery.
Using Agile does not mean no formal project planning. Planning is incorporated at the start of each sprint rather that at the start of the project.
Agile project planning is focused on answering questions: What needs to be built, when does it need to be completed, how much will it cost and who needs to be involved.
Agile project planning acknowledges the fact that the scope will change throughout the project. It believes change is inevitable.
Project teams must be careful not to lose sight of the original core need and benefits that their project is intended to deliver.
These benefits must be given particular focus at the start, during and when a project has been completed.
Adopting a simple approach to tie benefits into key project activities can help ensure that the project is viewed by everyone as “worth the effort”.
Project Success Areas
We place particular emphasis on the following project areas. In our experience, these are the most important and often the most overlooked.
One of the 12 principles of the Agile manifesto prioritises customer satisfaction through continuous and early delivery.
However, that needs a culture of customers’ active participation in the project, high motivation towards project goals and their physical availability to the project team.
Good project governance and sponsorship are critical for any project.
The traditional steering committee meetings are replaced with standups and occasional showcases but they must be business and sponsor lead.
In Agile, the business representatives and the sponsor are heavily involved in the project, whilst being careful not to try and micro manage the project team.
We have signaled out risk management as we have seen Agile projects that don’t consider or don’t manage risk effectively, or don’t take risk seriously.
The view is that Agile is risky and risk should be accepted. However, we believe that risk management needs to be a regular part of Agile project activities.
Elements of project management
Regardless of the methodology the following elements of any project must be managed.
- Integration (vendors, methodologies etc.)