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Brushing Up The Basic Principles of Agile Project Management

All Agile methods were designed around a simple premise; the smaller the project, the greater the success rate.  For agile to be successful it must be both quick and simple.

All Agile methods were designed around a simple premise; the smaller the project, the greater the success rate.  For agile to be successful it must be both quick and simple.

Agile principles are now being applied to software development, software testing and project management, but what are the basic principles that Agile is based on?

The Twelve Agile Manifesto Principles:

1.Satisfy the customer through early & continuous delivery of valuable software

Software is not built for the sake of building software. It’s built to be put to use by an end user to better perform tasks that were previously out of reach, solve a problem, do their job better or more efficiently, etc. But often, the highest priority of software development is forgotten. Customers are happier when they receive working software at regular intervals, rather than waiting extended periods of time between releases.

2.Welcome changing requirements, even late in development

The ability to avoid delays when a requirement or feature request changes. Shorten the distance between conceiving and implementing an important change. And even if it’s late in the development process, don’t be afraid to make a shift.

3.Deliver working software frequently (a few weeks, not a few months)

Scrum accommodates this principle since the team operates in software sprints or iterations that ensure regular delivery of working software. Agile project management focuses on shortening the distance between planning and delivery. So, focus more on creating software rather than just planning for it. This gives you the opportunity to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the work.

4.Business and developers must work together

This one is crucial, especially because it doesn’t come naturally to most people. Co-location between management and developers is usually the best way to handle this. You can also use communication tools for remote workers. It helps the two sides better understand each other and leads to more productive work.

5.Build projects around motivated individuals

Motivated teams are more likely to deliver their best work than unhappy teams.

6.Face-to-face meetings are the most effective way to convey information

This is another reason why co-location or remote work during the same hours is key in agile project management. When teams work together under the same (virtual) roof, it’s much easier to ask questions, make suggestions, and communicate.

7.Working software is the primary measure of progress

Delivering functional software to the customer is the ultimate factor that measures progress.

8.Agile processes promote sustainable development (i.e. maintain a constant pace)

Teams establish a repeatable and maintainable speed at which they can deliver working software, and they repeat it with each release.

9.Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility

Developers shouldn’t wait to clean up redundant or confusing code. Code should get better with each iteration. The agile team should use scrum tools and take time to review their solution. Doing this during the project saves you way more time than cleaning up code “later” — which can also mean never.

10.Simplicity is essential

Keep things simple and minimize the time between comprehension and completion.Develop just enough to get the job done for right now.

11.The best architectures, requirements and designs emerge from self-organizing teams

A great agile team takes it’s own direction. Members don’t need to be told what needs to be done — they attack problems, clear obstacles, and find solutions. It should be a red flag if the project manager has to micromanage.

12.Let the team reflect on how to do better at regular intervals and adjust behaviour accordingly

Self-improvement, process improvement, advancing skills, and techniques help team members work more        efficiently.

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All Agile methods were designed around a simple premise; the smaller the project, the greater the success rate.  For agile to be successful it must be both quick and ...
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