Do you think that agile project management and Scrum are identical? That's not true! Rather, agile project management is a generic term for more than 50 different agile methods, frameworks or approaches that are used in an agile project environment. The term does not describe an independent method, but rather a philosophy or an approach to product or service development based on defined values and principles.
Agile project management is characterised by self-organised teams, the pursuit of continuous improvement, a focus on high-quality services and intensive communication.
The desire for clear processes and rules has given rise to various frameworks and methodologies based on the agile guidelines. The basic idea is to develop rules and descriptions of processes and roles that can be used to implement agile ideas in practice. In this article, we present the agile manifesto in detail so that you can drive your project management processes forward.
How often do you use the term "agile" in everyday language? Probably not very often. That's why it's worth taking a closer look at this word. Derived from the Latin term "agilis" (agile), it describes the Gabler Business Dictionary Agility in the economic environment as
"... the agility, manoeuvrability or flexibility of organisations and people or in structures and processes. One reacts flexibly to unforeseen events and new requirements. One is not only reactive, but also proactive, for example in relation to change."
To summarise: Someone who is agile is not a sluggish block, but reacts flexibly and proactively to change. But how did this term find its way into our current project management? Surprisingly, agile approaches have not only existed since the upswing in the software industry.
Project management is sluggish and strongly focussed on planning - this is the widespread perception of project management. The emergence of agile approaches and the replacement of the outdated waterfall model was made possible by digitalisation and the increased emphasis on software projects. But agile methods already existed before that:
- 1950s: NASA and IBM implement Iterative and incremental development (IDD).
- 1960s: NASA project "Mercury is processed with iterations.
- 1987: Department of Defence (DoD) adopts iterative approaches in its guidelines.
These are just a few examples, but the breakthrough of agile methods ultimately came in the software industry. Here, agile approaches have become widely accepted since the late 1980s. The importance of self-responsible and self-organised teams increasingly became the focus of work here. Then, in 2001 the agile manifesto developed by leading minds in the software industry. The agile manifesto provides basic guidelines for the efficient development of software. The underlying approach is to avoid inefficient and superfluous elements. It sets out four agile values and 12 agile principles.
Today, we experience agility everywhere: in the company, in teamwork and in projects. Even though the agile manifesto was developed by 17 representatives from the software industry, it can be applied to all sectors in today's business world - including project management. The agile manifesto defines four important values:
1. Prioritising individuals and interactions over processes and toolsToo much dependence on processes and tools could impair the ability to react quickly to changes. Instead, the role of people as decision-makers is valued more highly.
2. Functional products take precedence over extensive documentationDoes this mean that documentation is superfluous? Absolutely not. However, the agile value emphasises that a functional product is more valuable than its documentation. This should not be abolished, but reduced to the essentials. The approach is: as much as necessary, not as much as possible.
3. Cooperation with the customer takes precedence over contract negotiationsThis agile value emphasises the importance of involving the client and generally internal and external stakeholders during the entire development process. Through Regular feedback This ensures that the final product meets the expectations. The approach is: communication takes place not only at the start and acceptance of the project, but throughout the entire project duration.
4. Reacting to changes takes precedence over strict adherence to a planIn traditional, strictly planned projects, adherence to the plan is desirable. Changes often cause costs and should therefore be avoided. Agile projects, on the other hand, welcome new requirements and change requests at any time. The approach is: We want to be able to react flexibly to changing requirements.
What can you do with these values? The following 12 principles of the agile manifesto bring these values to life and provide you with concrete ways to approach agile project management:
1. the top priority is the Customer satisfactionby providing valuable services at an early stage and on an ongoing basis.
2. Changes in the requirements are welcomed, even if they occur late in the development process. Use agile processes to give your customers a competitive advantage.
3. set the at regular intervals We provide high-performance services for your customers for periods of between a few weeks and a few months - the shorter the better.
4. managers and developers must be involved throughout the project work together every day.
5. projects are extended by motivated people built around it. Create the environment for this and offer the necessary support. Important: Trust your team!
6. Personal discussions are the most efficient and effective method of communicating information within a project team.
7 The most important indicators of progress are High-performance services.
8. agile processes promote a Sustainable development. All project participants should be able to maintain a constant pace for an indefinite period of time.
9. optimise your Agile project management through a constant focus on technical excellence and good planning.
10. Simplicity is essential and is the art of maximising the amount of unfinished work.
11. the best architectures, requirements and designs are created in self-organised teams.
12. at regular intervals you rethink your Independent teamhow it can become more effective and adapts its behaviour accordingly.
These 12 principles contain basic guidelines for agile project management in your company. Process models and frameworks such as Scrum are based on the values and principles of the agile manifesto. They provide a clear framework within which you can carry out your project. To work successfully in an agile environment, you should view the manifesto as a kind of code of conduct for everyone involved - from the top manager to every single member of your project team.
Agile project management has already proven its worth in numerous cross-industry project areas - such as software development, the Engineering or construction and the Management consultancy - has gained significant importance. The basic principles of this way of working are deeply rooted in the agile manifesto. The implementation of agile project management is supported by methods such as Scrum, which are based on the values and principles of the manifesto. Further practical support in agile project management is provided by Software solutions such as ZEPwhich facilitate practical implementation and documentation.
ZEP offers you support in adapting to agile methods, for example with the additional Tickets, Tasks & To-dos module. This module allows you to plan and manage tasks in detail, focussing on the agile principles of the manifesto.
The module plays a central role in the efficient realisation of your agile project management. It enables structured planning and monitoring of tasks and to-dos, which contributes to targeted implementation. The clear assignment of tickets to projects and delegation within the team creates transparency in communication and promotes collaboration between all team members. This transparent way of working not only facilitates the distribution of tasks, but also actively contributes to all team members understanding their tasks in the context of the overall project.
In agile project management, your team needs to be able to react flexibly to changes. This is where ZEP gives you the flexibility you need, as it allows you to easily adjust tasks and priorities, which is emphasised in the agile manifesto as reacting to change. The integration of customer activities and feedback is also crucial. The module facilitates the creation of tickets directly from incoming emails and allows you to seamlessly integrate customer feedback into your agile project management. In addition, you can also authorise your customers to create tickets for specific projects or even just read them. This not only promotes customer centricity, but also enables you to respond quickly to customer needs.
Actively promote the self-organisation and autonomy of your team. With the ticket module in ZEP, you have a tool at hand to strengthen the responsibility of your team members, as emphasised by the agile values of the manifesto. At the same time, the structured documentation enables an easily traceable history of tasks and to-dos. This is particularly invaluable for retrospective analyses and reviews to celebrate successes or learn from failures. Planning the time spent and monitoring processing at detailed task level helps to save time and improve the overall effectiveness of your team.
If you still Questions about how ZEP works If you have any questions, our support team will be happy to help you by phone or e-mail. Alternatively, you can in one of our webinars about all the functions and modules in ZEP. We offer separate and topic-related webinars for each ZEP programme. Would you like to try out ZEP for yourself? No problem!
Content Marketing Manager at ZEP
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