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Friday, 5 March 2021

Agile Project Management in Software Development

Project management in software development can be understood in many different ways, but it certainly can't be defined or explained in a way that forecasting it will not include.  Today's "agile" teams and the software industry in general have come to realize that communication should be stickier and more detailed than ever, and that task resolution must be handled as quickly as possible.  Agile self-organization is a requirement today for addressing communication breakdowns, team disorganization, frustrated customers, lack of management visibility and control, information gaps, and short term memory retention.  Given this reality, agile project management today requires that managers work with an array of differently configured agile tools.   Agile tools used for project management must be easily configured in order to adapt and grow with an ever changing IT environment.  Managers and other team members utilizing the software for project management must quickly learn and implement the skills and techniques required to support self-organization and provide a higher guaranteed return on investment. An Agile Project Management Course can help with this.


Since traditional project management techniques are time consuming and modeled on strict planning and costing, project managers and their support teams are tasked with managing the project themselves.  This can cause many problems to the business such as ineffectiveness of the project staff, project inefficiencies and the possibility of errors within budget.  Agile project management staff must be easily trained to support the project as well as learn the new ways of analyzing information to make decisions.  There are myriad of reasons why a business owner or manager should choose to implement agile methods for project management but the three major pitfalls are .

  • Loosely managed projects, 
  • Unpredictable results and 
  • Difficult to score.


Lack of full management transparency

Projects are meant to be managed and evaluated through a shared location.  Many organizations fail to have the full management transparency required to effectively manage the business value of the project.  This prevents the business from obtaining the information that it needs to forecast the future of the project.


Transparency is the most important tool in the project manager's tool box.  It is the only way for the project manager to know if the team is meeting its responsibility or not.  transparency allows the project manager to manage the workload more effectively, assign tasks, make sure that the team member is doing his job, hold people accountable and reward success.  Without effective transparency people tend to be more focused on other things and forget what they need to be doing.


The "idiot in the middle"

The middleware service is the most important tool in the project manager's tool box.  The middleware is a software that works in between the " extremes" of either a systems management system or the client-server architecture.  The middleware provides a supports to the project manager, provides data integrity to support the transparent reporting and allows the manager to track the work as it happens.  The middleware is like the "idiotoscope" that measures and analyzes the project's health and opens the "idiot in the middle" box.


Transparent is aligning everything

At the heart of every successful projectThere are projects that seem to start with the perfect information and end up in the chaos.  This happens to many projects and some reasons are specific to this.   A project may seem to be well along its path, the members of the team seem to be communicating clearly, theisions are not clouded with clouded uncertainty...and yet....it stall too.


If a project manager can't measure the project's progress Others will hesitate to add resources to the project.  If the information in the project log is not "real time" in terms of the work done There is no way for the project manager to know for sure if the information is accurate...there is always room for error.  Good measurements require the input of the end users.  Yet the project manager must take note of the measurements on a weekly basis.  It is that important.  If you do not have the users actual output on a "fairly" regular basis, you are fooling your own team and those in the PM department.


Making the project status "Clear"

The bottom line is that visibility is paramount to a project manager.  Whether it takes the form of meeting minutes or software, a project manager must have it.  What unambiguous message does it send?  It sends a message to the PM, the business, and to the team - that the project is on track, is progressing, and is on its way to being done on time.  That is a powerful message.  That message cannot be repeated or belittled.

The infamous backlog chart comes to mind.  In any organization, a project manager will find themselves tasked with creating one or more of these diagrams (or worse - may be told to create one themselves).

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