Teamwork 2.0 - agile project management
Why agile project management saves time and minimizes errors
Faster, more productive, and more flexible - in this article, you will get the ultimate crash course in integrated working methods by agile project management.
Let's embark on a little journey back in time to classic project management: your eyes shine because you have a brilliant idea. With your complex goal in your mind, you hire a project manager who invests a lot of time in planning.
The individual phases are defined. The requirements are set. And all this information will be communicated in endlessly long meetings or complex documents. That wastes time. And the stressed-out project manager still strides around the office and taps his watch while he encourages team members to do things faster.
Results will only be discussed at the end. And if they don't meet your expectations, the whole thing starts all over again. Until it becomes apparent that the project is far too complex to plan it completely from the start. You didn't really have much to say about it.
One thing is certain: classic project management is out. Agile work is being done today. An integrated team full of experts manages themselves and regularly evaluates all results. If something is wrong, the process is adjusted. Of course, always in consultation with you as a stakeholder.
But when it comes to terms such as Scrum or Kanban, the layman tunes out and goes back to the tried and tested.
However, we want to make one thing clear: agile project management is worthwhile because you save valuable time and minimize sources of error. In addition, you do not need any special previous knowledge. All you have to learn are role allocation and principles of integrated work. And then there's the technical jargon, which you'll soon be able to brag about when terms like "backlog" or "sprint" slip easily off your lips.
Terms quickly explained: Scrum and Kanban
Yes, you are right. Agile project management terms are confusing at the beginning.
What does agile actually mean?
Agility refers to a number of methods that can be used to react proactively and flexibly to unforeseen developments. These concepts usually do not follow a fixed plan but are adapted to the current circumstances. The team acts on its own initiative, but the stakeholder is involved in the entire process.
Two of the best-known agile processes are Scrum and Kanban, which we will introduce to you in more detail.
In a Scrum project, there is a predetermined distribution of roles: the development team, the Scrum Master, and the product owner.
All strategic tasks and goals are prioritized by the product owner in a backlog but can be constantly adjusted.
The project consists of individual sprints in which the team works on tasks from the backlog. To discuss results, the team meets in short daily meetings (the daily) and presents interim results. Each sprint is also concluded with a retrospective, which is intended to optimize the next sprint. The Scrum Master takes care of the training, information and support of the team throughout the whole process.
Scrum follows the idea of iteration - constant improvement and adaptation. Parts of the product are also repeatedly presented to the clients to respond more to their requirements with each round and finally to show them a Minimum Viable Product (MVP).
The idea behind it: The clients prefer tangible results and not complex documentation. In this way, no time is wasted, work is made more effective and misunderstandings are cleared up immediately.
The focus of the integrated Kanban working method is the Kanban Board. This usually contains three columns and visualizes all tasks in the categories “to do”, “in progress” and “done”.
However, the Kanban model is flexible and there is no fixed deadline. If team members have free resources again, they get a new task from the Kanban board themselves. In this way, everyone keeps an eye on the big picture.
The Agile Manifesto
The agile way of working has its origins in software development. There has even been an agile manifesto since 2001, in which 12 principles of this method were brought to life. However, these are no longer just an IT area, but have long been applicable across industries.
What do these include?
- Individuals and interactions are more important than processes and tools
- Satisfactory results are more important than complex documentation
- Cooperation with customers is more important than contract negotiation
- Reaction to change is more important than following a rigid plan
To save time and work more effectively through agile processes, the used tools also play an important role. Whether digital visualization, fast communication or independent organization - to optimize the workflow, you need tools that the whole team can work with happily and efficiently.
Here are some examples:
- Slack: chat tool for fast communication in the team
- Doodle: collaborative scheduling tool
- Microsoft Teams: group chat tool
- Asana: digital management of projects
- Jira / GitLab / Trello: to-do organization via boards
- MindMeister: brainstorming with the help of virtual mind maps
- Toggle: time management tool
- ClickUp: coordination of remote team members
- Google Drive: file hosting service for collaborative editing documents
- ScrumDo: visual Scrum Board
- Factro: visual Kanban Board
Now there are a variety of collaboration tools that are geared towards teamwork, internal communication and integrative projects. So nothing stands in the way of a structured collaboration - even if you work all over the world.
Bye bye project manager. Hi Scrum master.
You have to live agile project management. It implies a new language, own tools and a team that pulls in the same direction, but never loses sight of the customer's wishes.
Each team member bears a high degree of personal responsibility and the decision-making paths are short. Achievements often depend on individual strengths. Integrative work therefore requires that all team members are experts in their field and are prepared for transparent communication.
In order for everyone to reach their full potential, you should create a dynamic environment. If the project allows agile processing.
Not sure if your project is ready for agility? Then contact us and we will start a project together that will definitely fit into the new world of work.