Surviving Agile Methodologies and Project Management

Project managers are increasingly assigned to Agile Methodologies projects. This trend is partly due to the fact that agile projects have become the norm instead of the exception several disciplines. In the IT field, for example, where digitization accelerates the rhythm of change. But it is also because some organizations have not completely transitioned to different ways of initiating, financing and governing change, either because they are not yet fully prepared or just don’t want to.

Making Distributed Teams Work is not easy. Good communications helps to build strong relationships and create space for the participation of them into the team. Learn how to achieve it on our blog post. 

Many of these companies are looking for project managers to provide a vital transition layer between an agile team and the non-agile organization. But this naturally adds a new dimension to the dynamics of the traditional agile team. In fact, the problem is not so much about defining the scope of individual roles – after all, there is nothing in the PMPs that prevents a project manager from operating in a very agile way – but rather the ruling paradigm: driven by the plan instead of being adaptive. Thus, until all organizations move away from a “eat it at a time” approach, project managers are likely to approach two worlds.

While each project is different and brings its own unique set of challenges, there are some general guiding principles for Agile Methodologies project management.

Learn About Agile Methodologies

Invest time in understanding all aspects of agile methods and practices. After all, knowledge is power. Therefore, explore the theoretical basis behind it. Also, learn the basic planning and progress reporting processes and know how to implement them. You need to be able to explain these key principles to the larger organization that is not yet up to speed.

Improve Your Skills

The basic skills you already have as a Project Manager will support you in a good place and are undoubtedly transferable. However, you also need to broaden your understanding and adopt a more agile perspective. Assume the benefits of “servant leadership”. Adapt their behaviors to meet the needs of the team, encouraging self-organization. Try to offer support where necessary to ensure a positive outcome.

Let go of What no Longer Serves you

It may seem counterintuitive, but you will have to give up certain practices that are integrated into project management methodologies. Task assignment and micromanagement do not take place within an agile and iterative development process in which ideas have time to evolve and improve.

Complement Skills of Colleagues

The project managers are taken to agile projects because the organization wants “a wrap around the jar”. In other words, you have skills that are valued by the company and are not covered by the more agile methods.

Acquisitions and contract management, for example, are not part of a skill set of the Scrum Master, nor are they expected to be.

Have an open mind: you can find a better way to do things and this can only be beneficial for the potential success of a project.

Making Distributed Teams Work is not easy. Good communications helps to build strong relationships and create space for the participation of them into the team. Learn how to achieve it on our blog post. 

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