All about Agile Project Management

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For those businesses and teams who rely on project management software to organize and manage projects, agile project management is a crucial area to virtually and electronically managing projects.

But what exactly is agile project management, and which features does this area include? How do they help project managers?

What is Agile Project Management?

Agile project management is incredibly common and used in engineering, information technology, and new product or service developments. It assists in the management and methodology behind design, production, and activities related to these particular arenas. Additionally, agile project management also involves constant communication and input from suppliers and customers.

Agile project management is also commonly referred to as “extreme” project management. This often involves submitting deliverables in “batches” or segments, which elevates project risk levels and involves a great deal of customer and supplier input. This is because customers will often provide a firm with feedback on the first batch of deliverables, and then, the project team will need to adjust production in order to accommodate and manage any changes in scope.

What is an Adaptive Project Life Cycle?

As a result, agile project management often involves what is known as an adaptive project life cycle, which is designed to accommodate a higher level of stakeholder involvement in a project’s progress and deliverables.

So how does a project team use project management software that assists with agile project management? Many project management software and systems today also promote online collaboration. Users can easily add other team members and users, whether they are staff members, suppliers, or customers, to collaborate on a particular project. Many systems that promote agile project management will allow users to provide and share feedback, files, and even leave notes and suggestions for other users and team members.

What are the Risks?

While agile or “extreme” project management is, well, “extreme”, and it is becoming the new project management methodology, particularly for the engineering, construction, and information technology industries, it also can lead to a number of risks. For example, allowing a project environment where there are multiple team members, suppliers, and even customers all interacting with one another can get a little out of hand. Agile project management should still have a good handle on communication channels and methods, especially to avoid scope creep, which is always a risk when involving customers in providing feedback and input in a “batch” delivery situation.

Finally, agile project management is becoming more essential today, especially in select industries where it can prove to be valuable. However, like any project management methodology, there are risks involved. In regards to agile project management, a big risk could be communication, depending on team dynamics as well as the project as a whole.

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About Julie

Julie Anne Hoey is the owner and founder of J. H. Language Solutions. She has over four years experience in publishing as a full time editor and project manager. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusett. The main focus of her personal and professional studies has always been language. Her project management experience began while she was working for Victory Productions, a small publishing house in Worcester, MA. She now holds a position at Pearson Learning Solutions, the largest textbook publisher in the world, managing an initiative to ensure that custom higher ed textbooks are more relevant and cost effective for students. As the textbook publishing industry is facing steep competition from digital format books, she has learned to work closely with professors, adopters and field editors all over the country to ensure projects are seen through to successful completion. Her own consulting business, J. H. Language Solutions, is dedicated to helping businesses and individuals with their language needs and challenges whether it be translation, editing, writing blogs, or project management. She can be hired via her oDesk page:
  • Casey Saunders

    Greta observations! Agile project management involves a series of risks, but, on the other hand, collaborative work is the key to prevent various issues to occur during the stages of a project. Communication and the right software tools enable collaborative work are a necessity.