Having previously had the opportunity to intern with six different marketing and communications agencies and departments, I certainly developed a list of “must-haves” and “definitely nots”, or things that made some of my internships the best and others a little less awesome.
What is Agile Project Management?
According to Atlassian, “Agile project management is an iterative approach to managing software development projects that focuses on continuous releases and incorporating customer feedback with every iteration.”
Waterfall vs. Agile Projects
Traditional waterfall projects are most effective when there is clearly delineated requirements documentation and the client is on board with one review of the product after it has been developed prior to deployment.
Agile projects allow for (and require) increased involvement from the client (in most cases daily) which allows for more frequent demonstrations during the development phase and allows for the client to make requirement and priority changes as desired.
Five Key Characteristics of Agile Project Management
There are a lot of factors that play into an agile project’s success. Below, I’ve highlighted five (5) that I feel are most important:
1. Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is critical in every industry, not just the technology space. As mentioned, previously, allowing the customer to have impactful and continuous involvement throughout the project lifecycle plays a large role in increased satisfaction. It’s on the project team to listen, document and execute on the iterative rounds of feedback and changes by the client.
2. Continuous Adaptation
Being flexible and adaptable are key for both the project team and the customer(s) involved in an agile project. Agile allows for constant and continuous change throughout the process that creates a project timeline like building blocks, so your team is never “starting from the beginning” when you run into an issue.
3. Collaboration is Key
It’s not by accident that I’ve mentioned this several times in this short blog – it’s HUUUGE in agile project success. Daily communication – in person, via video conference or telephone between the customer and project team gives real time updates on progress, road blocks, needs, etc. to keep the project moving in the right direction.
4. Greater Transparency
In my experience, being open and honest with the customer early on and throughout the project is a critical factor in ensuring a project goes smoothly.
Agile involves incorporating end-users throughout the project life cycle, which means they are documenting real-time feedback through continuous testing and review prior to final delivery. For the project team, this means (hopefully) increased trust with the customer for current and future engagements.
5. Customer Acceptance of End Product
It’s important that the project team is setting customer expectations throughout with a focus on delivering a final product that both they and the customer are proud of and stand behind. Ensuring delivery of a product that end users find useful and meaningful is paramount.
To see if your project need is a right fit for the agile approach, give us a shout.
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