As an agile project manager, you will need to change your mindset to succeed. Your role and your team and stakeholders' roles will be different from what they would be in predictive (waterfall) projects. How you manage will need to be different too.
Here are 6 tips to help you adjust:
- Agile teams are largely self-organizing, so you will no longer drive the work and monitor the hand-offs in the same manner as traditional projects. To a large degree, your follow up on activities will be through daily stand-up meetings that review the past day and commit to the next.
- Most organizations cannot do without budgets and timelines in the traditional sense. You will likely have an expanded role in the interface with senior management (directly or indirectly) and work with the product owner for release planning.
- Agile teams can sometimes "get lost in the weeds." They can be unsure of how to perform tasks, and the product owner may be largely undecided about important requirements. Proactively review the product backlog (requirements), identify risks, and use retrospectives to keep the team on task from iteration-to-iteration.
- Deal with risks expeditiously. With a more flexible environment, you can introduce mitigations and workarounds more quickly.
- As with all projects, communication is critical, so be sure to have a robust communications plan. This will also require a complete stakeholder analysis.
- Focus the team on the continuous delivery of business value to customers and their organization. This way, your customer will experience the true benefit of agile.
Bonus Tip: Collaboration is more important for agile projects. Collaboration is actually a collection of skills: communication, conflict resolution, active listening, and persuasion.
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