The Basics of Agile Project Management

Agile Project Management Course

Businesses have been able to make great strides in the last decade because they have learned the basic principles of project management.  In fact, the basics are basic in spite of all the complexities that project management can bring, as outlined in an Agile Project Management Course.  First and foremost, any project must have a strong sponsor.  Ever heard the expression “get a bigger Peter every time you walk a mile in the fire”?  That’s what a sponsor will do.  

The big guy shows up, sets some things up and gets the team started.  The good guy will come back any time to pull the plug as everything tries to grow.  Some projects live and some die on the abilities and commitment of the sponsors.  If you don’t have a sponsor, the only thing you have is a boss.  Be that guy.  

Getting into project management is easy-get a sponsor and stay with your sponsor throughout the life of the project.  Every time you step foot in a new situation.  Whether it uses new technology, equipment or skill with a new person, you must make clear your goals and objectives for the project.  You want to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

 If you are in a constant changing environment, use project management software to check things off as they are accomplished.  Then get in a position to make sure you maintain that level of commitment. However, ensure your team has completed product management training as the practice is only as good as the knowledge and implementation. 

There are many pitfalls that come up within a project.  The one I heard over and over again is that everyone asks you the same questions and gets the same answer from you.  If you have a team of people that work for you, they will have never worked with you and how do they know what to ask as you are being vague about what you need.  Be specific in your language.  

Be very specific.  It is going to take three days to complete this project is the goals and objectives.  You want to say in an email if it is four weeks and will it take me four to do everything I planned to do in this project.  Also, despite the miscommunication, the message is still clear and concise.  You want your people to be able to understand clearly what needs to get done in their area and what you want done in theirs.  If people are not all on the same page, you are not going to get a timely and outstanding project completed.

When you have a compelling consideration, make sure you have a lean, mean, business proposal.  Commercial ventures often present many opportunities to overspend however it is very unlikely they would choose to do business with you for any of the reasons mentioned.  Simply for the sake of the discussion, when do we know successful projects are born?  It’s true we may benefit from great ideas but only those creative people who have done it before are likely to have the experience and wisdom necessary to describe those ideas and evolve their ideas to success.

 However, where the idea is good and does it fill a particular need, people will take notice.  Keep in mind that the following are just milestones that do not define an entire project.  You want them to become a success however, you also want to establish expectations for deliverables that evaluate the tests, costs and benefits of your project or initiative.  The deliverables make your project successful.

When you have the right people, results will be consistent.  To confirm this facts you can ask the following questions: Isn’t your team good at your business?  Are you happy with their effort going forward?  How’s the community reaction to what you are doing by asking or communicating to the community?  What are the queries that you consistently get on a regular basis?  You will find that the key aspects in communicating with the community is to search for and educate them on what you are doing.  

The easiest place to make this happen is to be seen oftentimes and told frequently that you are new or new for some interesting aspect of your business.  This practice builds trust and goes a long way in making them more receptive to any information that will help them.  When you are recognized for a particular success, don’t forget to share it with the community often or send a note/email/ perk-along or any other way substantial that will renew our public awareness of your successful projects.

Keep in mind that projects and projects are successful when the initial ideas and processes are nurtured appropriately in the areas of necessary follow-through.  Always recognize that sponsoring a project is neither difficult nor easy and that is why we spend the time, effort and some money.  There is no such thing as overkill in promoting a project for sponsorship.  On the contrary, you want to maintain a open door policy.  You want to build a creative relationship with your sponsors.