Getting you started with Agile Project Management

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Agile Project Management is one of the innovatory procedure bring in for the carry out of project management. It is the quick yet iterative approach to incremental software development. https://blog.orangescrum.com/ebook

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 1

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 2 Chapter 1: Understanding Agile Project Management Chapter 2: 11 Tips to begin with Agile Project Management Chapter 3: Agile or Waterfall: what to choose Conclusion Chapter 4: 6 Reasons to Adopt Agile Project Management Introduction Contents

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 3 Agile Project Management: The Basics Adopting the right project management practices is crucial to your business’ success. It helps you to be methodical time quality driven and keeps your team on track. Project Management methodologies present a lot of benefits for your teams when done right. It helps you stay in sync with your customer requirements track changes and scope diligently and ensures an on time within budget and quality delivery. The chapters here will help you to strengthen your project management adoption depending on your organization’s current practices. Introduction

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 4 Agile Project Management APM is one of the innovatory procedure bring in for the carry out of project management. And many smart organizations have ditched on to this method to hit their milestones and with proper execution. Let’s have a discussion on the major facts of APM with a comprehensive guide. What is Agile Agile software development is a quick yet iterative approach to incremental software development aiming the delivery instead of trying to deliver everything only after completion. This methodology is based on continuous productivity of the team flexibility improvement and product delivery before the deadline without compromising the quality. What are the common principles of agile methodology Customer satisfaction is the first priority which can be achieved through rapid delivery of products or projects with high-quality. All team members and stakeholders remain motivated for the best project outcomes with the required support and tools.

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 5 Before entering the benefits and other factors of agile project management I would like to show the difference between agile and traditional project management methods and why agile has been chosen over traditional Let’s dive inside Agile methodology Vs. Traditional development: In software development frequently we talk about “Traditional model” which defines the “waterfall model”. The waterfall model is a process where you can see the progress going through different phases. It is a steady model that goes from the analysis planning implementation testing to maintenance. Agile is the base of development. It manages to deliver adaptability visibility and the value at the initial stage of the process and removes the risks during the project. It shows the actual progress in real time. So it is all about iterative planning to complete a project on time. So these are the common differences between traditional and agile methodology. Now let’s talk about the major benefits of choosing agile project management. Benefits of Agile Project Management: 1. High product quality – Testing is involved throughout the cycle. That implies there are regular checkups to check the product that is working to expectation during the development. It allows the product owner to make necessary changes if required and the team is aware if there are any issues 2. Efficiency – Agile makes its teams more efficient in getting their work done. When everyone does their role properly in the team by focusing on their most important tasks the entire team works flawlessly which helps them to complete the projects on time. 3. Higher customer satisfaction – While working on a project the first and foremost thing to consider is “customer satisfaction”. The flexibility to change when it is required and the visibility of the product and progress create better customer satisfaction and business engagement. This is one of the most important benefits that can create positive working relationships. 4. Transparency – Agile methodology offers an extraordinary opportunity for clients to get connected throughout the project from initial planning to add new features addition. Hence transparency increases in a project and clients can check the project progress whether it is satisfactory or not.

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 6 5. Reduced risks – Agile methodologies eliminate the chances of project failure. It helps to identify any issues early and makes it easier for the team members to rectify them. Agile allows for the changes when they need to be implemented. 6. Faster ROI – Agile development is iterative- this means the features are delivered incrementally. It results to the early realization of benefits while the product is in the development process or the project is in progress. Agile means fast product releases and keeping you ahead of the competition. For better understanding below I have put an image to show “Agile Software Development Life Cycle”- Seeing the popularity various agile methodologies have emerged from last few years. Within all some commonly/frequently used methods are in demand. So What are the popular agile methodologies Scrum Kanban Crystal Lean LN Crystal Clear methods Scrum ban Extreme Programming XP Feature-driven development FDD What are the Key Agile Skills There are 6 key agile project management skills that all project managers should carry: 1. An ability to erase unnecessary work and focus only on important work 2. The ability to remain calm on stress 3. The ability to make decisions quickly as per the requirements 4. Strong coaching skills to guide team members throughout the project 5. Adaptability skill to accept changes and reduce risk 6. Organizational ability to keep everything prioritize and straight

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 7 What is the future of Agile As the competition is increasing continuously agile offers a lot of benefits and limited drawbacks. More companies are moving towards digital workplace which is dependent on speed increased productivity and flexibility agile would become increasingly necessary. Its application in multiple industries indicates that agile adoption rate will continue to increase in industries around the world. Agile is now on the top. In today’s challenging world organizations look for an advanced approach as they want to become more agile. So they are heading towards agile project management software which can help them to reach on the top. This software is designed to make agile management easier and flawless. Tools like Orangescrum are getting immensely popular. The best thing about this tool is it offers a one-month free trial to go through it thoroughly and to know it more. If you don’t have an account yet then no need to worry. Orangescrum is powerful project management software which helps in your business growth. Now create projects invite your teams and assign tasks to your team members in less than a minute with this agile project management tool.

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 8 Traditional approaches to project management follow a linear process: Plan the project design a solution build it test it put it into production and then fix any problems. This method is also referred to as the waterfall approach because it is comprised of cascading steps. However traditional approaches are often beset by budget and timeline problems. This is because a conventional development sequence allows for no changes in requirements. It does not make allowances for any alterations in costs or client demands. What is agile project management Agile management emerged as an alternative in the 1990s. Although it was developed by software engineers it has become popular in other industries. Seventy-one per cent of organizations report using it often or sometimes. Instead of focusing on fixed sequences agile project management entails working in cycles that facilitate continuous improvement innovation and collaboration. The client is involved throughout the process. According to PWC projects managed using these approaches are 28 more likely to be successful.

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 9 To understand what agile project management looks like in practice here’s a step by step guide: 1. Understand the problem It is essential that you understand the needs of your customers or client. What do they want and need What problems are they trying to solve Agile project managers begin with the end user in mind. This may entail market research or interviews with customers. In short you need to decide how you will know when you have succeeded. 2. Assemble the right team Having understood the problem the next step is to gather together a team with the skills and experience required to solve it. This may necessitate bringing in external consultants or people from other departments. In some cases you may need to develop your existing team members’ skills. 3. Brainstorm The team can now begin generating ideas. At this stage all ideas should be considered. Innovation should be encouraged throughout an agile project. 4. Build an initial prototype When you have honed in on a potential solution put together a rough prototype. This should not take more than a few days. Remember agile project management is underpinned by creativity and flexibility. Show this prototype to users and solicit their feedback. If you receive largely negative feedback assemble another prototype that better aligns with their requirements. One major strength of this approach is that you are alerted to problems with your design early on. You won’t risk working for months on an idea only to discover it isn’t a good fit for your client.

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 10 5. Decide on the project boundaries Drawing on feedback decide on the scope of the project. You may need to add or remove features depending on how your prototype was received. Draw up a live document outlining the project’s scope. This can be updated – indeed it should be updated – as the project progresses. 6. Plan out major milestones using a roadmap The next step entails setting out the milestones you will have to hit while developing the product. This roadmap does not have to be particularly detailed in fact it should be flexible and easy to alter. However you will need to decide on the components that will go together in making up the product and when you will meet each deadline. You need to think not only about the features of a product but the broader goals on which they are based. For instance is your client trying to build new customers grow a social media presence or boost engagement Make sure you are completely clear on how your proposed development plan fits with the overarching aims of the project. 7. Plan sprints A sprint is a short development cycle lasting between 1-4 weeks. To maintain a stable rate of development try to keep all sprints the same length. When planning a sprint devise a list of all the tasks your team needs to complete and decide on realistic targets. Your goal is to assemble a functional product in the shortest possible time frame that can then be further developed and refined in subsequent sprints. The key to a successful sprint is cooperation and planning. Everyone involved in the project must be given a chance to air their views and have their concerns taken seriously. 8. Check in every day Daily stand-ups allow you to identify any problems early. A standup is a short meeting – around 15 minutes in length – in which all members of the team are held accountable for their progress.

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 11 Every team member should be able to tell you what they worked on yesterday what they are planning to achieve today and whether they have identified any problems or concerns they want to share with everyone else. As a project manager it is your responsibility to keep the team on track and work with them to resolve any issues. 9. Review the sprint At the end of each sprint you need to sit down with your team and evaluate their progress. What did they do well What lessons can be learned for the next sprint Retrospectives are important but daily status updates are also key in monitoring the health of the project. Ask your team to feed you real-time project updates and be sure to keep your client in the loop. They should be able to check up on the project at any time and offer their feedback. Your team should show your client what they are working on as soon as possible. Regular “show and tells” allow all parties to work together in ironing out bugs. 10. Plan the next sprint Continue using the sprint system until the project is complete. Remain open to change and always act on client and end user feedback. Strive for excellence at all times and never skimp on design.

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 12 Effective agile project management relies not just on technical expertise but strong interpersonal connections. Choose an effective communications channel and ensure everyone on the team is committed to using it. 11. Completion and release When you have developed a product your client and end users love you can manufacture and release it. However the agile project approach doesn’t end there – you may have to make further adjustments if users identify bugs. With every project you will get better at communicating within and beyond your team. You may find the rapid pace of agile project management hard to cope with at first but in time you will start to wonder how you ever used traditional methods. Orangescrum allows for both Agile Waterfall Project Management based on your project needs. With its intuitive user interface and powerful scrum features – sprints backlogs velocity charts and scrum boards it helps you move your projects and business forward.

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 13 Agile or Waterfall Project Management A million dollar question for organizations to deal with. On one hand there are huge teams multi-year projects involving multiple business units the other is scalability adaptability faster go to markets quick value realization. One Size fits all has always been a dream that never comes true. What is important is to take a more relative approach considering an organization’s or the project’s ecosystem. With a well-oiled organization structure in place one can run projects in small agile teams tied to the larger goal of the project initiative. But then a lot depends on the legacy processes and the culture of the company when it comes to being agile. Let’s save that discussion for another day and take a quick look at what works best between the two which to choose and when.

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 14 Why agile project management is trending “According to a recent online survey of 601 IT and development professionals it is proved that Agile is the new typical formula for project success. The majority of projects and development teams are now adopting this methodology.” Further research indicated Agile was first introduced about 15 years ago as a substitute for traditional software development approaches. Many people considered it as challenging to implement traditional practices and agile adopters stated that this new style of software development improves team collaboration and is more customer-centric. Though agile methodology was present more than a decade ago the vast majority of organizations adopted the practice in the last 5 years. Moreover a survey reported that agile adoption saw a sudden rise in between the year 2009-2010. Agile adoption has shown an incremental growth till 2008 and then its growth was accelerated after gaining traction in the market. If you are running a complex project it is advisable to use agile project management as the methodology. Complex projects contain several interconnected stages where a change in one stage can affect another. So project managers use agile methodology in such a scenario as there is a chance of high adaptability. Key Benefits of Agile project management: Improves collaboration among teams- 54 Enhances the quality level of software in organizations- 52 Results in enhanced customer satisfaction- 49 Speeds time to market- 43 Reduces development cost- 42 Why Agile is better than Waterfall Another interesting fact to note is with the increase of Agile project management the usage of the conventional Waterfall methodology saw a steady decline. The Waterfall Model is more about a process where one can see progress “flowing” through different phases. Its a sequential model which goes from requirement analysis design implementation testing and production to maintenance. When

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 15 Agile is the base of development it tends to deliver visibility adaptability accountability and value at the beginning of the process and minimizes the risks during the project. If you are a part of the software development industry I am sure you know how project plans change every day according to the customer needs Waterfall method being sequential in its approach cannot adapt to the frequent change of project scope. On the other hand agile project management employs an iterative approach and is highly adaptable to frequent changes. Advantages of Agile over Waterfall are: Agile techniques virtually eliminate the chances of absolute project failure. Agile means always having a working product which is being built incrementally right from the very first sprint so that projects do not fail completely. The customer has frequent and early opportunities to assess the work being delivered and make decisions changes throughout the development lifecycle. Waterfall doesn’t involve customers in the projects. Agile project management results in far less re-work on projects as issues and changes are identified in the early stages itself. Since Waterfall doesn’t have an iterative approach there is a high possibility of re-work after delivery or completion of a major feature or milestone. Agile involves frequent check-ins and demonstrations with the stakeholders which allows for changes to be made at a much faster pace which is good news for smaller teams--letting them get feedback faster and making it easier for them to adjust to the wants and needs of the customer. As mentioned earlier Waterfall doesn’t encourage the involvement of Customer. So there is less possibility of getting feedback from customers and the team. Thus Waterfall is less likely to be customer-centric. If the time to market for a specific application is a greater concern than releasing a full feature set at initial launch Agile can more quickly produce a basic version of working software which can be built upon in successive iterations. In the Agile development testing is done at the sprint level to ensure that the project is delivered in an optimum state. It enables the project managers to perform changes if needed and the team is aware of potential issues

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 16 beforehand. In Waterfall there is no chance of iterative testing which makes projects prone to failure. The advantage of agile methodology is that when companies take time on the front end during planning a project using agile techniques they can predict the cost of a project to conclude whether or not they should continue with the project. There is also a possibility of high ROI in Agile than Waterfall project management. Because of agile iterative and customer-first approach surveys show 49 of the agile projects are successful. However this percentage is restricted to 14 in Waterfall. In waterfall value delivery comes at the end of the development process. If the project exceeds the agreed budget – which is very likely in the case of IT contracts there may be no time and money left to deliver the value that was agreed upon with the client. This makes Waterfall project management highly vulnerable to budget changes. While agile project management is more flexible and allows for timely course correction. If a careful approach is not taken while evaluating budget timelines and resources then projects with Waterfall methodology may fail to deliver quality projects on time. Since agile project management is flexible to changes we can take quick decision for plan changes to ensure on-time delivery. In fact a survey shows 55 of the agile projects are delivered on- time. Agile project management is increasingly preferred over Waterfall today. However agile project management is advisable for the small teams and startups with less number of people involved in projects. Since Customer satisfaction is of highest priority for any business agile project management is highly recommended. Research also indicates 57 of the agile projects have generated higher customer satisfaction. But when a project is less prone to budget and frequent plan changes involves large project teams and customer intervention is not needed or minimal Waterfall methodology is the best option to adopt. And what makes things interesting is that Orangescrum supports both Agile and Waterfall project management. Orangescrum offers features specific to Scrum Project Management such as Epics Stories Sprints tasks subtasks Scrum Boards Sprint reports Velocity chart

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 17 along with Kanban Boards Gantt charts time log timesheets and resource management for the traditional project management. Signup now to experience the best of both project management worlds There is a lot of buzz around agile project management and its adoption. Companies are practically in a rat-race to present themselves as an “agile mascot” of sorts. Sure there are lots of proven and anticipated benefits that make a strong case for its adoption. Agile is more than just a framework or a project management methodology. It has to do more with the company’s culture its vision and its people. You cannot use agile as a wrapper to cover all things waterfall Based on our experience with the work we have been doing to help our customers implement the agile methodology we have come across quite a few advantages that make a fair case. Let us review some of them in the interest of making you take that leap of faith

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 18 Fail Fast Succeed Faster The iterative and modular approach offered by the agile scrum is a great way to test those great ideas. E.g. a new feature or product service redesigning existing product strategic initiative etc. Sprints or iterations are your rapid fire rounds to check how an idea would turn out during an actual implementation would it be a market fit something your customers would love or how successful it would be overall. The results help you to course-correct in time re-strategize or redraw an entirely new plan. Important thing here is you do not have to commit significant resources for this. Hence you save yourself a lot of money time efforts and disappointments. Moreover the technology climate change is a constant. When you layout plans for a year or more things are bound to change and latest eruptions will prove disruptive. But being agile will allow you to stay relevant and provide that leeway to shift gears when needed. Clearer Requirements As you continue to make MVPs and take the minimalistic approach you are exposed to multi-dimensional thought process in terms of your requirements. Seeing a small feature or a partial one in action reveals loopholes in your concept or shed in light towards more meaningful and important aspects that you may have missed entirely. At the same time while running active projects sprint planning and sprint reviews print retrospectives help you set the right priorities on your product backlog items PBIs. There is greater participation from your Scrum teams that shapes the product in greater alignment with the overall end-product reducing your chances of project failure or customer disagreement.

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 19 Constant User Feedback This is by far the most significant benefit of agile product development. Majorly because the customers and end users are actively engaged throughout the product development right from start to finish. Sprints help us deliver shippable product increments. And at the end of each sprint the Product Owner presents the finish increment to the customer thereby inviting their feedback. This leads to prompt course correction and prevents the team from any deviation. Furthermore active customer engagement leads to requirements and quality refinement too as the team is under constant watchful eyes. Having the opportunity to receive end user feedback directly is a huge gift for the Scrum team. It helps them assess how best they have understood the end goal and can learn from their mistakes. Quickly Lastly the team’s confidence too rises with each product increment and so does that of the customer. Self-Organizing Teams Agile has a huge focus on the people rather than the technology. Right from the constitution of the “Scrum Team” to deciding what goes into the Sprint the team will work on is the hallmark of the scrum methodology. Sprints are always advised to be a minimum of 1 week and maximum of 4 weeks. But the best recommendation is 2week sprints. Similarly scrum teams are mandated to be of 3-10 team members at the most. Why so Agile runs on the concept of self-organizing teams and the fact that each one works to his strengths. Thus the scrum team is constituted so. All relevant players like architect developer UI/UX QA etc. are detached from the traditional silo model and brought together as one team.

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 20 This is done keeping in mind that all required skill sets to deliver a finished increment at the end of the sprint work cohesively and without distractions. Moreover the fact that the teams choose the set of items from the backlog for the Sprint puts their skin directly in the game. It is their decision and hence there is deep commitment to complete the sprint successfully. Each one of them picks the items he thinks can be achieved within the sprint duration. This not only improves their estimation skills but also helps them assess their true capabilities and build upon them over time. This is a hard thing to come by in the waterfall methodology. And the greatest benefit of all is the freedom they are provided proved productive in meeting deadlines greater planning and high quality outputs. Greater Team Collaboration Agile is also about a great team culture. Take a closer look at the 4 Scrum Ceremonies:  Sprint Planning  Daily Stand-ups  Sprint Reviews  Sprint Retrospective It is all about maximum engagement at all levels. Each of the 4 ceremonies has definite purpose in helping the teams meet the project goals successfully. Sprint Planning is about getting together to decide the next sprint and set the goals based on the chosen backlog items. Daily Stand-ups is all about quick check-ins on the progress made the previous day hurdles for the day if any and quick overall status update. No communication fiascos ever Sprint Reviews is the test Product Owner conducts this meeting in tandem with the scrum team and the business. The primary objective is to demo the working finished increment and invite customer feedback.

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 21 Sprint Retrospective is about assessing what went wrong and what worked in the previous sprint The lessons learnt act as inputs to the sprint planning meeting. So do you see the closed loop system And note all of this is done across all iterations. Most importantly none of the information and learning can go stale given the short duration at which they are collected and synthesized. The seamless continuous integration of ideas learning’s and feedbacks make a tremendous impact on the overall planning execution and monitor and control aspects of your project. Instant Gratification This one is my favourite And I bet yours too We live in an instant world. Everything made available at the tap of a thumb. And without a doubt every one of us wants to demonstrate and experience success instantly. With agile this is easily achievable. As explained so far the business can see tangible results on a weekly or fortnightly basis. This allays any anxiety around the final outcomes requirement disconnects or lack of visibility of the progress. From the technology service provider’s perspective:  you stay on track with assured constant feedback  highly engaged customer  negligible chances of disagreement  high-performing and motivated team  higher chances of success What’s the big deal Agile has proved to offer a strategic vantage point in terms of ensuring customer success and enabling outcomes that are in direct alignment with their business goals. Over time you build confidence gain their trust and become their extended team rather than just a vendor or commodity.

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 22 Internally your organization stands to benefit from a unified motivated and self- organizing workforce that is committed to the job at hand. Remember with agile your teams get 3 of the most crucial job satisfaction factors  freedom to choose their work/role they play in a project  visibility to the value of their contribution towards the goals  instant learning and success We all know that an enterprise’s success rides on the success of its workforce and agile makes it a little easier is what I’ve learnt Embark on your agile journey today with Orangescrum and take your enterprise to the next level and beyond. Choose a project management methodology that is best suited to your line of work. However it is important to maintain consistency of efforts improvise as you make progress and revisit your existing processes. Note that it is a marathon and not a sprint. To achieve real success enable cross department collaboration communication. Invite feedback to see which approach works which does not and try to identify quick wins. Quick wins will help your team members to gain confidence in the approach get a broader buy-in and reduce adoption time and hustles. Conclusion

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© 2011-2020 Orangescrum Research Lab San Jose California 23 Orangescrum Cloud: https://www.orangescrum.com/ Open Source: https://www.orangescrum.org/ Blog: http://blog.orangescrum.com/ Email: supportorangescrum.com

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