How to use Agile Project Management to improve work efficiency

Agile is emerging as an optimal management model for businesses. Especially technology companies because of their flexibility, good interaction, and high efficiency compared to traditional management models. So, What is the benefit that Agile project management brings to the business? Why is Agile project management being used by so many companies around the world? And How to cultivate an agile mindset?

In this article, we are together going to find out how the Agile model works? And how to optimize your job performance. Especially, we will have the opportunity to listen to Mr. Trinh’s experience sharing, a project manager of ENOUVO GROUP, in the field of Agile project management.

Let’s go!

The origin of Agile Project Management

The origin of Agile

Agile project management appeared in the context of the software development industry facing many challenges with the traditional development method following the waterfall model. You can understand a waterfall model as a linear approach to management, executing the planned steps sequentially.

But in reality, many risks are unpredictable. One of the main reasons is that customers often change their requirements during production. It is often because customers don’t know what they need until they directly use the product or it can also be that the original requirements are outdated and do not meet the business goals.

Of course, when requirements change, all steps of design and development, testing, re-documenting, etc. must be redone. As a result, the product is not produced according to the customer’s requirements, even being late on time, or over budget. Therefore, on 11-13 February 2001, inventors and practitioners met together in Utah, USA to discuss the new direction of software development methodology.

They came to a consensus and released the Agile Manifest – “The Manifesto for Agile Software Development” and marked a new trend in software development.

Agile vs Waterfall – What’s the Difference?

What is Agile Project Management?

what is agile
Agile Model

Basically, Agile is essentially a philosophy, a framework for working quickly to adapt and respond to change. Thereby achieving success in a constantly fluctuating and uncertain environment. This method was created with the aim of getting the product to the user as quickly as possible with increasingly assured quality. Besides, this is also a method of making people more proactive instead of working with the Waterfall method.

Agile Project Management pros and cons

Agile pros:

  • Agile project management brings flexibility. Stakeholders and team members have the opportunity to observe and check throughout the project. This allows adjustments and changes to be made as required by the customer.
  • Agile also encourages teamwork, collaboration, self-organization, and accountability. This helps create overall momentum and commitment to the project’s results and goals.

Agile cons:

  • An Agile project can run the risk of causing problems within the organization when changing priorities are not managed and communicated effectively.
  • For teams new to Agile, there is a risk that people feel uncertain about what they should focus on as the scope grows.

What is Waterfall?

Waterfall Model

Different from Agile project management, Waterfall is much more linear, focusing on pre-planning with fully defined requirements before starting a project. As the name implies, work tiers, like waterfalls, go through different phases of the project. Each stage needs to be completed before the next can begin.

Waterfall pros and cons

Waterfall pros:

  • Waterfalls are particularly effective and suitable for well-defined projects. This makes project tracking easier because the entire scope of the project is known from the start.
  • Waterfall helps team members simply get ready for their specific project phases and thus can continue to focus on other areas. Equally a project’s customers may only need to be involved heavily in the early initial scoping phase and then at delivery.

Waterfall cons:

  • Waterfall requires comprehensive requirements in advance. This is sometimes a big challenge for more complex or longer-term projects.
  • Because there is a certain rigidity built into the project, it will be difficult to change requirements mid-project without redesigning all the previously made plans.

4 values of the Agile Manifesto

To know more about Agile, let’s begin with the 4 values of the Agile Project Management Manifesto – This is considered the core soul of the management method.

4 values of the Agile Manifesto

Individuals and interactions

One of the things that Agile Project Management makes people feel pleased about is self-organization. A self-operated, self-organizing collective, not just one person directing and others will automatically follow. This value emphasizes individuals, initiative, interaction, and mutual support in a team.

For example, in a company applying the Agile model, we will not see the leaders and managers. Instead, most individuals will interact, actively discuss and work together.

When working, documents are necessary, but we shouldn’t overestimate them. So that we don’t slow down the team’s work progress and cause the software to fail. For example, team members can spend time talking to each other about How to make the software work more efficiently instead of spending too much time writing down lots of unnecessary notes or giving out dozens of boring documents and making members read them over and over.

Working software

When working, documents are necessary, but we shouldn’t overestimate them. So that we don’t slow down the team’s work progress and cause the software to fail.
For example, team members can spend time talking to each other about how to make the software work more efficiently. Instead of spending too much time writing down lots of unnecessary notes and giving out dozens of boring documents and making members read them over and over again.

That’s why Agile project management suggests that a software team should have the ability to pivot and change direction whenever they need to, with a flexible roadmap that reflects that.

Customer collaboration

Customer opinions may vary from what they originally described. Therefore, we cannot force them to follow 100% of the set contract. Because this will lead to tension in the relationship between us and the customer.

This value promotes cooperation and consultation with customers, accompanying and working with customers. This close collaboration is very important because It makes our software project really successful both on our side and on the customer side. With this collaboration, everyone on the team will feel really involved. They can feel like they are a part of every detail of the product. Collaborating with clients makes us all become a team and we all will be satisfied.

Responding to change

No one can come up with a perfect plan. If you applied Agile and complained about why customers often change options, then you need to revise and try to respond to that change. Agile Project Management welcomes all the changes rather than resists them.

12 Agile Project Management Principles

From the above 4 statements, we can apply Agile Project Management based on the following 12 principles:

1. Satisfying customers through early and continuous delivery of valuable software. Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

2. Welcoming changing requirements, even late in development.

3. Provide working software for a period of 1 week, a few weeks, or a few months.

4. The sales department and Developer department must work together.

5. Build projects around motivated individuals, give them a favorable working environment, and have confidence that they will do their job well.

6. Direct dialogue.

7. Runnable software is a measure of the project’s progress.

8. Use management software to maintain a steady pace of work.

9. Continuity of technical interest and increased flexibility.

10. Minimize wasteful and unnecessary things to work.

11. Ensuring the best architecture and design from self-organizing teams.

12. At regular intervals, each group reflects on how to become more effective and adjusts accordingly.

How to apply Agile Project Management into practice

The general process of Agile Application

Agile was born in the field of software development. However, in today’s reality, the Agile philosophy has gone beyond its traditional area and contributed to a change in the way of working, managing, and producing in any business.

Firstly, members coordinate and communicate effectively internally. Because having good communication skills will help the team understand customers, good cooperation together ensures also quality and speed.

Second, the autonomy of each member must be ensured so that self-managing groups can operate proactively and smoothly instead of just following the instructions of the superiors as in the traditional models.

Third, activities are modularized through cross-functional groups. These teams are capable of working with speed and high quality, with the customer at the center.

How Enouvo apply Agile in Project Management

To better understand how to apply Agile in practice, let’s come to the sharing from Mr. Trinh Nguyen – Project Manager at Enouvo Group. He is not only an old “coder” with more than 10 years of experience, but Mr. Trinh is also an expert in applying and combining Agile & Scrum methods in software development.

” For me to apply Agile success, I am to be Agile. Like Agile is flexible, I must also be flexible sounds a bit confusing but one of the core values of Agile is to respond to change. I think that is the value that shows the flexibility of Agile. If I always strictly follow what I do from the beginning, it is very difficult to apply Agile successfully.

For myself, I am also applying Agile for some projects. Small and medium projects. The team size is about 10 people. And with many different projects, I am also applying Agile. And I find my team to work quite relaxed, quite adaptive to customer changes. It brings joy not only for the client but also for the whole team” – Mr. Trinh shared.

what is agile in project management?
Mr.Trinh – A project manager of ENOUVO GROUP

In the beginning, when Mr.Trinh applied Agile project management, it was quite difficult when the customer changed constantly. There were many problems that happened. Sometimes he thought he didn’t know when he may apply Agile but waited until perfect for applying Agile, it really is not known ever. When he started to form the team again, talk to the team, talk with customers to apply Agile then everything changed completely.

Difficulties began to decrease stresses on delivering on time is also limited. Instead, then we have a standard process, we have meetings to split the sprint. We have daily standups to update progress, update difficulties in the process of working with customers to solve that problem.

Moreover, we have meetings with clients to clarify information and work with customers. We have estimation meetings to measure workload in a sprint. Specifically, we are implementing Scrum Framework. Thanks to Scrum Framework, Agile project management it’s more visible. Thereby getting the development team as well as the customer to agree on the expectations and outcomes of a sprint. It makes everything clearer from the very beginning. It reduces misunderstandings mistakes between customers and the team also reduces having to do it again and again, making the team lose time and easily frustrated.

He thinks that applying Scrum Framework to the project helps the team and the customer to be happy. And deliver a lot of features and match the customer’s expectations. Applying Agile Scrum to the project greatly improves the quality of the product. Because we use sprint to deliver the product’s features, we also get feedback from our customers sooner. From there we can improve products as well as additional necessary features continuously.

Using Agile project management will be the most effective method when organizations undertake large or complex projects. Hope that Enouvo’s sharing can help you answer the question of what is Agile in project management. Besides, helps you visualize the benefits that Agile brings to businesses and how to apply Agile in practice.

Don’t forget to click on the video below for more useful information:

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nhu.nguyen

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