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Agile Project Management

How APM works

Agile teams build rapid feedback, continuous adaptation and QA best practices into their iterations.

They adopt practices such as continuous deployment (CD) and continuous integration (CI), using technology that automates steps to speed up the release and use of products.

Additionally, Agile Project Management calls for teams to continuously evaluate time and cost as they move through their work. They use velocity, burndown and burnup charts to measure their work, instead of Gantt charts and project milestones to track progress.

Agile Project Management does not require the presence or participation of a project manager. Although a project manager is essential for success under the traditional project-delivery methodologies, such as the waterfall model (where the position manages the budget, personnel, project scope, quality, requirements and other key elements), the project manager’s role under APM is distributed among team members.

For instance, project goals are set by the product owner, while team members divvy up scheduling, progress reporting and quality tasks. Certain Agile approaches add other layers of management; the Scrum approach, for example, calls for a scrum master who helps set priorities and shepherd the project through to completion.

However, project managers are not obsolete in Agile Project Management. Many organizations still use them for Agile projects — particularly larger, more complex ones — but the organizations generally place these project managers in more of a coordinator role with the product owner taking responsibility for the project’s overall completion.

Given the shift in work from project managers to Agile teams, Agile Project Management demands that team members know how to work in this new fashion. They must be able to collaborate with each other, as well as with users. They must to be able to communicate well to keep projects on track. And they should feel empowered to take appropriate actions at the right times in order to keep pace with delivery schedules.

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