November 15, 2019

The Key Agile Principles of Project Management

What is Agile Project Management?

Agile Project Management was first given life in the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, also known as the Agile Manifesto of 2001. The Agile movement was sparked by the need to better develop software while helping others to do the same.

Now, Agile is in almost every sector of the economy, including manufacturing, retail, petroleum, and human resources. Some of the world’s most well-known enterprises use Agile or at least recognize its value, including Microsoft, Amazon, Google, and Netflix.

Agile Project Management Principles
 Key Principles Of Agile Project Management

Agile Project Management Principles

In the modern sense, Agile Project Management is best explained and encompassed by examining the following key principles:
  • Obtaining an obsession with delivering value to customers as the be-all and end-all of the organization;
  • Having a preference that all work be carried out by small self-organizing teams who work in short cycles and focus on delivering value to their customers; and
  • Maintaining a continuing effort to forego bureaucracy and top-down hierarchy so that the business operates as an interacting network of teams who are all focused on increasing value to customers.
While not explicitly stated, implicit in all of these key principles is the notion that one must be able to respond to change at all times as opposed to following and keeping to a strict plan. In other words: being Agile.

In order to better understand these key principles and how they can assist you in your line of work, Techno-PM Pvt Ltd has provided a full breakdown of how these principles enable business agility.

Principles of Project Management, Agile Project Management Principles
Agile Project Management Principles


Customer is the be-all-end-all

A key principle of Agile Project Management is that you don’t do anything that does not add value to your customers. This requires you, to a certain extent, to minimize your output in return for a maximum gain. The key to success is not to work harder or longer hours; nor is it to work as fast as you can. Being Agile requires you to generate more value from less work. 

If the key principles of Agile Project Management are followed correctly, adding value to customers becomes the forefront of what you do as a necessary conclusion of following the Agile framework. This, in turn, creates meaning for those staff doing the work in the first place.
This principle entails that the focus is not on making money. In an Agile system, you make money by not focusing on making money. While it seems illogical at first, most analysts agree that by emphasizing the need to generate value for the customer, you, in turn, create workplaces that are genuinely inspiring to be a part of.

Agile Project Management is not a destination that you reach at or something you can attain. Rather, it is a journey. By putting your customer at the be-all and end-all of your purpose, you can continue striving for that endgame while acquiring business agility along the way.

Self-organizing teams

In order to achieve the Agile mindset, there should be a strong preference for individuals, interactions and mindsets over processes and tools. 

In this principle of Agile Project Management, the focus is on small, self-organizing teams who work at regular cycles. Discussions on retrospective decisions with feedback from customers occur at the end of each short cycle. Just the fact alone that being Agile requires you to work closely with your customers will put you in good stead. Ultimately, this encourages a diversity of ideas as well as the rejection of ideas that simply don’t work. It also helps teams prioritize themselves and their work in terms of its importance.

Empowering small teams of motivated individuals to do the work as it evolves, as opposed to creating strict guidelines under the supervision of a rigid “scrum master” is a key principle of Agile Project Management. Furthermore, it may sound counter-intuitive, but by relinquishing complete control and cutting off the training wheels early, you can empower your teams and create opportunities for them to further their confidence, self-esteem and ultimately, their output for the customer. This requires a strong degree of autonomy within a certain level of control.

While it can be tempting for a corporation to act as an efficient, well-oiled machine reading right out of the corporate playbook, Agile Project Management, in fact, requires almost the complete opposite. The Agile team is a growing, learning, ever-changing, living and breathing entity that is in a constant state of trying to exploit new opportunities and provide maximum value for its customers.
Essentially, in an Agile framework, you enhance and exert control by letting go of control.

Forego bureaucracy and top-down hierarchy

In an Agile organization, power does not trickle down from the top. An Agile corporation understands that open interaction within its framework is much more desirable than top-down directives. 

At its central core, Agile Project Management requires your business to place value on trust, flexibility, empowerment, and collaboration. To set up and adhere to an Agile framework that is rigid in its approach is an affront to Agile. If your scrum-master requires you to consistently report back to him or her in meetings while focusing more on what you have not done as opposed to what you have done, perhaps your business is not as Agile as you think.


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Agile Project Management requires the minimum output for maximum gain

This can be difficult for larger and older organizations to adapt to, whose business practices are likely entrenched. In some respects, Agile Project Management is a threat to the status quo.
However, a business that cannot keep up with a rapidly changing economy, market and constantly emerging technologies will ultimately struggle to deliver value to its customers in the long run.

Conclusion/CTA

The Agile Project Management structure is an ever-changing mindset and not a methodology. Without an Agile mindset, the processes and structures that your company follows are almost all but irrelevant. 

To learn more about Project Management, as well as the services we can provide to help you on your Agile journey, click here.


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