Agile Series No.8 – It’s both a marathon and a sprint!

Welcome to the eighth of twelve articles where we talk about the do’s (and some of the don’ts) of Project Managing Agile Projects.  During this series we will work our way through the 12 principles of the Agile Manifesto and talk about how it relates to you, a project manager and your project.

Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely. (Beck, 2001).

It is often the roll of the project manager to ensure that projects are delivered on time.  This can be very challenging, especially for projects that can continue for many weeks, or start as soon as the previous one has finished, for example, yearly membership renewals. Software development can be very repetitive and keeping momentum is a difficult task.  Below are a few processes to maintain the constant pace.

  1. Stay Alert – Project work at times can be very repetitive and quite boring. Staying alert to your teams needs ensures that you can pick up when team members are struggling and find ways to intervene to ensure that there is continued focus. Team members who are not excessively stressed tend to work better at delivering requirements, no matter how mundane.
  2. Stay Creative – Be open to ideas. As the project continues, team members will find new or different ways of doing tasks. This is normal. Listen to these ideas and, where possible, try and implement them.
  3. Free Time – Ensure there is free time for relaxation. Having down time gives the impetus for team members to work harder on the up times.
  4. Deliver what the organisation can process.  It is extremely important that the organisation can understand the changes as they occur.  They need time to test, train and use the product. Do not make commitments to the business that cannot be kept.
  5. Iteration – Creating multiple iterations means that the everyone in the team and the users can keep up with the changes. This creates a feeling of success which keeps team motivated and leads to a constant pace indefinitely.

The more you can get your team members invested in the project, the more they will be motivated to continually develop. Not only will they be motivated project managers will often find that motivated teams actively work towards the goal whereas unmotivated or stressed teams often make things more difficult.

Remember, some tasks are boring and repetitive, acknowledge this with your team, be open to any ideas and your team will work with you to complete the project.

Next article we are all about solutions. Why band-aids solutions are not solutions and the importance of project managers ensuring that solutions are completed correctly.

References

Ammouri, Y. M. (2015, December 15). Agile Software Devleopment Basics and fundamentals. Retrieved from Code Project

Apke, L. (2016, August 16). Agile Principles: How to Maintain a Sustainable Pace. Retrieved from Agile Doctor

Beck, K. B. (2001). Agile Manifesto. Retrieved from Agile Manifesto

McMillian, B. (2018, July 14). Keeping a Sustainable Pace. Retrieved from Scrum Forum

van Amerongen, R. (2008, October 3). Agile software development, the principles. Principle 8: Agile processes promote sustainable development. The sponsors, developers, and users should be able to maintain a constant pace indefinitely. Retrieved from AMIS, Data Driven Blog.