Role of a Project Manager in Managing Agile Projects

Role of a Project Manager in Managing Agile Projects

The principle of the project management is to manage a project successfully so that it can produce the desired outcome within the specific budget and time. The role of a project manager is not same in managing different projects. The project management techniques are designed carefully so that the project manager can run the project successfully by minimizing the risks and other negativities. One of the recent project management technique is the agile project management.
Introduction to Agile Project Management

With the initiation of business management practices,Guest Posting today’s business environment has become versatile and uncertain. The requirements of clients are changing. Therefore, the business processes accommodate to fulfill client’s demands. A project is defined as “a collection of simultaneous and sequential activities which together produce an identifiable outcome of value (Pich, Loch, & de Meyer, 2002).” A project is a unique set of activities with definite objectives, specific time to complete and identified budget.

The project management team manages the internal and external factors which have an impact on the project. To avoid any risky circumstances, the project management team acts quickly so that project timelines and priorities can be achieved. The quality of taking quick actions to manage the project is known as agility (Chin, 2004). The contemporary financially unstable and technology driven environments are unreliable for traditional project management methodologies. Changing customer demands, minimizing budget and tightening the delivery deadline are the three key factors of managing a project in agility – “The ability to move quickly and dramatically to get around any and all obstacles (Chin, 2004).” Agile project management process develops a realistic and repeatable methods to increase the flexibility of the project.

According to Chin (2004), the reasons to implement agile project management practices in an organization are as follows:

Business-centric decision making is quick and easy.
The project team is focused on achieving the business goal.
The conflict of having multiple goals can be avoided.
Managing changes are easy to reach the project goals.
Roles and responsibilities can be shared by individuals and the micro management of management can be avoided.

Transforming to Agility


According to Chris, Phil, and Mike (2012), one of the common project management method is known as Waterfall project management principle. According to this concept, the project is divided into different phases. One phase needs to be completed before another phase begins. Skilled individuals are associated with the project irrespective of teams and geographic locations. A successful project can bring changes in the organizational operation and it may have a long-term impact on the business.

Figure 1. Project Implementation phases in Waterfall Concept
Limitations of Waterfall Concept


Waterfall process develops several limitations to achieve the project objectives (Chris et al., 2012).

The project plan and activities are planned in the initial phase of the project. All the activities might not require later on.
A project takes a longer time to complete as one phase needs to be completed before another phase begins.
The project manager is responsible for prioritization of daily activities.
Once the project begins, changes in project objectives are difficult to accommodate.
Documentation is considered to measure the accountability of the team members.

Agile Methodology


Agile methodology can be defined as “Iterative and incremental style of development that dynamically adjusts to changing requirements and enables better risk management (Hoda, Noble, & Marshall, 2008).” The agile projects are customer defined, aligned to client’s expectation and measurable activities specific. It focuses on delivering the client’s needs at the earliest, forming the project plan as per client’s demands and implementing changes to provide the best solution to the client (Karlesky & Vander Voord, 2008). In agile methods, the interactions of the individuals are valued to develop a software solution for the changing requirements of the client.

Scrum is another agile method, developed by Jeff Sutherland. According to Hoda et al. (2008), Scrum refers to short development phases of a large project. The daily short interaction of Product Owner, Scrum Master, and the team is one of the key characteristics of the scrum method. The product owner maintains the accurate business standpoint, the scrum master is a facilitator and the team, consists of 5 – 7 executives, executes on the project facilitation activities. The responsibilities of the team include sprint planning and scrum meeting. A Sprint is a specific timeframe (usually 2-4 weeks) to work on a set of activities. In a sprint review meeting, the set of activities is identified and reviewed. The Scrum master organizes a daily meeting of 15 minutes to discuss any issues or concerns (Hoda et al., 2008). By using Sprint and Scrum methods, agile project management techniques empower the project managers and the team to successfully manage risks, define scope, maintain budget and follow timelines.

According to Lee and Xia (2010), agility is defined as “the continuous readiness of an entity to rapidly, inherently proactively or reactively, embrace change, through high-quality, simplistic, economical components and relationships with its environment.” Agility is the promptness in accepting a change or action. There are two dimensions. It can be accepting and adapting to changes or ability to re-engineer the existing process. Agile methodology is “a set of flexible techniques (Maruping, Venkatesh, & Agarwal, 2009).” It helps the software development team to sustain in a volatile environment. The teams are responsible for managing the software development process, resolving issues, making decisions and delegating tasks to other teams. The expertise in managing changes by using agile methodologies make it easily acceptable by the software development teams.

About the author

Admin administrator