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Agile project managers possess unique competencies that empower them to complete their projects successfully, engage others, and solve problems that might emerge throughout the period. Complex ventures require evidence-based strategies, initiatives, and processes if they are to deliver positive results. This paper gives a detailed personal reflection of my knowledge and experiences as an agile project manager. Those who consider the presented insights will be in a position to succeed and mentor their followers.
Documentation remains a critical part of projects pursued using the agile manifesto. One of the most important issues to take seriously is that of efficiency (Jackson, 1). Managers should communicate all aspects and undertakings to different stakeholders or participants. This initiative is essential since it creates the best environment for reducing risks and improving chances of project success.
Several aspects are critical and agile project managers should capture them through effective documentation. The first one is recording occurrences and launch deadlines. The concept of version control ensures that unnecessary materials are deleted but saved for future use. Every stage requires documentation in an attempt to reduce workloads and empower leaders to respond to questions effectively. The involvement of technical readers and writers can ensure that flaws are detected before they can affect the project.
Another aspect is combining the documentation activity with the entire agile process (Rothman, 2). All engineers, programmers, and partners must also contribute or be part of the effort. A documentation leader is required to coordinate various efforts and functions. Finally, the agile approach requires that all documenters are involved in the project.
The selected initiative has an extended timeline and a complex scope. There are many engineers, programmers, and experts collaborating in an attempt to deliver positive results. Any agile leader in charge of this task requires various competencies, skills, and attributes that can take it to the next level (O’Brien, 3). This becomes the first success factor since the application of such characteristics will maximize responsiveness throughout the project period. The leader will use such abilities to solve emerging problems and empower all followers.
The second success factor is that of an effective documentation plan. As described earlier, an agile approach requires that stakeholders and partners are part of the process. The agile leader will have to be involved, capture necessary activities, and remove unnecessary information that might disorient the project. The third attribute that project managers should take seriously is that of efficient communication (Keane, 5). Such professionals will have to exhaust avenues that can support the entire process, including video-conferencing, emails, face-to-face, and mobile phones.
The concept of daily teamwork is another success factor for a project of this magnitude. The agile leader will be required to encourage all staff members to collaborate, solve problems, and streamline operations (Jackson, 1). Another powerful success factor is the ability to empower, mentor, and motivate all followers. Such individuals will use available resources and eventually make the project successful.
Offshoring has become a reality in every aspect of business strategy, including project management. Agile leaders need to utilize their competencies to manage resources with great attention and detail. Evidence-based prerequisites should govern every plan for dealing with offshore resources. This means that managers can use test cases to expose potential flaws and ensure that all members of the team coordinate their efforts. Another unique issue to consider is that of communication (O’Brien, 3). Managers need to focus on cultural values people from the targeted regions exhibit. They can leverage modern software technologies to support the communication process.
The leader should ensure that all followers in different regions commit to these respective teams. A contingency plan is necessary for supporting the targeted plan, improving the level of engagement, and empowering workers to be part of the entire process. Another powerful aspect is that of balance. The agile leader needs to structure the major teams effectively (Adams, 4). Managers should ensure that all groups are at par with each other and have access to all software and hardware resources whenever demanded. Positive results will be possible if leaders promote timely communication, avoid message clutter, and improve flexibility.
Challenges and Mitigation Strategies
The management of offshore resources is a practice that encounters diverse challenges. Some of the common ones will include cultural differences, poor communication, and untimely response. The absence of a comprehensive plan aimed at addressing all teams’ needs can also affect the initiative. Many agile leaders forget that they should communicate the implemented project plan to all players and participants in different regions (Jackson, 1). This gap can disorient the entire project and make it unsustainable.
Agile leaders require specific skills to manage all involved teams, communicate effectively, and address emerging problems. They should define all objectives and project goals and share the same information with all participants. The right channels or modes of communication are critical to ensure the success of the project (Adams, 4). Managers can go further to pursue specific advantages that will support the initiative. This means that agile leaders should have a competent offshore team in place, lay down all parameters, and coordinate all functions by providing resources in a timely manner.
Measuring Performance and Quality
Supervisors and stakeholders can apply various strategies to measure performance and assess the quality of services and products associated with the selected organization. One of these initiatives is known as actual cost. This model guides leaders to monitor the amount of expenses incurred throughout the period and contrast it with the actual cost of the completed work (Jackson, 1). This metric is essential since it will guide investigators to determine if the company has recorded a positive or negative performance.
The second strategy revolves around the level of stakeholder or customer satisfaction. A powerful study is necessary to examine whether different individuals and customers are happy with the company’s performance. Another critical issue for gauging the effectiveness of the organization’s operations and initiatives is that of cost vs. quality. This metric will determine whether the incurred costs have delivered quality to different stakeholders.
An organization’s products and services should fulfill the needs of all the targeted customers. Leaders can consider various measures to monitor the quality and effectiveness of such products. The first one is selecting specific products randomly and assessing them to ensure that they conform to the expected quality standards. This can also be done for the services the company provides to its customers. The second metric revolves around the use of consumer insights or views.
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Those involved can collect information from customers and other partners to determine if the targeted services or products address their unique needs (Rothman, 2). This kind of data can inform superior measures or strategies to engage in continuous improvement and support the changing demands of all key stakeholders.
Agile projects are usually complex and involve many partners and stakeholders. Nonetheless, it is crucial for managers to ensure that the intended results are delivered with the stipulated period. A powerful model is necessary if agile leaders want to accelerate this delivery time and meet the needs of all key stakeholders. The first step of the proposed plan revolves around the use of a core project team (O’Brien, 3). This group should have professionals who can coordinate various activities, support the documentation process, jungle various demands, and solve emerging problems.
The second phase is the addition of resources. This means that the leader will ensure that competent people are hired and equipped with adequate materials and time. Additional staff and resources will shorten the delivery time and minimize wastes. The third aspect or phase is outsourcing or offshoring depending on the nature of the project. There are specific activities and products that can benefit from this model within the agile project lifecycle (Keane, 5). Finally, the leader can schedule overtime without having to hire more people. Such measures will eventually accelerate the project delivery process.
The above discussion has revealed that agile project managers apply special skills to achieve their goals within a short time. Such leaders should be able to handle documentation needs efficiently, promote success factors throughout the project period, manage offshore resources properly, and identify evidence-based solutions to challenges that might emerge. These initiatives are critical and will ensure that every agile project achieves his or her goals.
- James Jackson, Agile Project Management: Beginner Guide for Scrum Development (Scrum, Agile Methodology, Agile Development, Agile Coaching, Agile Leader, Agile Methods, Agile Introduction, Agile Scrum, Agile Testing), ISBN: 1546739661.
- Johanna Rothman, Agile and Lean Program Management: Scaling Collaboration across the Organization, ISBN: 978-1-943487-04-2.
- Henry O’Brien, Agile Project Management: A Quick Start Beginner’s Guide to Mastering Agile Project Management, ISBN: 1517481856.
- Tony Adams, Agile Leadership: A Leader’s Guide to Orchestrating Agile Strategy, Product Quality and IT Governance, ISBN: 978-1-4917-5899-1.
- Thomas Keane, Project Management: Proven Principles in Agile Project Management for Successful Managers and Businesses, ISBN: 1544938292.