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Discover how to introduce Agile Working successfully And Speed Up Project Delivery

Discover how to introduce Agile Working successfully And Speed Up Project Delivery
Discover how to introduce Agile Working successfully And Speed Up Project Delivery
This step-by-step guide will help you to understand how Agile can be applied to any project and how you can implement the process effectively, so that you get the most from your resources.
Posted in: Project management
Discover how to introduce Agile Working successfully And Speed Up Project Delivery
Discover how to introduce Agile Working successfully And Speed Up Project Delivery

Throughout the UK's corporate landscape, turnaround times are in decline. Whether it's reduced output in the construction industry or strikes causing a backlog for the NHS and other public services, it seems like everything is taking longer right now.

Some of these issues date back as far as the pandemic, which slowed down many projects or pressed pause on them due to lockdown restrictions and a lack of available staff. Following the crisis, many sectors have struggled to reach peak capacity and improve turnaround times for major projects thanks to other issues, including hyperinflation causing strikes, material shortages and other problems.

Whatever the issue, many businesses and organisations are now facing delays. As a project manager or industry leader, you need to be working to find ways to adapt and get projects off the ground quicker. While not every challenge can be surmounted, particularly external ones, issues such as poor communication and other internal problems can be fixed with some minor tweaks to your processes.

One approach that's popular with many project heads is Agile Project Management. Although it's primarily used in software development, Agile can also be used in construction and other non-IT markets to improve efficiency and boost turnaround times.

This step-by-step guide will help you to understand how Agile can be applied to any project and how you can implement the process effectively, so that you get the most from your resources. 

Understanding Agile Project Management 

Understanding Agile Project Management

Before you start implementing a new technique, you need to understand it completely. 

You'll then be able to find ways to adapt it to any project and use it to its best advantage. 

Agile is, as the name suggests, an approach which focuses on being nimble and flexible throughout the lifecycle of any given project. 

There are 6 main stages to every Agile project, and although the names differ slightly depending on who you ask, they all follow the same basic structure, which is:

  • Initial Concept - The first stage is coming up with the idea and working out key factors such as target users, intended goals, etc. This is the early planning stage, so it is an informal time when you can work things out and explore ideas freely.
  • Build A Plan - Once you know what you want to do, you can build a plan to do it, with a clear idea of who will take ownership of which tasks and what the aims will be. This document is vital as it will help project team members to understand their roles, and it's often a visual graph or image to help everyone clearly see what needs to be done
  • Setting Everything Up - Often known as the development or exploration phase, this is the stage when you build the product or service and get it ready for use.
  • Release - When the project is established, you can share it with service users and release it into the world. At this time, project managers need to have a plan for how to release the solution and ways to monitor its success.
  • Maintenance and Adaptation - Following the release of any solution, there might be some issues that need to be fixed, and this is where the maintenance and adaptation stage comes in. You can adapt to any feedback you receive from users.
  • Final Product - After all the errors have been fixed, the project can be considered closed, but you might want to review the project and see if there are any areas that you can improve for upcoming projects.

By being flexible and adapting to feedback, you can improve projects going forward and ensure that the result is the best it can possibly be. 

The Importance Of Team Ownership

Another key focus of the Agile working processes is making sure that everyone in the project takes ownership of their specific tasks, and manages them accordingly. 

Each member of any Agile working team needs to understand the process and their role in it clearly, which means that regular communication is a must.

Any team member who's being bought onto an Agile project, and hasn't got much experience with this approach, needs to be trained to understand how the process works and how they can use it to maximise their output. In Agile projects, most team members use objectives and key results (OKR) to set and track their goals and see how they fit into the project as a whole. 

When onboarding an Agile approach to project management, you should consider getting bespoke OKR training for your team from experts like 1ovmany.   They can help your staff to understand setting goals using OKR and how to manage their work throughout the process to get the most from an Agile approach to project management. 

Using Visual Materials 

Most Agile projects incorporate visual charts to showcase the lifecycle of the project and how each stage is expected to proceed. 

These charts might be flow charts, with clear deadlines and task management boards. 

These charts can come in a range of colours and styles, making it easy for participants to see their role in the project, what's already been done and where the project is headed next.

Having access to a visual aid can be handy, particularly when multiple stakeholders are reviewing the project and want easy access to clear insight. Also, these tools can help those who are visual learners to easily understand the project, which is particularly important for complex or creative tasks.

Explore different visual tools to help you to manage your Agile project and make it easier to review your progress. 

Ongoing Agility 

As you've probably noticed from reading this article, Agile project management revolves around being flexible and adapting to new situations quickly within any given project. 

When it comes to implementing this approach in your organisation, you need to think the same way. 

That means continuously searching for new developments or techniques that can be used to make Agile project management work for you and your team.

Staying up to date with new techniques and approaches in the Agile space can be challenging, particularly when you're busy keeping abread of new changes in your specialist industry as well. 

Consider following popular Agile project management blogs and signing up for newsletters to get the latest insight sent directly to your inbox. 

You'll then easily be able to find out about the newest techniques and approaches used by other organisations and experts in the Agile technique. 

A Quick Summary

For businesses looking to speed up project development and implementation, Agile can be the ideal solution. 

Still, it can take time to implement any new system, particularly one that's a major change. The key focus needs to be on providing adequate training to staff and helping them to deal with the transition, as teamwork and communication are key pillars of any Agile project.

Using this guide, you can find ways to start making the most of the Agile approach and, hopefully, achieving noticeable results. 

Even a small gain in productivity and reduction in time to completion can make a huge difference to your organisation, so it'll be worth the effort. 

Over time, the progress will become more noticeable, and you'll be able to show your corporate stakeholders the benefits of using the Agile project management system. 

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Thursday, 30 May 2024
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