Project mode

Project management: what is the agile method?

April 19, 2021
4 min
Project management: what is the agile method?
Content manager

If for most of us, agility is a new concept, the agile method is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

Conceived by American experts in 2001, it was originally established to facilitate the development of computer software, often slowed down and weighed down by more traditional project management methods. Together, they defined 4 values and 12 principles, which they condensed into a document, the Manifesto for Agile Software Development.

Since then, more and more companies, in all sectors, are opting for project management methods based on agile principles. Let's see why.

The definition of an "agile" method

To begin with, there is not one, but several agile methods (like the Scrum method for example). Everyone is free to adapt the essence of agility to his project and his company. 

However, a method can really be called agile if it is based on collaborative and flexible processes. In fact, by definition, agile methods favor project management with little or no protocol, based on communication, iteration of ideas and the human touch. This collaboration, both between project team members and with the end customer, results in higher-quality deliverables that are compatible with any changes to which they may be subject.  

The foundations of agile methods

Above all, to implement agile methods in a company, it is essential to work in project mode. Agility, as its name indicates, is not compatible with an overly rigid organization. Employees should no longer be limited to their job description, but should be considered according to their skills and what they can bring to a project, even if it is outside of their area of expertise. If you assume that each employee in your company is an expert in his or her field, you will be ready to go into "agile mode"!

A flexible organization 🔀

To ensure agile project management, project team members need to be autonomous, able to adapt to sudden changes and have a highly developed sense of teamwork. As we have seen before, agile methods are based on collaboration and communication within the team as well as with the final customer. The success of an agile project is therefore based on the great capacity of adaptation and reactivity of the project team in the face of the unexpected. 

A strategy based on iteration and the result produced 🔎

An agile method is also a project management process based on iteration, experimentation, A/B testing... The primary objective is to deliver a high quality product as quickly as possible: in short, to guarantee customer satisfaction. To achieve this, the project team members must demonstrate creativity and rigor, communicate, share their experiences and trust each other to put all their resources to work on the project.

A desire for continuous improvement ✅

To be truly effective, agile methods must go beyond the strict dimension of the project. Indeed, agility is rooted in a desire for continuous improvement, both of individuals but also of the processes and strategies implemented. In short, the results, lessons learned and discoveries made during a project must be integrated by the members of the project team to support the next mission. The objective of this approach is to never break the emulation and the creation of value generated by the collective. Thus, employees progress and advance in their career and development objectives and the deliverables are always of better quality and delivered more quickly.

A caring and creative attitude 🎨

Finally, to ensure the implementation of an agile methodology within a project, it is essential that all participants in the project, both internal and external, demonstrate the right behavior. Firstly, to have a capacity of adaptation and anticipation to never let themselves be overwhelmed or surprised by the unforeseen / changing situation. Secondly, to be able to cooperate and enjoy working in a team to ensure virtuous collaboration and commitment to the project. Finally, to be deeply motivated by innovation and improvement: to be able to change perspective when necessary and to accept change.

How to set up an agile method?

Learning to work in project mode and becoming agile professionals takes time and resources. To engage and motivate your employees while achieving the best possible performance, it is important to put in place tools and processes that will support change management in your company. A first step will be to pool your resources and consolidate your vision of your company's skills. You will then be able to rely on this information to find, among your teams, the most relevant collaborators to intervene on a given project and be more reactive in the creation of your project team!

Napta can help you implement a project-based approach. Meet the challenges of agility!

Would you like to find out more? We've got plenty of resources to help you go further.

To complement this topic, read our white paper "The keys to an optimal assignment process".

See also our guides, templates and checklists in the Resources tab.

See you soon at Napta!

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