Many software development teams seem to be adopting or intending to adopt agile methodology. While there is no shortage of articles on best practices to implement this philosophy, every agile journey is different and so is every individual experience. Agile is a refreshing change from waterfall, but to avoid falling back into a waterfall mentality, management teams must invest the time, both upfront and continuously, to coach and transition teams to stay in agile mode.
When we shifted to agile at my organization, I was excited but concerned about where a project manager, like myself would fit into the picture. The primary roles in an agile environment – product owners, scrum masters and agile teams – don’t include a project manager, but I quickly learned the importance of my role. With everyone focused on their own granular responsibilities, I, as a project manager, needed to have the bird’s-eye view of the project to ensure that the collaboration and communication was occurring at the appropriate levels to avoid potential project level issues that could impact the overall timeline of a project.
My responsibilities did not change much once we transitioned to agile, it's likely other project managers will experience the same, but the lens in which I viewed my day to day tasks differed slightly. Here are takeaways I’ve gathered during my journey thus far:
With every experience I gain a greater appreciation for agile principles and values. With the ever-changing business needs and a fast-paced delivery environment, agile project management plays an important role in helping adopt an adaptable approach to project delivery. It helps us to deliver working products that produce value for our customers in short intervals of time and increase their trust in us on a regular basis.
Jaya Panchavati is a senior agile project manager at Sparta Systems, the leading provider of quality and regulatory management software solutions.
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