Agile management is a set of principles that are used to help you manage projects and teams. While it is commonly misinterpreted as a bunch of magic tricks managers follow without understanding their true value, what Agile really offers is a list of core values and guidelines that have been proven to enhance both the team's performance and accountability.
Conquer Agile management and live to tell the tale
It is easier than you might think
Why Agile management?
So, what are those guidelines?
There are a few things you need to bare in mind when practicing Agile.
Goals should be defined per project and not per team. Agile teams should not focus on their domain, but rather on the success of their project.
Everyone on your team should feel motivated about their part of the project. Create an environment that gives them a sense of ownership and trust to achieve their goals.
Agile workflow welcomes change. Change doesn't mean you planned poorly, it just means you are always working on what's really important.
Use Agile software that improves data transparency to easily share plans and goals between teams.
Where do I start?
First things first, we need to understand the key parts of Agile. You'll need a backlog.
What's a backlog, you say?
Got a list of problems reported by clients? Have a bunch of features you're dying to start implementing? Those small improvements your co-worker is bugging you for weeks to fix? They all need to go into one backlog list. The backlog is where the high level plan meets the ground. It tells the story of your project. You have to keep it prioritized. Put the items with the biggest impact on your product at the top to make sure they are the next to be tackled.
Plan. All the time.
Plans are worthless, but planning is everything(Dwight D. Eisenhower)
Planning is the most important part of Agile management. It sets the beat for the team. It identifies short-term goals that are essential to achieve in order for the project to succeed.
In Agile Scrum, sprint planning means defining a timeframe and the tasks to be completed in that time. Tasks should be estimated by their complexity, and the total time estimation of those tasks should match the plan timeframe.
Set high, but feasible goals. Easy goals reduce the challenge and the team's will to improve. Goals that are set too high make your plan unrealistic for your team and hurts their engagement.
You need software that is both powerful and robust to support constantly changing plans.
Stay on top of your team's status
The key to good Agile management is staying on top of the team's status. The faster you know things, the quicker you can act. If you see your team is not going to complete its tasks on time, you need to adjust your future plan. If they are ahead of schedule, you need to find out what the next tasks are and to make sure those tasks are well-defined.
It is key to find tools and tricks to make it easy to see the status of your project at a glance.
Empower your team
The strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.(Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book)
Your team is made up of individuals. If you want them to deliver, they must feel valued and recognized. Make sure to celebrate good work, so it won't go unnoticed.