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What is Agile Project Management?

June 17, 2020 in Projects 101

Agile is a buzzword if ever there was one. From workplace coffee stations to the Twitter feeds of startup leaders, people are talking about agile teams and agile project management.

If you think you’re imagining things, you should know that over 70% of organizations have adopted “agile” methodologies, and there’s evidence that it boosts the speed of projects to market – which is a big part of its widespread adoption. But what does it really mean to be agile? Let’s take a closer look.

Planning for unpredictability

The key ideology behind agile project management is that the only certainty is uncertainty. It aims to embrace this head-on by building a team that produces work quickly, analyzes results and adapts to change just as efficiently. In the world of digital project management, this is often more than just a methodology choice; it’s a necessity. This is especially true if you work in an industry that evolves constantly or on a project that tracks something in real time.

Though it can seem like working in a constant state of flux, agile planning requires teams to strengthen their time management skills and collaborate seamlessly, and that’s something that almost anyone in digital project management can get behind.

Releases and sprints

In the world of agile planning, projects will consist mostly of releases and sprints. If that sounds to you like the start of a crossfit session, you’re almost right. A release is the culmination of a new item, either from scratch or a new iteration of an existing one.

Getting to the release involves something called sprints – usually several within each release – which have a fixed length. This could be anything from a few days to a few weeks, depending on your schedule and the nature of your project. Each sprint will have a series of tasks for your team to work through. The logic behind these sprints is that, when tackled repeatedly, they give your team a sense of what they’re capable of, how many tasks they can complete, what challenges come up and how effectively the process is working.

In an environment that moves as quickly as an agile one, daily briefs are a necessity. Many organizations refer to these as “standups,” because they’re literally delivered while standing up, to maximize brevity, often lasting only as long as 15 minutes. This is a key stage to check in with your team, gauge what they’re planning for the day or week and learn about what they anticipate might impede their progress.

Of courses, this also needs to be supplemented by task management software, so you can track your team’s progress and status updates digitally too, which brings us to our next point.

How task management software can help your agile planning

When you need to be quick, organized and nimble, there’s no time to waste hunting down internal documents or waiting on updates from other team members. For this reason, a key tool when it comes to agile planning in digital project management is task management software.

Having a system that centralizes team members’ tasks, workflows and allows your team to share information and status updates is crucial. As your project evolves, it’s also helpful to have a task management software program that lets you create and make changes to custom phases on a per-project basis. That way you can make adjustments on the fly, adding or adapting project phases as needed. This is just one of TaskBranch’s unique digital project management features.

Ultimately, there are plenty of digital project management methodologies to choose from, with agile only being one of them – albeit a popular and effective one. The methodology you choose depends heavily on your team, resources and the nature of your project.

Ready to see how TaskBranch can help your team adopt an agile methodology? Start your free trial today.

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TaskBranch is a cloud-based project management suite that makes it easy for digital teams to manage multi-phase projects in one place.