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Agile and Project Management Templates

June 23 2008

Project Management Templates – Agile

There is a whirlwind happening in the project management industry and it’s called “Agile”. While the core principles of project management remain unchanged, what is changing is the way you manage projects ‘day-to-day’. To help you learn more, your should begin using Project Management Templates and read here about…

Delivering Projects using Agile Methods

There are tons of ways of delivering projects and one of them is using an “Agile” approach. To show you how agile can change your project life, we’ve listed here 3 examples of the agile approach. They suit projects of any type, size or industry:

Sprints

Have you ever been involved in a project that has so many deliverables and such short a timeframe, that it all gets “overwhelming”. Well using ‘sprints’ in your project management templates you can cut through this. Basically, you break down all of the tasks that a team has to deliver, into 2 week groups. These 2 week periods are called “sprints” (Note: You can have sprints of any duration, but we recommend 2 week sprints).

At the start of each sprint, you get together as a team and set yourself goals for what you’re going to achieve over that 2 week period. Then you “sprint to the finish”. In this way, your team only have to think about what they need to complete in the next 2 weeks, so the weight of the entire project is lifted off their shoulders. And the best thing is that if they achieve their goals at the end of the sprint, you can recognize and reward them for it.

Sprint Meetings

To help your team keep focused during the sprint, you hold daily meetings. Urgh—daily meetings! Actually, if your team meet every day, first thing in the morning just to talk about what it is that they will achieve that day, then the team become incredibly focused. If the meetings only run for 15 minutes, then it boost communication and helps build a sense of accomplishment. It will reduce politics and increase efficiency, as everyone knows exactly what they have to do that day. Let your team take ownership of the meetings, you’re just there to focus them if they go off track. Track these meetings within your project management software.

Sprint Reviews

At the end of each sprint, the team leaders should meet to review the outcome of the sprint. They should then present to you for 30 minutes, telling you whether their have achieved their sprint goals, where they succeeded and where they failed. They will tell you what the lessons were that they have learned and how they are going to use those lessons to improve their own performance in the next sprint.

If you break the project down into sprints and use the above methods to deliver your project, then you will find that the team will “run themselves”. They will be responsible for managing their own progress, reviewing their performance and improving their actions. You are then treated like a customer, allowing you to oversee the project “at a helicopter level”, reducing your stress and improving your chances of success.

You can create your own “sprint” project management templates using MPMM Professional. This will allow you to manage time, cost and quality while your team use sprints to keep the project on track. You can also use it for Project Management Consulting.