Agile Project Management for Non-IT Project

Instead of a master plan with milestones, Agile focuses on smaller segments of work and continuous adaptation. Instead of a product manager, responsibilities are distributed among the team. Instead of waiting for the milestone to be delivered in a month or two, review and check daily the progress of small work packages. Overall, the goal is to get the project and the end product constantly moving forward.

For projects to be successful, it is essential to have a management methodology.

In addition to the traditional possibilities, it is highly recommended to resort to new options. Among them is the Agile project management.

Agile is not just about speed, but also about flexibility and integration. Therefore, Agile project management methods are adaptable to sudden changes in planning, such as changing priorities, postponing tasks and changing project characteristics as needed. 

In fact, Agile methodologies help teams to face unforeseen events considering a project through incremental deliveries and iterative cycles. They favor a project management process that encourages frequent inspection and adjustments.

The Agile method encourages team activities, recurring communication, self-organization, attention focused on the customer - internal or external - and the delivery of value. Ultimately, they are a gathering of valuable practices whose purpose is to deliver good quality goods quickly, taking a business approach that aligns the end product to the needs of the customers.

While Agile may have been created with software in mind, it offers a collaborative method of managing work that is applicable across a range of industries and project types. The key characteristic of Agile project management lies in its potential to deliver value at every phase while remaining flexible and open to change.

So how can we apply the Agile approach to non-software projects?

You can use the following key agile practices which stem from the agile manifesto in general and from the main agile frameworks in particular:

  • Create a list of priority work items. This can be achieved, for instance, by creating a WBS with various levels, in order to allow the breakdown of big tasks into smaller pieces, which are easily managed, prioritised and assigned among the team members.
  • Write tickets or short descriptions about the work to be done. This will allow you and your team members to agree on how to accomplish the work items mentioned in the list, set priorities, evaluate risks and dependencies.

  • Assign the task to the right resources and then monitor the progress through appropriate reporting, team collaboration and communication throughout the process through formal reviews or stand-ups meetings.
  • Since we first broke down the tasks into small packages of work, it is also important to set a short period (1 to 3 weeks) to deliver the work. This allows the project team to keep their focus and motivation. Delivering various and small increments of work in a month can bring more satisfaction than one big package.   
  • Hold a daily stand-up meeting where everyone on the team can check progress, discuss challenges, raise issues, concerns or blockers and find solutions. Daily stand-up meetings allow discussions to be concise, effective and to the point. 

  • Organize retrospective meetings when the sprint or the set period is completed to discuss what went well, what didn't, and what lessons have been learned.

These methodologies can help you improve integration, collaboration and communication among your team members, while reducing the negative impact of risks and changes.

Contact us

Francisco Esteves Pereira

Francisco Esteves Pereira

Project Management Specialist, PwC Poland

Tel: +48 519 506 073

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