5 Agile Project Management Issues in an IT Manager’s Life

Agile Project Management among IT Project Managers is complex. Not only does it require quick adaptability but also faster deployment and alignment considering business or customer needs. Large and small companies, both locally and globally, are adopting an agile mindset.

Most IT organizations face road blocks due to their conventional project management practices. The Agile Project Management best practices smoothly resolve challenges faced by IT Managers.

Before we jump on the challenges, we need to learn why Agile Project Management has made its mark.

As we know, Agile is a software development-focused PM methodology that breaks down projects into phases. The software industry has been using Agile PM ideas for quite a while now. The best part about using Agile project management software is that it adapts to different types of projects. This is, especially because it focuses on responding to changes as they occur.

Let’s get a better understanding through a graphical representation –

Agile Project Management(Source:workamajig.com)

Agile Project Management best describes as-

  • Working software that trumps over documentation.
  • People and their experiences over systems and tools.
  • Adapting to change as opposed to following a concrete plan.
  • Customer collaboration over negotiations.

As rightly exemplified by Capterra— The most popular Project Management program is Microsoft Project, while the most popular Agile-specific tool is Atlassian Jira.

This also means that PMI was right in citing that nearly 71% of organizations report using Agile approaches.

Also, Smarter with Gartner cites that AI will automate 80% of regular agile tasks by 2030. If this estimate is true, we need to understand the possible challenges that lie ahead for the IT industry projects.

Some of the crucial agile project management tips are hidden in the hurdles themselves. Read on to boost 5X productivity as an IT Manager.

Agile Project Management Challenges faced by IT Managers

1. Gathering Requirements Precisely

As we know, the initial phase is a crucial one in the IT industry. Understanding the goals, scope of the project and expectations is vital. That being said, IT projects demand realistic solutions.

Beginning small and moving rapidly will reveal these systemic infrastructure issues. This will allow businesses to focus on removing certain obstacles over time while they follow agile methodologies.

IT leaders need to be more proactive about demonstrating the benefits of Agile working methodologies in the inception phase.

Providing appropriate training to resources can be helpful to the entire Project Management process. This can help IT professionals understand the reasoning behind the shift.

2. Using the Waterfall Methodology to Agile roll-out

Many IT teams tend to break the legacy of using Agile project processes within two-week sprints.

IT teams need to realize that Agile is not a new version of a waterfall. Rather, they’re two different methodologies. In short, a sequential project lifecycle on an iterative agile development process is what they think is counterproductive.

Waterfall projects assume and design the solution up-front before getting started. This is based on how the solution would look in its final outcome.

On the other hand, Agile projects focus on dealing with business challenges. There are no predetermined solutions here. In this case, each sprint is like a science experiment with an assumption or hypothesis.

You won’t know how the solution looks like to design it that way.  A successful sprint gives you a better understanding of how the results in the next sprint would look like.

A lot of organizations still follow waterfall development, assuming it to be a part of an agile framework. This misconception needs to be corrected, practiced separately, and not overlapped.

3. Stringent on Traditional methods

The Agile manifesto was created back in 2001 by a set of IT professionals. Agile Project Management differs quite a lot from Agile Manifesto.

The traditional business leaders are still accustomed to approving IT development projects based on a specific time frame and at a predetermined cost.

They’d fail to use Agile unless they manage to embrace the practices that exclude handling projects with defined functions, time frames, and costs.

Scrum is a part of agile methodology. Scrum uses user stories into backlogs and monitors how many of them can be solved in each sprint.

The end of each sprint aims to produce working software, but this software is either a minimum viable product (MVP) or a subset of the anticipated product.

Sprint backlog items can be visible with an exceptional scrum board. This can help keep a track of work planned, progressed, and completed.

Agile project management emphasizes working on sprint goals and provides a sense of accomplishment and achievement.

Scrum board encourages backlog management by avoiding multitasking. It also prevents overloading one single resource as everything is visible and traceable.

4. Lack of clarity around roles

Agile works best for complex or unknown solutions. This leads to confusion of undifferentiated roles due to Scrum processes, such as scrum master, agile team member, or product owner.

IT leaders should adapt project delivery approaches to each project’s specific characteristics. Formalizing specialized roles can help drive alignment for test plans, data, and tools.

There can be various categories like master or project manager based on how projects need attention.

5. Agile Project Burnout

Over committing early on a task while realizing the lack of team pace is lethal for any project. It’s natural for developers to overestimate their abilities before commencing a project. In a struggle to hit commitments, IT managers usually toil ending up with delays and defects.

To avoid this, IT leaders must hire a skilled Scrum master to warrant for agile teams to appropriately estimate their capabilities.

Time to try an Agile Project Management Software

Ben Wald, co-founder, and VP of Very said “With agile, testing becomes an essential component of each phase of the development process, with quality being ‘baked in’ at every stage.”

That means, with real-world conditions being unpredictable, continuous testing saves money, effort, and most importantly time.

Orangescrum has immensely helped IT companies with the power of the scrum board by using an agile approach during planning, stand up, and managing sprints.

It has helped several businesses identify bottlenecks, manage roadblocks and make an immediate course of correction with its simple yet user-friendly Agile Project Management Software.

Are you in for some agile ways of managing projects?  Get started!

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