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31 Oct

3 Features of Agile Project Management: An Introduction

Agile project management is a holistic, customer-focused framework that has developed over the years as an alternative to traditional project management in software development. Here are three basic features of the agile framework.

In one popular variant of agile project management, the project is carried out in collaborative, cohesive teams called scrums. These teams meet in iterations to address a particular part of the project. (Scrum is also used without an accompanying article to describe the project development process.) 

The collaborative aspect of the scrum team cannot be overemphasized: Each team member enters into a scrum with the understanding that he or she respects and trusts the other members to participate in the ongoing process of inspection and adaptation of each other's work. Each member is committed to the fact that every person on the team is an expert, has the ability to complete the work, and is willing to give and receive feedback throughout the project.

The time-frame in which the scrums meet to address a segment of the project is called a sprint. Sprints are iterations or recurring time-blocks that last two-to-four weeks. Their length is determined by the amount of items on the feature list that have been selected beforehand.

The product backlog is the feature list or to-do list that the scrum team "takes on" during the sprint. It consists of user stories -- narratives of two-to-three-sentences -- that describe functions which the customer needs to have completed. The list of features at the top of the backlog that will be addressed during the sprint have already been selected, and are reviewed and revised collectively throughout the sprint. When all of the selected features at the top of the backlog have been completed, that part of the project is "done" and the sprint successfully ends.

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