During turbulent times, project management requirements are often changing on a daily basis. How can you manage in such an environment? New technology, competitive pressures, budget constraints, teams/reporting relationships that are constantly changing and shifts in demand are among the factors that push projects into a state of constant flux. Even the performance metrics are constantly shifting!

project management animation

Traditional project management techniques were based in world that was more static. Market conditions were relatively stable; requirements stayed static, and detailed specs could be outlined with confidence. The standard approach to project management was depicted by a waterfall, which mapped out a distinct project plan, sequential phases, with each new phase beginning only when the prior phase has been completed, and with team members working in a linear fashion towards a set end goal. 

What Is Agile Project Management?

Agile Project Management is a technique that evolved to address a constant flow of new and changing requisites. This method focuses on four major principles: A focus on Individuals and Interactions over Processes and Tools; Working Software over Comprehensive Documentation; Customer Collaboration Over Contract Negotiation; and Responsiveness to Change over Following a Plan. In the era of digital transformation, with many companies migrating to a digital workplace, Agile is a perfect fit for organizations looking to transform how they manage projects and operate as a whole.

Agile can help ensure company-wide process and methodological alignment. In terms of business benefits, both the digital workplace and Agile provide increased flexibility, productivity and transparency, higher quality deliverables and decreased risk of missed objectives. 

Does Agile Always Work?

Agile may not work as intended if a customer is not clear on goals, the project manager or team is inexperienced, or if they do not function well under significant pressure. Throughout the development process, Agile favors the developers, project teams and customer goals, but not necessarily the end user's experience. Due to its less formal and more flexible processes, Agile may not always be easily absorbed within larger more traditional organizations where there are significant amounts of rigidity or flexibility within processes, policies, or teams. It may also face problems being used with customers who similarly have rigid processes or operating methods. However, the list of companies successfully using Agile Project Management now includes firms as diverse as Apple, Google, IBM, Microsoft, P&G, Amazon and Spotify.

Learn How To Make Agile Project Management Work For Your Organization

Vistex Institute for Executive Learning and Research

This content is part of the Executive Education Certificate Program, Agile Project Management, presented by Lehigh University. John Juzbasich, the instructor, has taught scores of custom and open programs on Project Management, based on his successful career at IBM and a variety of high technology firms. There are seats available for this online program, which starts February 23. For more information on the course please complete the form below or click here.

Special Offer

As part of the Agile Project Management program, we are offering firms who send a group of five or more participants a unique opportunity. We will conduct a follow up session for each group from one firm within two months of the program completion to provide an assessment of the implementation plan developed by the group, with feedback on possible bottlenecks and areas for improvement. Act now, before the class is full.

For more information on the course please complete the form below.

Alison Peirce

Alison McGrath Peirce

Alison Peirce is the executive director for the Vistex Institute for Executive Learning and Research at Lehigh Business.