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Agile Project Management Goals
By Patrick Merg

Agile Project Management is growing in popularity as a method to more tightly involve the customer in the process of delivering a software product. Agile project management processes are a way to remove waste from all levels of product development and deliver value at a reduced cost.

The goals I had when introducing Agile were: fast development, customer involvement, frequent feedback, and reduced waste/cost.

  • Fast development: Achieved by delivering focused/concise user reviewed and approved user stories written in natural language thus reducing rework and waste. Overlapping and concurrent sprints with defined teams doing specialized work keeps the development team pipeline full. It also keeps the customer involvement very high.
  • Customer involvement: Customer involvement is key to Agile, without frequent customer interaction the value gained by constant customer inspection and validation is lost.

  • Frequent feedback: An important agile process is short development cycles (three week iterations) with a demonstrable build at the end of each iteration. These builds are used to demonstrate functionality to the customer for approval or rejection. It’s much easier to change a three week cycle than a nine month development effort.

  • Reduced waste/cost: The agile process reduces cost and waste at many different levels. An important part of Agile is the frequent prioritization of user requirements to make sure the development team only focuses on what will be valuable to the customer. Prioritizing requirements results in a product that has immediate value without the clutter. Long term the result is lower product complexity and support costs.

Patrick Merg is a determined, results-oriented management professional that creates, sells, and delivers high-value, innovative business software solutions. He utilizes leadership, communication and interpersonal skills to build high performing agile software development teams that meet and exceed goals. Patrick has a strong background in agile project management, leading software engineering teams and innovative product development. He runs a blog on Agile Project Management, which can be found at: http://patmerg.blogspot.com/

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