Agile project management definition\n\nAgile project management is a methodology used primarily in software development that favors flexibility and collaboration, incorporating customer feedback throughout the project life cycle. The methodology takes an iterative approach to development, breaking down work into small, manageable cycles called \u201csprints\u201d to focus on continuous improvement in the development of a product or service.\n\nIn addition to emphasizing iterative development, in which each sprint results in a potentially shippable increment, agile project management incorporates cross-functional teams who work closely with stakeholders in a process that allows for adjustments as requirements evolve and formalizes feedback loops at the end of each sprint.\n\nAgile project management vs. traditional project management\n\nAgile project management differs from traditional project management, often called waterfall, in a number of ways. Whereas waterfall follows a more rigid, linear approach in which requirements are gathered up front, agile project management\u2019s emphasis on iterative development allows for adaptability and flexibility along the way. Agile\u2019s sprint methodology also differs from traditional project management, which typically advances in distinct phases, from requirements gathering to implementation to deployment.\n\nAgile\u2019s approach to customer feedback also affords more continuous collaboration with stakeholders to better align deliverables to end-user needs. Whereas waterfall typically divides team members into siloed roles, agile project management is cross-functional with team members often taking on more than one distinct role. Although agile does value documentation, it is not as heavily emphasized as it is in traditional project management, for which documentation is often very detailed and assembled in advance.\n\nCompared to traditional project management, agile provides project teams, sponsors, project leaders, and customers many project-specific benefits, including:\n\nWhen to use agile project management\n\nAs with any other methodology, however, agile is not well-suited for every project, and sufficient due diligence is always recommended to identify the best methodology for each unique situation. Agile project management is most effective when a project\u2019s requirements are not fully discernible from the outset or are likely to evolve over the project\u2019s duration. It is also a good fit when regular feedback is necessary or would be beneficial for aligning deliverables to customer needs. Agile project management is also a strong choice when time-to-market is essential or when dealing with projects of high complexity, as agile\u2019s cross-functional, iterative approach enables teams to deliver solutions quicker while addressing issues as they arise.\n\nAgile 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\u2019s 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, or on projects subject to strict regulation and documentation, those with fixed contracts and scope, or environments in which stakeholder feedback is unavailable or feedback participation is likely to meet resistance.\n\nThe benefits of agile\n\nAgile was originally developed for the software industry to streamline and improve the development process in an effort to rapidly identify and adjust for issues and defects. It provides a way for developers and teams to deliver a better product, in a faster manner, through short, iterative, interactive sessions\/sprints. 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:\n\nAgile project management principles\n\nThere are 12 key principles that still guide agile project management today:\n\nOrganizational hurdles to adopting agile\n\nOrganizations looking to adopt agile for project management my encounter any of a number of common hurdles, such as the following:\n\nFor a deeper look at how to make the shift, see \u201cAgile project management: 16 tips for a smooth switch to agile.\u201d\n\nFor insights into how organizations go wrong with agile, see \u201c7 simple ways to fail at agile\u201d and \u201c5 misconceptions CIOs still have about agile.\u201d\n\nPopular agile methodologies\n\nWithin agile there are some frequently used or popular methods, with Scrum, Kanban, and Lean being the most popular. Some agile methods include:\n\nTo find out which methodology is right for your project or organization, see \u201cComparing agile project management frameworks.\u201d\n\nCombining agile with other methodologies\n\nThe opportunity exists to combine agile with other methodologies such as waterfall to create a hybrid solution. Companies sometimes use waterfall to handle one or more phases \u2014 such as planning \u2014 where these do not require rapid or repetitive steps. Planning in particular requires a more comprehensive, methodical, often slower approach to defining, analyzing, and documenting aspects of a project. This makes waterfall a better approach. Once a project enters the development phase, rapid and repetitive changes require a different approach and this is where agile kicks in to deliver the best results in the shortest amount of time.\n\nThis hybrid approach aids in making agile even more adaptable within various industries or to suit the more unique nature of a project, product, or service. Again, due diligence is required to determine the suitability and capacity of the different methods and processes available.\n\nAgile project management and Scrum\n\nScrum is a powerful framework for implementing agile processes in software development and other projects. This highly adopted framework utilizes short iterations of work, called sprints, and daily meetings, called scrums, to tackle discrete portions of a project in succession until the project as a whole is complete. There are three key roles within Scrum: the Scrum master, product owner, and Scrum team members:\n\nAgile project management tools, templates and resources\n\nThere are also many templates available from companies like Microsoft that project managers can use rather than re-creating the wheel. Here are just a few among several others available from Microsoft: \n\nAgile project management software vendors also typically have built-in agile templates in their software.\n\nAgile project management software\n\nCompanies using agile are likely to leverage software geared to agile development in order to get the full benefits of this methodology. Here are just some of the agile solutions available:\n\nFor a deeper look at agile project management software options, see \u201cTop 11 agile tools for project management.\u201d\n\nKey agile skills\n\nThere are six key agile project management skills or attributes that all project managers should have:\n\nAgile project management certification and training\n\nAs agile methodology picks up speed, so does the demand for professionals with agile knowledge and experience. Here are the most popular agile-focused certs for benchmarking your knowledge.\n\nFor a more in-depth look at these certs, see \u201cTop 16 agile certifications available today.\u201d\n\nThe future of agile\n\nAs competition is continually increasing and time to market is also shrinking, agile offers numerous benefits and limited drawbacks. As more companies make the shift to a digital workplace that is highly dependent on speed, flexibility and increased productivity, agile or hybrid methodologies will become increasingly necessary. Its application in multiple industries and alignment with the benefits offered by a digital workplace model, indicate that agile adoption rates will continue to increase across industries around the world.