Project Management in an Agile World

Agile not only requires project teams to operate differently, it also demands that project managers apply new leadership techniques. Traditionally managed projects (waterfall) are typically governed by a top down management approach. Agile, however, puts the power in the hands of the team and its members. It assumes that the individuals who “do the work” have the best knowledge of how to get the work done.

After the Manifesto for Agile Software development was written in 2001, the declaration was later generalized in 2005 to include other forms of management. It identified six key principles as essential to project management under the Agile framework. The generalized declaration, entitled the “Project Management Declaration of Interdependence”, is quoted below.

“We are a community of project leaders that are highly successful at delivering results. To achieve these results:
- We increase return on investment by making continuous flow of value our focus.
- We deliver reliable results by engaging customers in frequent interactions and shared ownership.
- We expect uncertainty and manage for it through iterations, anticipation, and adaptation.
- We unleash creativity and innovation by recognizing that individuals are the ultimate source of value, and creating an environment where they can make a difference.
- We boost performance through group accountability for results and shared responsibility for team effectiveness.
- We improve effectiveness and reliability through situationally specific strategies, processes and practices.”

(©2005 David Anderson, Sanjiv Augustine, Christopher Avery, Alistair Cockburn, Mike Cohn, Doug DeCarlo, Donna Fitzgerald, Jim Highsmith, Ole Jepsen, Lowell Lindstrom, Todd Little, Kent McDonald, Pollyanna Pixton, Preston Smith and Robert Wysocki.)

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