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Why Be Agile: Main Metrics, Most Used Tools, Agile Planning

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Why Be Agile: Main Metrics, Most Used Tools, Agile Planning

Why should businesses and startups care about PM? Why be Agile? Read about main metrics, Key Performance Indicators, and most used project management tools.

· Agile Zone ·
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It’s quite difficult to imagine a modern IT company without a project manager. It is rather an important role, which includes the application of methods, skills, processes, and experience to achieve the project goals and meet the client’s needs and requirements. As Martin Barnes, the former president of the Association for Project Management said, “At its most fundamental, project management is about people getting things done”.

Why Should Businesses/Startups Care About PM?

Both big companies and startups need efficient project management. In fact, the main value of project management lies in the fact that it ensures the appropriate allocation of resources so that a project is completed effectively. Besides, project management is what gives cohesiveness to the process of software development. Meanwhile, the role of a project manager also includes making sure that the project falls within the established budget and will be completed within the deadlines.

Scope assessment is also what falls under the PM’s responsibility. Furthermore, effective project management is what gives a business a competitive advantage. With the help of agile planning, a project manager and SCRUM master break the project into smaller sections; also he or she provides timetables and metrics that will help to measure the project’s success.

Why Be Agile?

In the modern world, most project managers and scrum masters use the Agile methodology of project management and software development. So, what are the reasons for being Agile?

  1. Agile is about quality. Since testing is integrated throughout the project’s lifecycle, it enables regular inspection of the product’s quality.

  2. Agile planning is what makes risk management more effective. Thanks to small releases step by step, which are visible to the client, it’s possible to identify any issues and risks as early as possible and solve them.

  3. The last major advantage of Agile methodologies is the fact that it brings flexibility to the project so that changes at any stage of the project development are acceptable.

Main Metrics and Key Performance Indicators

Although Agile is a flexible approach to software development, it still requires planning and reporting. That is why any company that works according to the Agile methodology needs an agile metrics dashboard. 

There are numerous types of agile metrics. One is a sprint burndown report, which is used to track task completion at different stages of project development. The second most common agile metrics is release breakdown. The main feature of this tool is that it focuses on a bigger picture than the sprint breakdown model. The third most commonly used agile metric is velocity, which measures the average amount of work a team does during a sprint. Some other metrics include a control chart, work item age, failed deployments, and many others.

Calendar with post-it notes. Photo Credit: Daria Nepriakhina on Unspash

Most Used PM Tools

In order to manage either small or large projects, a project manager needs tools that help them to manage and supervise the team. So, what are the three most popular tools for agile project management? And what are their advantages and disadvantages?

  • Basecamp - a software, which offers several different collaboration features such as a discussion area where team members leave their comments. A project manager automatically receives daily reports about project progress. One of the Basecamp advantages is its simplicity and ease of use. However, Basecamp has some security issues with storing data on the cloud.
  • JIRA Atlassian - a tool that is used mostly by Agile software development teams. The teams can create Kanban and Scrum boards on JIRA.

“They can also track bugs, view important features, and monitor them. An undoubtedly great advantage of JIRA is that it creates a roadmap of the whole project and allows to track how all tasks are interrelated. However, despite the fact that JIRA is so much loved by developers, it has some significant drawbacks such as an inconvenient mobile version”, - shares CEO of GTM Plus Nelia Kovbasa as the user of JIRA Atlassian for managing software development teams.

  • Trello - an online tool that makes it possible for the team members to move the cards around the board. In short, Trello visualizes the whole project in one board. This project management tool works perfectly on both platforms - mobile and web. However, it is difficult to handle big projects in Trello because it is more suitable for smaller teams.

Conclusion

Being an essential part of project development, project management is what helps to unite the whole team around the project and to control its progress. Agile planning is now the most important element of project management because it allows making any changes in the project during the development process and allows being flexible.

Topics:
agile basics, agile methodology, jira, project management, project management tools

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