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Nikita Ignatiev
Nikita Ignatiev

Agile Project Management QuickStart Guide: A Simplified Beginners Guide To Agile Project Management



While we are presenting these in an ordered list of steps, you might not take on all of them for each project. Or your personal workflow might reorder some. Even omit them completely. We want this to be a general guide so that you can see what project management really is. Outside of a few (such as numbers 1 and 7), you can really treat these as a bullet list of elements to consider when working on a project.




Agile Project Management QuickStart Guide: A Simplified Beginners Guide To Agile Project Management



The first part of nearly any project management job is figuring out what the scope of the project is going to be. This particular stage is different for everyone, but the overall outcome should be that you and your client (or boss) are on the same page for goals and overall budget, that you have a full list of features and requirements at your disposal, and with those in hand, come up with a plan to avoid as many potential pitfalls and challenges as possible.


With these in mind, you can organize the project into Trello, Asana, or another project management app or plugin. You can also work the project into an organizational method like Agile or Scrum at this point. Broken down the right way, with the right team, the right tools, and the right methodology, you can basically hand out tasks like a poker dealer in a casino.


Project management is a tough gig. You have to be organized and proactive, making sure that every last detail is accounted for (ideally before you even begin work). However, going in with a game plan and a working knowledge of various tools and methodologies, as well as a feel for putting together the right team who can collaborate and use their skills to compliment one another will absolutely take your project from start to finish along the best path.


In Project Management QuickStart Guide, author, speaker, trainer, and project management expert Chris Croft draws on his 30+ years of experience to deliver a comprehensive guide for would-be project managers, experienced project planners, and everyone in between.


My mission ever since has been focused not so much on adding to my project management knowledge, but on gathering it all up and cutting it back, leaving only the stuff that matters most. Only the stuff that works.


So when I was approached to write a book on project management, I was thrilled. It has been on my bucket list for years, but I am so busy running training programs or visiting clients and helping them to master project management that taking the time out to write a book has always gotten bumped off the priority list. Until now.


Chapter 1, What Is a Project? is intended to give the reader a clearer understanding of exactly what a project is, making the distinction between projects and processes. All projects share three characteristics: they have a finish line, they aim to deliver change or something new, and they contain benefits that are reaped in the future. Chapter 1 clarifies when project management is essential: when there are more than ten tasks, when the project involves more than three people, or when the project will take longer than three weeks to complete. If any of these three is true, a proven project management process is essential.


Chapter 3, Define the Project (Step 1), is the start of my 12-step project management process. Projects are usually defined in the first kick-off meeting, where stakeholders (usually customer or boss) will explain what they want, by when, and for what budget.


Chapter 8, Gantt Charts (Step 6), is the heart of the book and outlines why the organizational tools called Gantt charts are so useful for project managers. Not only do they take project visualization to a whole new level, but they also improve communication and allow for better resource planning, efficient progress monitoring, and improved financial management. This chapter shows you how to make quick and easy Gantt charts that will then direct your plan.


Chapter 18, Managing a Project Manager, looks at what happens when you become so great at project management that you are asked to manage other project managers. The most important four words you can utter are bring me the plan. By asking for the plan, you can immediately gauge where that project manager is and therefore the likely outcome of the project. More important, you still have the time to support or coach that project manager should the plan be nonexistent or not up to scratch. This chapter also explores some other great questions to ask your project manager.


Finally, chapter 19, Careers in Project Management, explores the options should you want to take project management further. This book is dedicated to those who are called on to manage projects from time to time as part of their everyday workload. More than likely, project manager is not part of your job title. But the 12-step process may inspire you to change that! This chapter covers the various project management qualifications, helping you to decide which ones are worth the effort.


But for the most part, projects have a very specific life span. They come into existence to deliver a specific outcome within a certain budget, ideally by a particular date. This is the exciting part of projects. The fact that there is a deadline with set deliverables that must be achieved means that projects, while challenging, can be the most interesting and engaging part of any management career.


Because a project is a collection of tasks designed to bring about change, it can also cause discomfort, because we are asking ourselves or others to do or learn something new in order to bring about that change. Say you are tasked with installing a new customer relationship management (CRM) software system in your business; the software is going live on a set date and your job is to make sure the installation goes well, to ensure that everyone who will use it is given the necessary training, and to monitor the transition from the old system to the new. The people currently using the old system are probably quite happy with the process they have already learned and are using on a daily basis. They might not be thrilled about the new system because it calls for a change in their behavior. And that often feels like hard work.


While there are many benefits to adopting Agile project development, transitioning to a new project management methodology can be challenging. The 2020 State of Agile report found that the most common setbacks companies face when adopting and scaling Agile project management techniques are:


Agile project management tools are any tools used to manage and execute an Agile project. In the most basic form, a whiteboard and sticky notes could be considered Agile management tools. The key difference between Agile tools and other project management tools is their ability to handle Agile frameworks, such as Kanban and Scrum.


The best Agile software will help your team embrace the key pillars and values of Agile. This means your Agile management software should increase visibility, communication, and collaboration among team members and stakeholders. It should also be versatile enough to change the requirements of your project as needed.


With the number of projects increasing, your Agile project management tools should be able to handle the overall project portfolio. It should allow project managers to jump into different projects seamlessly based on their needs.


The sprint details of your plan should be put into your Agile project management tool. If your software comes with templates, you may be able to use a blank Agile template or a sample Agile project plan to create your new project plan.


Traditional project management approaches like the Waterfall model are linear, meaning all the phases of a process occur in sequence. The sequence can be like this: initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closure.


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