How To Develop Agile Management Skills

Agile management is a value-driven approach to delivering projects in an iterative, incremental, and interactive manner. It focuses on achieving a certain goal while leaving room for flexibility and adaptation as conditions evolve. Traditional project management is more rigid, in that it determines a goal early on with little room for adjustment.

If you’re interested in moving towards a more agile and flexible approach, here are a few ways that you can develop your skills.

1. Plan

Making a detailed step-by-step plan based on a precise goal will help avoid unpleasant surprises for your employees and clients. Everyone should understand exactly what they are aiming to accomplish.

Planning out the entire project is key to developing a realistic process that favors gradual and versatile progress. It is easier to make deadlines for the upcoming week than for the upcoming months.

If the project keeps getting delayed, reconsider your organizational approach and priorities. Are the tasks being assigned to the most qualified employees? Are the materials such as being ordered on time? Are meetings being scheduled at the most optimal times? Should your communication tools be reviewed?

Finally, you’ll need to make your plan accessible. Everyone should be able to keep tabs on upcoming deadlines, coworkers’ schedules, inventory, and more.

2. Communicate

Make lists, take notes on the feedback you receive, and organize brainstorm sessions. If you’re aware of each stakeholder’s expectations, you can avoid misunderstandings down the road, and your clients will perceive you as reliable and trustworthy. Choose wisely: phone calls, emails, and meetings should all be part of your internal communications mosaic, but each of them should have a specific purpose.

Actively seeking feedback will help you significantly improve your products or projects. Taking time to review and share what worked well and what should be improved at every step will help you optimize your workflow moving forward.

It’s also essential to adopt a preventive approach, solving problems before they arise. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, after all! One of the best ways to accomplish this is to foster open communication, encouraging your employees to address issues honestly and investigate solutions. You never know where the next great idea will come from, and the more perspectives you have, the better!

3. Choose Your Tools

No matter the size of your team, you will need to choose and develop tools to help you manage your project successfully. It can be a weekly meeting, a white board in the office meant for organization, a management app, or a digital platform. The choice is yours – what matters is that you remain consistent!

It’s better to use a single program with add-ons and integrations than multiple platforms: toggling back and forth can create confusion and waste time. When choosing your tools, make sure they are built for easy collaboration, file sharing, progress tracking, and commenting back and forth among colleagues.

4. Don’t Aim For Perfection

Don’t wait until your product or service is perfect before putting it on the market. Agile management is all about the 75% solution! Open your shop, start your business, sell your product. This will allow you to collect customer feedback and make well-informed improvements with your next iteration. 

5. Delegate

Knowing your employees and their strengths is a must. That way, you can assign more responsibilities to the right people and delegate tasks based on their skills. If one of your employees always gets to work early, maybe they can help the assistant manager create next week’s timetable. Everyone has unique expertise to bring to the table, and eventually help you build an even stronger team.

6. Motivate Your Team

Taking your employees’ well-being into account and organizing engaging activities off-hours will build a more empowered and connected team. In turn, by creating a comfortable and collaborative environment, your team members will be more likely to share their ideas and pitch in when they have something to say.

7. Never Stop Learning

Be a lifelong learner! Attending seminars, taking online courses, and participating in workshops can help you enhance your existing skillset, and ensure you bring your best self to the table every day.

As you continue to build on your expertise, it’s also important to share your knowledge. Coworkers can benefit from exploring each other’s strengths and skills.

To further develop your agile management skills and competencies, PMC offers a number of unique and in-depth agile project management trainings.

These courses cover a wide range of Agile practices, tools, and techniques, including Agile Introduction, Scrum, Lean, Kanban, XP, SAFe®, prioritization, planning, estimating, and coaching.

Interesting Related Article: “What is Management?