Agile Project Management
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Many software development projects last anywhere from three to six months. However, some initiatives take a few years to successfully complete. Managing these long-term undertakings requires a deft hand, especially when following the Agile methodology. Keeping the project team inspired, engaged, and productive throughout a long venture takes a well-reasoned approach.

What follows are a few tips for successfully managing a long-term Agile project. These concepts also apply to projects using a different development methodology. Leverage these insights to ensure your team maintains its productivity level throughout the entire effort.

Three Ways to Improve Your Management of Long-term Projects

Planning Becomes Even More Critical With Long-Term Projects

Any longer software project requires significant planning before the effort begins. The Agile methodology offers no exception to this concept. Ultimately, creating a roadmap that details the entire effort at a high-level becomes critical. The key for managers is keeping the daily details of a project synced with this higher-level view.

As part of this roadmap, break the project’s timeline into smaller time periods. Three month segments work well for most initiatives. The project manager then needs to meet with the tech leads and business stakeholders to plan each period. Once the deliverables are identified, try to estimate the amount of time and resources required for the effort. Of course, establishing the project’s critical path remains an important part of this process.

Agile Projects Require Periodic Releases

Of course, a hallmark of the Agile methodology involves releasing software at the end of each period. Using shorter release timelines, known as sprints, within a period provides a useful option. High-level planning for these releases needs to happen at the beginning of the project.

However, these dates need to be flexible as things change in the middle of the effort. As such, consider planning each sprint for the upcoming period when the previous period nears completion. This approach builds flexibility into the overall timeline.

Validate Your Planning With the Entire Project Team

Any successful software development effort requires being open with the entire project team. So be sure to validate the planning for each period and sprint with everyone. This effort ensures the overall scope and timelines are accurate and achievable.

One of the benefits of Agile is its flexibility. The right planning ensures managers are able to take advantage of this inherent adaptability on multi-year projects.

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