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What makes Agile Project Management different?

Agile Project Management, abbreviated to APM, originates from the principles of the agile software development method known as DSDM: Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM).

As such, it was born as a methodology intended for - and principally used in - Information Technology (IT) companies and other complex industries such as engineering. Over time, however, the increasing popularity of the approach has seen its application expand to virtually any type of new product or service development project, regardless of whether it falls at more technical end of the spectrum or the more creative. Today, Agile is a valuable tool for project management and is a key part of many project management training programmes around the world, including the UAE, one of the world's leading oil and gas industry hubs. 

The Agile Project Team

Another key aspect of APM regards the project team and the way in which the many responsibilities associated with managing a project are divided. While traditional project management approaches tend to assign most, if not all, duties related to cost, scope, personnel, quality, reporting and risk to the project manager, the Agile methodology spreads these across at least 3 main roles:

  • Product Owner: responsible for setting project goals, determining priorities for product features, managing the balance between schedule vs. scope and adapting to changing requirements. Plays a key role in managing relationships between the customers, business stakeholders and the development team.
  • Scrum Master: responsible for guiding the project team in terms of the prioritisation of tasks and removing obstacles to the completion of project tasks.
  • Team Members: operationally responsible for creating the project. Traditionally includes programmers, designers, testers, writers and any other individuals with a hands.on product development role.

In some cases, the team will also include an Agile mentor: someone with considerable experience leading agile projects who can share know-how and give valuable feedback to project teams in order to enhance quality & performance.

Agile Certification

In a similar way to PRINCE2, certification in Agile Project Management exists at two different levels: Foundation and Practitioner. The Foundation programme instructs users in the core principles of Agile and its benefits, while the Practitioner programme builds on this knowledge and provides the skills needed to apply Agile principles in a day-to-day project management environment.

Regardless of the particular organisational context that you work in, the demand for an agile approach to project management is on the rise. Professional training in agile methodologies can thus be highly valuable for your future career, providing you with a more diverse project management skillset and greater overall breadth as a project professional. Agile professionals may also be interested in Scrum courses for their structured, team approach to software development.

Agile courses are available for those starting out in the industry as well as for the professional looking to stay abreast of the latest developments.

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