Agile methods have made a significant contribution to project management in recent years, reflecting the changes in business nature. They introduce a more structured and effective way to manage complex projects or product development. Several frameworks are available to implement Agile methods. Experienced practitioners, however, are key to successful project delivery.
What is an Agile Practitioner?
An agile practitioner is someone who is actively engaged in practicing agile techniques at an organization. For project delivery, they could be using any of the different Agile frameworks, such as Scrum or Kanban.
They use their skills and experience to develop an agile mindset within that organization, contributing to the creation and successful delivery of agile projects.
What Defines A Good Agile Practitioner?
Just reading up on or studying agile techniques or frameworks does not make someone an instant good agile practitioner. Proper agile training, experience, and the right mindset all help.
A good agile practitioner will work in a very structured way, breaking down large pieces of work or project tasks into smaller pieces. These are essential for creating the items, or tasks, that are delivered in an agile project.
They will also understand the importance of incremental and iterative work. Agile projects proceed this way. Projects often start with just some of the required information or requirements and an expectation that this could change. The ability to adapt to change, and manage this, is essential. Practitioners should believe in continuous improvement, realizing that processes and products can be improved.
Importance of Teamwork
Agile projects are all about teamwork, and a good agile practitioner will excel in this. Projects need to be completed iteratively by team members working on different parts.
A good agile practitioner will see the value of teamwork. This comes not just from parallel delivery of workloads, but also through shared ideas and thinking. Frameworks that implement agile methods, such as Scrum, are based on good team communication and collaborative reviews of work completed and the next steps in project delivery.
Training For Agile Practitioners
There is plenty of good training available to help develop an agile practitioner. Taken alongside project experience using agile methods, this is the best way to improve skills.
The Professional Agile Leadership essentials (PAL-E) course gives a good introduction to Agile methods and transformations, and the benefits this can bring to businesses.
To go further into the detail of agile methods, it is usual to follow and train in one of the frameworks for implementing Agility. Scrum is the leading framework – in use for over 25 years. It has its origins in software developments, and while it remains popular in that sector, it is used extensively across many industries.
For the general practitioner, a course such as Applying Professional Scrum (APS) provides a good introduction to the Scrum framework. Further, tailored courses are available for those specializing in software development or working on larger, multiple team projects. Skills developed from such training or project delivery will help develop a good agile practitioner – no matter what frameworks they go on to work with.