Agile Project Management Works for Small Businesses

Guest Post

I’m pleased to share this post written by the folks at Agil8.

projectmanagementProject management systems are not methods that are just for big businesses and large-scale organisations alone. They are also suitable for smaller businesses that can benefit a great deal from these methods too.

The fundamental principles of project management can be successfully applied to all businesses regardless of their size. Agile Project Management methods are now being adopted by small businesses across a broad range of sectors, in order to carry out a variety of different types of projects successfully.

What Is A Project?

A project describes any type of activity that is carried out alongside, or in addition to the usual day-to-day running of the business that requires specific attention within an agreed and established timeframe.

What Is Project Management?

Project Management involves the planning and establishing of objectives, allocation of a budget and the distribution of responsibilities within a team in order to work towards a goal or objective. Traditionally this has meant a team working under a project manager who controls and is responsible for the project.

What Is Agile Project Management?

Agile Project Management uses modern methods which differ a great deal from the more traditional approach to project management. Agile Project Management methods embrace a highly versatile approach which allows a team to define a clear objective, then evaluate and adapt the path of the project together, in stages as it develops organically.

This flexibility has great advantages over the more traditional methods which plan the entire project in advance and work towards the objective following that plan, regardless of any changes that may occur along the way. This type of rigid planning is highly inflexible and makes no allowances for any potential obstacles, or changes.

So How Can Agile Project Management Help My Small Business?

A project can enable your small business to be innovative, in order to grow and expand. Perhaps your objective is to attract new clients in order to increase sales and boost revenue, or maybe you are keen to diversify in order to broaden your current business opportunities.

Whatever the objective, a project when it is planned effectively and well coordinated and evaluated at each and every stage, can help your small business to achieve its desired goal. With Agile Project Management, the whole team of employees within the business, pool their skills and resources and work together to achieve the objective of the project through careful planning, communication and teamwork. Tasks are shared and allocated to team members according to their particular skill or expertise.

Each project is approached in small iterations, or ‘mini-objectives’, based on short time scales. The team meets regularly to evaluate progress and plan and coordinate the next step. This highly flexible and interactive approach to managing a project allows the team to react to any internal or external changes as and when they arise, quickly and effectively. At times, certain changes will significantly alter the path of the project and this is where you can appreciate the real benefit of working with Agile Project Management which is designed to adapt and respond to change in a positive way.

This flexibility is a crucial, key element in any Agile Management Project; therefore any businesses that prefer to adhere to strict project processes would not find this particular way of approaching project management suitable for them.

Agile Project Management – What Are The Real Benefits?

Because Agile Project Management involves the whole team, who collectively share responsibility for a project, it tends to have a very positive impact on team morale and the whole working environment. Individuals feel far more focused and motivated and it is this boost to team morale that has a knock on effect on levels of productivity and performance, which will in turn increase revenue.

Go For It!

In reality, the need to manage budgets and deadlines and to satisfy your customers and clients with efficient delivery of your product or service, is identical and of equal importance to that of any other business, just on a slightly different scale. The fact that your business is small does not mean you should shy away from project management, or do not need it and should just stick to what you are doing already.

Agile Project Management can support your small business and make it more successful through effectively managing your projects in a flexible manner with the involvement of your whole team.

managementGuest Author: Agil8 offers the highest quality Agile consulting and training. The company was formed by David Hicks, a pioneer of Agile since the mid-1990s, an Agile Alliance Founder and one of the world’s most experienced and qualified Agile consultants and trainers. Agil8 draws on experience of working with organisations across all industry sectors over many years, and the management and delivery of some of the world’s largest and most complex Agile implementations.

Image Credits: shutterstock

Updated: April 30, 2013 — 9:57 pm