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Agile project management: tools and recommended practices

Agile methodology cover

Many companies nowadays pay lip service to Agile. After all, agile is the opposite of slow and complicated, and nobody wants to identify themselves as such. But if you and your team really want to be agile, you have to put the principles of agile project management into practice. The right software can help.

We uncover what agile project management software should do and which programmes are, in our opinion, at the top of the list.

 

What is agile project management?

Agile project management is an umbrella term for project management methods that focus on flexibility, continuous improvement, and rapid response to change. Therefore, it contrasts with traditional, planning-based methods, which are often characterised by rigid structures and long project phases.

Agile project management is both iterative and incremental. Instead of a single, complete project plan that covers all phases from start to finish, the project is broken down into smaller parts to be processed in repeated cycles (iterations or sprints). If you are interested in an overview of how we implement the Agile methodology, we recommend you read our article ‘The DevInterface development process’. 

 

The five most popular agile methods

1) Scrum

Scrum is the most popular agile framework, especially for software development projects. This approach focuses on the management and execution of complex projects, based on ‘sprints’, i.e. short time intervals of typically two to four weeks, during which a specific set of tasks is completed.

2) Kanban

Similarly to Scrum, Kanban is an agile method for software development, but is focused on the visual representation of the work process instead of sprints with defined time limits. Kanban boards are used to visualise the progress of work through the various stages, facilitating the recognition and removal of any obstacles in the team's workflow.

3) Lean

The Lean method is built on the Toyota Production System (TPS) principles, with a focus on continuous improvement, minimising waste and eliminating unnecessary activities. The TPS supports constant progress, the adoption of pull rather than push systems, and the promotion of flexibility to respond promptly to customer demands. It also stresses the involvement of all employees and the formation of small, autonomous teams to optimise processes and ensure higher quality. Lean encourages increased efficiency and productivity in project management by reducing non-essential tasks to a minimum. 

4) Extreme Programming (XP)

This agile approach places importance on collaboration, communication and verification during the software development process. Extreme programming favours pair programming and collective ownership and focuses on continuous testing and refactoring.

5) Crystal

The underlying idea of Crystal is that each project is unique and requires a management approach customised to its specific characteristics. This methodology includes a number of flexible approaches and techniques, each tailored to the size, complexity and level of risk of the project.

 

Agile project management software

Initially, agile project management is just an idea. It is then implemented using specific methods that turn these ideals into practical and realisable processes. Examples include frameworks such as Scrum or Kanban, offering various tools and techniques that teams can use to make their (project) work more agile. The right software can help implement these methods.

Therefore, these programmes are specifically designed to support agile principles and practices in project planning and day-to-day work.

 

What functions are important for agile project management software?

Different tools have different objectives, but some basic functions should be covered by all programmes:

Agile requirements in software

Still, these are only the basic aspects that almost all project management programmes should offer. Most tools have many other features and/or different core areas.

 

The best agile project management software

1) Monday.com

monday.com is a flexible project and task management platform that enables organisations of all sizes and sectors to effectively plan and organise tasks and projects. It covers all the basic tools for agile working and joint project management.

2) Teamwork

Teamwork targets very specific teams: those that manage client projects. The platform supports customer-facing teams (e.g., agencies) not only in day-to-day project work but also in general planning, e.g., to increase profitability and allocate resources appropriately.

3) Miro

Miro is an online collaborative platform that fosters communication and collaboration between team members. It is particularly suitable for agile working, allowing digital whiteboards for planning, visualising workflows and real-time collaboration. 

4) Asana

Asana is a mobile and web-based work management platform that employees can use to organise and coordinate their tasks. Any agile project can be managed with this tool to keep track of tasks or milestones at any time.

5) Trello

Agile project management is particularly easy with this software if the Kanban method is used. Similar to the Kanban principle,Trello is based on the use of boards. Each board can be assigned tasks to be completed and tasks that have already been completed.

6) Jira

Jira can be used for agile project management by teams of any size and offers extensive functions for task and service management. This promotes flexibility and transparency.

 

Extra: EveryLog

EveryLog is an innovative solution that can be integrated to keep track of ticket status changes and support many other project management activities. The app makes it possible to collect notifications arriving from different software, centralise them in one place and then direct them to the relevant people.

For example: an ecommerce company receives a new order. Notification of the new order must go to logistics to handle it, while notification of the payment goes to administration etc. Or perhaps a bug occurs in the software so a notification has to go to the development team or technical support. EveryLog makes it possible to centralise all this and manage the distribution in real time on the mobile app.

 

Conclusion

As project management platforms touch the daily lives of all team members, it is important to find a tool that works for everyone and can be adapted to the individual needs of your organisation. However, to work in an agile manner, it is not enough just to have the right software, but you need to have the right mindset. Only if you are willing to concretely apply agile principles and rethink traditional ways of working can you unlock the potential of agile methods. And this is precisely where the management tools we have seen can help.

Need a consultation to set up your project correctly? Not sure which steps to follow or which methodologies and technologies to apply in your case?

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