What is an Agile Project Manager?
An agile project manager is a person who uses an iterative approach to deliver a project throughout its life cycle. This means that a collaborative methodology is used to achieve the desired results. Short development cycles referred to as “sprints” are used to get and implement stakeholder and customer feedback along the way.
It is important to note that while working in an agile environment, in most, the role of a project major is less defined. This is because this methodological way of doing things focuses more on teamwork and collaboration than hierarchical positions and leadership.
One benefit of using the short cycles towards completing a project is that you can adjust as you go along instead of following a linear path. Agile project managers are also able to release benefits throughout the process rather than only at the completion. Therefore, they should display values and behaviors of trust, be flexible, and be willing to collaborate.
Agile project management is becoming a popular way of doing business instead of traditional project management methods because it allows projects to proceed faster. This is because issues and defects are detected quicker and dealt with using the agile methodology.
Agile Project Manager Job Description
Depending on the level and area that an agile project manager specializes in, the roles may differ slightly. However, there are those standard roles that every agile project manager has. These are:
- Supervising and motivating project groups in an agile environment. This enables them to ensure that assigned tasks are completed within the given time and ensure that the performance is top-notch.
- Combining different project management skills with agile development requirements. Some of the tasks here will involve team management, customer support, proper planning, and process management.
- Assigning work to members of a team and ensuring the tasks are completed.
- Ensuring that the set requirements are well defined. This means that agile project managers give direction for products and services being delivered.
- Increasing the pace of deliveries, thereby ensuring the team or company does not run short or out of time.
- Agile project managers also help in team development by tackling any obstacles that team members encounter in their work and assisting them in utilizing the organization’s resources to improve their capacity.
- Maintaining software systems and also providing the necessary infrastructure for the projects.
- Compiling data available and giving it to the team members as well as senior officials for reference.
- Interacting with company clients and get to understand their needs.
- Offering training to team members and teaching them how to use agile methods.
- Setting deadlines and creating a budget for the project accordingly.
Agile Project Manager Skills
Agile project management is very demanding and comes with a lot of work. Therefore, when applying for the role, there are specific skills that you will need to be equipped with to ensure that you are up for the job.
- Organizational skills
As mentioned before, agile project managers have a lot on their plate. This means that one must handle various responsibilities without letting one flop at the expense of another. Some of the roles they will have to play are planning, budgeting, scheduling, and managing all aspects of the project.
- Adaptability and flexibility
With the many duties and responsibilities that all fall under one person who is the agile project manager, they should comfortably switch up and quickly change priorities.
- Excellent timekeeper
This is very crucial as an agile project manager is the one to set deadlines and ensure that the tasks are completed in good time. It will help keep the other team members on their toes.
- Great communication skills
The work of an agile project manager involves a lot of collaboration with people in his field. He/she will need to communicate clearly to ensure that the whole team is on the same page and working towards the realization of their end goal.
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- Critical thinking
An agile project manager should think on his/her feet to ensure that the project runs smoothly, producing the desired outcome. They should also be able to brainstorm and make decisions quickly.
- Team player and coaching abilities
Since most of the work of an agile project manager involves collaboration, they should work well with different people to realize their desired goal. He/she should also be able to offer training and mentorship to other members of the team.
- Work well under pressure.
An agile project manager should be able to perform well under pressure and make a sound judgment. They should be able to remain calm under stress.
You can clearly establish that most of these skills are quite detailed when compared to our day-to-day professional conduct. Agile managers must meet a higher threshold than most of us owing to the nature of their jobs.
Agile Project Manager Salary
An agile project manager’s salary depends on various factors and may vary depending on where you work, the clients or employer, and even level of experience. Agile project managers earn pretty well, and it is well-deserved money because of all the work they put in. Therefore, if you choose to take this career path because of money, you should be ready and prepared to carry on all the work it comes with.
The average base salary of an agile project manager in the US, according to PayScale, is $92 139 per year, which is about $45 per hour. To show you how different clients/employers may affect how much you earn, an agile project manager’s average base salary at IBM is $114 133 per year. In contrast, an agile manager working at CareerBuilder earns an average base salary of 59,231 per year.
Certifications for Agile Project Manager
To further develop your skills as an agile project manager, you can pursue certification through the Project Management Institute (PMI). PMI offers you the Agile Certified Practitioner.
Tools And Software for Agile Project Manager
Agile project managers use this software to enable them to share ideas, compile documents and even start discussions with their team. It comes equipped with all tools and features to allow you to conduct the projects successfully using the agile methodology.
ProofHub also comes with Kanban boards and Gantt Charts that come in handy with tasks and help streamline all the project work. This software also enables you to create tasks, divide them into manageable subtasks, set deadlines for assignments, assign tasks, set up recurring tasks, attach files, and add comments to the files.
Communication is also made easier with ProofHub as it comes with an in-built chat interface. You are also able to unlock real-time feedback and suggestions using the online proofing tools incorporated within this software. Team members can also mark a suggestion or feedback as done or resolved to make it easier for the decision-maker.
Wrike simplifies the work for you and gives you a smooth time when setting up your project tasks. It enables you to make instant changes where necessary, thereby saving on costs and increasing revenue. This software is ideal for centralizing and connecting multiple projects, and in turn, it spikes up the efficiency of your team.
This tool enables agile project managers to navigate how teams collaborate on different projects and tasks such as managing the operation, keeping track of the marketing campaign, and planning events. It considers other solutions for business, including various roles and fields.
- Active Collab
Active Collab enables you to determine what every user can see or access, thus not keeping them on the sidelines anymore. You can keep them informed and share essential aspects of the project. With this tool, an agile project manager can plan for the project, share files, budget, and even brainstorm.
This software enables you to conduct project planning, execution, SCRUM and Kanban boards, analysis, and reports. Agile allows you to improve your project by optimizing the workflow and removing obstacles from your process.
This tool comes in handy for an agile project manager as it enables them to plan, monitor, and even coordinate projects virtually. It also comes with excellent features that will allow the project to run smoothly, such as to-do lists, virtual whiteboard, and online file storage. It also manages all the tasks and subtasks on your behalf.
Asana comes equipped with task management tools that help you plan, organize, and track the progress you have made in the tasks. It also features simple project and sprint plans and makes communication with the team easy.
- Version One
This tool supports agile software development and comes with features such as agile portfolio management, program management, and business intelligence. It also has a collaboration feature that allows you to create a link between a global product and portfolio teams.
This is a scheduling system that enables an agile project manager to know what, when and how much to produce. It helps optimize the flow of work, visualize your work and workflow, and plan and track your work.
JIRA is a tool that agile project managers use for agile testing and project management. This tool offers teams visibility into long term goals while giving real-time release information. You can also customize the dashboard to meet the specifications of your business.
This tool equips agile project managers with release planning, project forecasting, project control sprint planning, and system integration.
Taiga enables you to solve the issue of user software visibility. It is very popular with small developers because of its reliability and ease to use. Some of its popular features are project collaboration, reporting, time tracking, and task management.
This is a task management solution that enables agile project managers to finish projects faster. It does this by focusing on team collaboration, completing tasks in time, and managing the entire project. It also helps in managing your to-do lists and the team’s communication.
This tool serves as project management software as well as team collaboration software. Since agile project management involves both, this comes in very handy. Basecamp allows you to have centralized teamwork, simplified task management, and real-time communication with your team. You are also able to assign and delegate work with ease and monitor the progress.
This software makes teamwork and collaboration a walk in the park. It comes with an easy to use and visual interface that makes organization, planning, and management of work daily an easy task.
Axosoft is widely used in the agile project management field to handle the project from the beginning to the end. It offers very excellent visualization of the tasks. You can use this software to create bug-free software on time. Axosoft also offers you project scheduling, resource management, project collaboration, as well as time tracking. It also ensures transparency as everything is centralized, ensuring everyone is working towards a common goal.
- Pivotal Tracker
This tool makes collaboration work among the team an easy task for agile project managers. It also offers dynamic tools that help monitor progress, ensuring the team delivers frequently and work with consistency. It also helps in tracking your time and working with realistic goals in mind.
Agile Project Manager Education And Career Requirements
To work as an agile project manager, you will require a bachelor’s degree in computer science, business, or a related field of work. However, some employers will need you to have a master’s in business administration.
This career path also required you to be well versed with computers and have technical capabilities. This is because agile project managers utilize technology to perform their tasks and get work done. Some of the relevant technical skills you will need to equip yourself with are JIRA, Version One, Kantree, and the many others available.
It is essential to gain experience while at the place of work. Knowledge only gets you better and is the only way to grow career-wise in this field and even earn you more money. This profession is also a highly lucrative field, especially if you land an opportunity in top telecommunication companies.