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    Martin Kunc, Managing Director of Slovak & Czech branches and agile leader talks about agile project management.

    What is Agile Project Management?

    Agile project management is a methodology, or an approach to handle some business challenges.

    It is LEAN and it eliminates waste. The focus is on delivering the value in short cycles.

    The work still has to be done in agile, it isn’t free lunch, it is not a Holy Grail, Mr. Agile will not do the work instead of you.

    It has to be done by your team. I strongly believe, however, that this is the right method to bring business value to companies.

    Where does Agile Project Management Fit?

    The pure agile was invented in the software community and it works perfectly there.

    On the other side, Kanban is a method also used in agile and it was invented in production by Toyota.

    We were implementing agile methodologies for customer journey management, there it’s perfect, but we were also using agile in shop openings and even in building and maintaining a telecommunication network. In each company, there are projects where agile works the best. The question is, how can you use agile principles in your company?

    In DEVELOR we operate in an agile way.

    Even though we are on the market already for 27 years, we have lots of behaviours which you would have probably expected in a start-up. The agile manifesto and the agile principles are very core to our beliefs. The biggest projects we are working on are related to product development. To develop a good product, it takes minimum one year and we need to see nonstop some contribution as to how it is being developed, plus it is being done in international cooperation.

    Products like the Amundsen Leadership, VUCA Challenge, or even the New Cairo were developed using agile methodologies and it’s absolutely bringing results.

    The New Cairo Agile Simulation

    The New Cairo Agile Simulation is a game we developed to practice agile.

    It is about competition of architectural studios. We train there all the methodologies and theories. People have chance to practice it. We also work with the routines the agile teams are having, so we are having the planning, execution, review and retrospective in several cycles throughout the game. We are preparing the team, but we are also preparing the agile coaches. We believe that gamification is the best way how agile should be taught – it’s fun, but it’s also a great learning experience. Agile transformation is the way to go for many companies.

    It starts with management and leadership mindset change. They all need to understand that they’ll have to delegate lot of their decision-making power and somehow they will have to make the organisation leaner.

    How to Start the Agile Transformation?

    I would recommend to start the agile transformation utilising talents, because they can act as the agile ambassadors and they will start shifting the company culture. It is also critically important to choose the right projects for agile.

    These should be end-to-end cross-department initiatives, the great examples would be the customer journey improvements implementation, employees journey or product innovations.

    In those cases, agile works very well and it’s a good start for your agile transformation.

    You don’t need to be certified in order to start delivering value in agile. 

    For sure, you should understand the principles, you should follow the values, you should know the tools – you should study them, but it’s not difficult.

    It’s a lean version of project management, so it’s meant to be easy, it’s meant to be understood and it’s common sense, in the end.

    Use it – it works.

    Deliver value in agile project management.

    Have fun and enjoy it!

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