How Engineer become Agile Project Manager Nivin Anil Cademix Magazine

How can an Engineer become an Agile Project Manager?

By Nivin Anil, Associate Researcher, Cademix Institute of Technology

Why become as Agile Project Manager?

The Agile Project Managers are among the highly on demand expertise. The reason why agile project management has become so popular during the recent years is mainly because of the fast-paced nature of the business development cycle. An agile approach targets companies struggling with rapid to-market deadlines, continuously changing goals, high stakeholder participation and a need for flexibility—in other words, most businesses today! Even during the corona time and postcorona time we have many insecurities in the business development, that highlights the importance of the agile approach.

How Engineer become Agile Project Manager Nivin Anil Cademix Magazine

The History

The history of Agile development started with the change of software engineering and the way project development managers thought during the 90s, however the initial thoughts were around even during  the 70’s. It started with the iterative and incremental approaches that have been in use since 1957, and people who criticized the traditional methods, cascade project development and planning the activities in advance.  Further development was simply the result of people’s experience, and in particular focusing on reusing ideas from history.

The most challenging aspect of project management, when using the traditional management approach, is to gather and record customer requirements. Less over product can only be delivered after it’s almost finished and it is very hard to modify project design once it’s completely developed.

Kanban and Scrum

Two first and main methods known here are the Kanban and the Scrum. The individual distinction doesn’t always have to be made when deciding between Kanban or Scrum, since Kanban and Scrum can go hand in hand. In practical terms, many Scrum teams do use Kanban as a method for visual process and project management. Although some teams tend to use Scrum only because of its prescriptive existence, other Scrum teams have implemented Kanban ‘s select principles that are useful in adding an extra visibility layer to their projects.

Numerous companies are commonly embracing the Agile approach where the emphasis is on building goods or services through a continuous process of minor adjustments. In comparison to the Waterfall approach which uses a step-by – step technique for product creation, Agile practices are more focused on bringing consistency to the process with constant updates.

Job descriptions require Agile Project Manager

Currently over hundred jobs available in our Cademix database for Central Europe, mainly in Germany and Austria, which require some levels of Agile Project management. An example is a job announced by Hutchison Drei Austria GmbH, a major Mobile phone provider, based in Vienna, and they are looking for an Agile Java Developer. Here is the Job description: 

We are looking for a dedicated, passionate software engineer with a keen interest in systems engineering to join one of our Agile Development team. You will be working on cutting edge solutions for customer service, knowledge management and service automation. – Hutchison Drei

Tasks expected from an Agile Project Manager

  • Independently configure & develop cutting edge software solutions and deliver working product increments at the end of each 2-week sprint cycle
  • provide clear requirements and following up diligently on software deliveries.
  • Resolving of critical production issues and bug fixing.
  • Clarification and discussion about requirements with the stakeholders.
  • Integration of the software components into our build pipeline (Bamboo, Bitbucket, Artifactory, SonarQube).
  • Ongoing optimization of the code base by doing code reviews and other quality improving activities.
  • Contribute to the agile mindset of the company upholding the values of commitment, courage, respect, focus, and openness at all times.

Profile Expectations

  • Technical background in Computer Science or Programming
  • Hands on Experience in Agile Software Development
  • Knowledge of Systems Engineering (ITSM, SQL, JavaScript, Java, XML, SOAP, REST)
  • Experience with business process automation is an advantage, but not a must.
  • Excellent spoken and written English skills.

The position is announced with a relatively good salary according to Austrian standards. They offer a minimum salary of EUR 2.300,00 gross per month / paid 14 times annually, and you will receive additional bonuses from the company. 

What is Agile Project Manager and Agile Project Management?

Agile project management is an iterative approach to develop a product/project that focused on continuous changes and incorporates customer feedback with every iteration. In this methodology the main project is divided into several smaller tasks called as iterants. Once the iterates defined, these are developed individually through a process of planning, executing, and evaluating. After completion of each of them will provide you one deliverable product (feedback).

Multiple Agile Cycles

Principles of Agile Manifesto

There are 12 principles which are the basis of the Agile Manifesto very important to any Agile Project Manager. The highest priority of an agile organization is to serve the client by providing useful applications at an early and continuous time. They also welcome demands that change, even late in growth. Agile processes change harnessing for the strategic benefit of the business. the 12 principles are as follows:

The 12 Principles

  • Customer Satisfaction.
  • We always welcome Changes in design or production process.
  • Faster delivery of product.
  • More frequent interaction between business and developers.
  • Create products around motivated employees.
  • The most efficient way of communication to and between employees is face to face communication.
  • Working software is the primary measure of progress.
  • Agile processes encourage green development.
  • Continuous attention to technical excellence and design enhances agility. 
  • Simplicity is important.
  • The best employers in every field evolved within the firm.
  • Periodically, the team reflects on how to become more successful and act accordingly.

How to Implement Agile?

There are multiple philosophies or frameworks to implement Agile in a firm. Out of these most popular ones are Scrum, Kanban, Lean, Crystal etc.

Scrum

In the scrum, we have a product owner, a scrum master and a working team. The product owner is responsible for converting the needs of customers to an ordered list of items called product backlog. The team needs to work on and he is the mediator between the customer and employers. In addition, we have a scrum master who leads the team to get better. By doing this, we have at least a development team which includes all the people required to build the product. The first event of scrum is what we called sprint planning.

In this event the team is meeting with the product owner to pull items from the product backlog and then create a sprint backlog. The sprint backlog consists of smaller tasks which required less than a day to accomplish. The goal of sprint planning is to answer what we are going to work on and how with the shared goal and shared ownership of the team.

Scrum Schematic
Agile Cycle

How scrum work?

Every day we have a daily scrum where the team has a small meeting not bigger than 15 minutes to know how the things are going, are they still on the right track? Now a sprint cycle should be less than a month, or preferably two-week sprint to have a good balance. At the end of the sprint, we have to deliver a potentially shippable product increment (PSPI). This mean that every week we have to offer some deliverable product on which later we can add more features.

In the next step, the PSPI is shared with the stakeholder for sprint review based on which the product backlog is changed. Then the sprint event of 2-4 week is ended by organizing a meeting not more than 90 minutes. We call the meetings scrum retrospective where the whole scrum team meet to figure out how they can cooperate better. Then that complete a sprint and on the next day they start new sprint with sprint planning. Finally, they repeat the cycle until all the items in the product backlog are fulfilled.

Kanban Backlog

Kanban is a popular methodology to implement Agile project development. It ensures real time communication and full transparency of work among the employers. In this framework, first we create a product backlog. Then we work on smaller tasks same as in the case of scrum. Here their progress and track of flow associated with the product development are visualized using a board called Kanban board. Hence, anyone from inside or outside the firm can easily understand the progress of product development at any time.

Kanban View

Cademix Programs for an Agile Project Manager

These all methods are very simple project management strategies by which people can learn more about high tech management. An Agile Project Manager is a multidisciplinary expert i this field. Project management is something that the people need to learn by doing practices and practical projects. Cademix Institute of Technology offers postgraduate programs focused on agile project management mainly centralized on project base management. This is something that most of the engineers are missing in their engineering education’s during their studies at the universities.

The university curricula focus usually on the technical and fundamental parts. Sometimes they are go along with the basic theoretical knowledge backgrounds for the projects. Practically, the industry is much more interested in knowing whether these people are hundred percent capable of implementing the basic items that they learned at the universities. That’s the ultimate success formula for any expert with the title of Agile Project Manager.

Related Keywords

Scrum, Software-development, Agile software, Agile development, Agile software development, Product owner, Backlog, Agile, Project management, Scrum master, Agile project, Agile manifesto, Product backlog.

Methodologies, User-stories, Sprint, Iterative, Agile methodologies, Agile teams, Agile project management, Stakeholder, Agile methods, Kanban, Agile team, Waterfall, Agile practices, Scrummaster.

Cross functional, Daily scrum, Incremental, Agile framework, Scrum team, Business value, Agile scrum, Agile methodology, Scrum process, Agile principles

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