Are you looking to learn about Agile project management?
Agile project management is a modern project management approach that breaks your project down into smaller, more manageable chunks. You work on each of these chunks during 1-2 week intervals called sprints, helping you easily incorporate customer feedback and make project changes.
Sort of how it’s quicker and easier to eat a pizza by dividing it into slices – as opposed to wolfing down the whole thing in one bite! Or at least, that’s what we feel. Feel free to prove us wrong.
(About the pizza thing, that is. Agile projects are definitely more efficient, no debate there.)
As a result, a number of companies have started adopting the Agile approach, making it one of the most common project management methodologies today.
However, what is Agile project management exactly?
We have everything you need to know about it in this article.
This Article Contains:
(click on the links to jump to a specific section)
- What Is Agile Project Management?
- What Are The Characteristics Of Agile Project Management?
- What Are The 12 Principles Of Agile?
- What Is The Structure Of An Agile Team?
- What Are The Different Agile Project Management Methods?
- How Does Agile Project Management Work?
- Agile Project Management Roadblocks
- What Software Is Used For Agile Project Management?
Let’s get started!
What Is Agile Project Management?
Agile project management is a modern project management method that dramatically improves the efficiency, adaptability, and success rate of projects. It breaks your project down into short 2-week development cycles called sprints.
Agile is really successful because it actively involves customers in the development process by creating continuous feedback loops for them.
For a more detailed look at how Agile works, here’s our detailed guide on what an Agile workflow looks like.
What is the difference between project management and Agile project management?
Traditional project management methods like Waterfall involve working for months (and even years) at a stretch to deliver a final working product. In Agile, however, there are continuous releases of the working software every one or two weeks.
Sure, adopting Waterfall lets you work uninterrupted, but it’s putting a whole lot of faith in yourself! Are you really that sure that your customers are going to love all of the features you’ve spent months/years on?
We love the confidence, but your customers might not be as welcoming!
Interested in learning more about the Waterfall methodology? Here’s our comprehensive guide.
Agile techniques help you break down large scale projects into smaller, manageable product development cycles. These development cycles are termed as sprints, and they help your team make quick modifications to your project in line with changing customer needs and project realities.
Unlike traditional project management methods like the Waterfall methodology, Agile embraces change and welcomes customer feedback and user stories into its development process. Adaptability, productivity, and customer focus are the core facets of it.
That’s why it’s called Agile!
Surprise of the year there, right?
Check out our detailed comparison of Agile vs Waterfall, to get a better idea of how these methodologies differ.
But does all of this still sound too confusing?
Don’t worry, we’re here to answer:
What is Agile in simple words?
Agile is a project management methodology that breaks your project down into smaller parts to help you get constant customer feedback when developing products.
But why the need for Agile?
Because the traditional approach to software development has massive flaws!
Why Does Traditional Software Development Fail?
Traditional software development methods are nearly guaranteed to exceed their budgets and timelines. Moreover, customers are always less satisfied with software built with this approach.
There are two major reasons why it’s faulty:
1) Unrealistic and rigid plans
“Here’s the annual plan. Do this”
Essentially, that’s how traditional software development works.
A cross-functional group of senior leaders will decide what the software should look like and determine a timeline and budget. They will tell the project manager to make a project plan to complete the project within those time and budget constraints.
However, top-down plans are unrealistic because they don’t consider the inputs of those people who will actually do hands-on work on the project.
Rigid plans are also counterproductive because they make it difficult to quickly change the work when something goes wrong. Besides, they also put enormous pressure on the developers, which affects their productivity.
Want to stay productive when working from home but not sure how to? Here are 10 tips to help you out.
2) Incorrect assumptions
Every project begins with a vision of what the output is supposed to look like. This vision is based on certain assumptions about what would be most useful to the customer.
But that’s all they are: assumptions.
After the project initiation, you might find that several of these assumptions turn out to be different from the facts. And when you deliver the project, the customers might change their minds about what they want.
Which can make you tear your hair out, we get it.
That’s a completely acceptable reaction.
However, that’s also perfectly normal customer behavior too. Customers can’t be expected to be 100% clear about what they want.
Only once they experience the product can they truly offer meaningful feedback.
The truth is, human beings are not great at predicting what they want.
Let’s be honest here, how many times have you decided where you were going to go out for dinner, only to change your mind at the last minute? 😉
The only way a customer will actually know what’s useful to them is through actually using the product.
A common challenge in traditional software development is that you spend months building a tool based on assumptions about what your customers want.
And if you are wrong?
Your customers reject your product, and you lose millions in dollars of project work.
This waste was all too commonplace before companies started implementing Agile project methodologies.
With numerous acceptance tests, Agile helps you work closely with end-users and change the direction of the project based on their feedback. This makes a massive difference to the success and quality of the final products.
You’re literally building a product for the customers and by the customers!
Talk about making marketing gimmicks a reality!
Why break up your work?
As you’re breaking down your project into smaller segments, it helps you quickly release each segment to your customer base when it’s completed. This helps you get instant customer feedback for each sprint and make any necessary changes and fixes immediately.
How does this help?
With continuous improvement and the continuous integration of product features based on customer feedback, there’s a lower chance of delivering something that doesn’t match your customer’s final expectations. Additionally, as you’re making the changes immediately, you’re creating self-organizing teams that manage themselves.
How long are sprints?
Unlike the Waterfall approach, Agile sprints are usually short and run between two to four weeks. This short turnaround time ensures that things move quickly, and you implement feedback as soon as possible.
What Are The Characteristics Of Agile Project Management?
Ever wonder why the Agile project management method is so popular?
It’s because the project management methodology works!
Here’s a closer look at a few of the numerous benefits you get when you switch to an Agile framework:
1. Better customer satisfaction
Unlike other management methodologies, a high degree of customer satisfaction is Agile’s chief project success metric.
Instead of assuming what a customer may want or need, the Agile approach actively collaborates with them to give them a product they’re happy with.
This is largely down to the sprint-based approach, where you have regular intervals to accommodate user stories and opinions at all project stages.
Think of it this way:
It’s like someone asking you what you’d like for your housewarming present. Sure, you won’t be surprised anymore, but you’ll be getting something you actually want and need, instead of your third rice cooker!
2. More adaptability
Unlike other project management methodologies, Agile welcomes change.
It’s an extremely adaptable project management methodology, allowing you to deal with sudden project scope and feature changes with ease!
Confused about what project scope is? Learn more about project scopes.
3. On-time and budget
Adaptability helps project teams develop collaborative decision making to make tradeoffs between time and budget constraints over project goals. Consequently, projects experience faster turnaround times and stay within budget.
Cost savings and time savings?
Talk about the best of both worlds!
4. Better teamwork
As this methodology prioritizes face-to-face collaboration, it results in better teamwork. Everyone actively works together to make the customer happy and accommodate user stories.
Additionally, Scrum meetings are the perfect place for your team to build chemistry and resolve any pending issues or queries.
5. Increased motivation
Agile’s sprint-based approach is the perfect way to boost team morale. As they only work on smaller, short-term project goals, they can complete them quickly and feel a sense of achievement. This will motivate them to carry on and complete more sprints faster!
Look at it like this:
Since you’re splitting your project into shorter, more achievable deliverables, you can complete more deliverables. And that means rewarding yourself more.
So instead of celebrating with one pizza at the end of the whole project, you get multiple pizzas throughout the process.
And there is no such thing as too much pizza.
Which Companies Follow Agile Project Management?
The popularity of the Agile approach has exploded in the past decade and is widely applied in managing software development work.
It’s now followed by companies, including Fortune 100 companies (IBM) mid-sized companies (Red Hat) to startups (ClickUp).
Although Agile is primarily used in software development, it’s also used in domains such as professional services, manufacturing, financial services, healthcare, etc.
What Are The 12 Principles Of Agile?
There are 12 principles and 4 core Agile values mentioned in the Agile Manifesto.
What Is The Agile Manifesto?
The Agile Manifesto is a document that was developed by Jeff Sutherland and Martin Fowler. It’s a body of knowledge that defines what the Agile project methodology stands for and what its guiding principles are.
These principles and values are a good way to instantly see how it differs from a traditional project management style like the Waterfall methodology.
What are the 12 principles of Agile?
The Agile Manifesto contains 12 key principles that define the Agile process.
To get a clear understanding of these principles, we’ve divided them into 4 distinct categories:
- Agile principles of customer satisfaction
- Agile principles of quality
- Agile principles of teamwork
- Agile principles of project management
Here’s a closer look at each category and how these principles help streamline your work processes:
A. Agile principles of customer satisfaction
- Customer satisfaction must always be your highest priority. The only way to do this is through early and continuous test-driven, sustainable development.
- Always embrace changing product requirements, even if they’re at the latter stages of the software development process. These iterative (recurring) changes help you target a customer’s needs and wants better
- Deliver working results like products and services frequently. That’s the only way to get continual customer feedback and adapt the next version in line with what customers genuinely need
How these principles help
- As your team is constantly in touch with your customers, there’s no chance of them misunderstanding what your customers really need from a product
- Additionally, by following an adaptive project framework for changing requirements, you’re able to give customers their priority items first, even if they’ve only informed you of this later on. No more hyperventilating after last-minute change requests!
B. Agile principles of quality
- The primary mark of a successful project is a working product or working solution that satisfies a customer’s needs
- Aim for test-driven sustainable development. Your team must be able to maintain constant pace and high quality work indefinitely
- Continuous dedication to technical excellence will help you adapt to customer feedback and deliver a final product that satisfies their needs
How these principles help
- The Agile Manifesto gives you a very clear measure of what a successful product should be. As long as it satisfies your customers’ wants, it’s a good product
- By emphasizing a sustainable incremental and iterative approach to software development, you can support constant changes without getting bogged down or burn out. This will help you maintain high-quality work
C. Agile principles of teamwork
- Team members and project stakeholders must actively collaborate for continuous improvement. Actively working together is the only way to get a clear, shared understanding to implement customer feedback
- Build projects around motivated individuals. Give them the support and environment they need to get the work done
- Face-to-face conversation, in person, is the most efficient way to collaborate over projects. After all, we’re all a little tired of video meetings, right now!
- The best project work comes from self-organizing teams. When teams can manage themselves, they need less supervision, and your project can progress faster
How these principles help
- By emphasizing active, close collaboration and self-organization, you’re empowering your team to get together and get the job done themselves. This is going to build a tightly-knit team that can adapt to changing customer demands easily
- By giving your team the support and stable environment they need, you’re facilitating their ability to get things done by themselves
D. Agile principles of project management
- Simplicity is a core element of the Agile framework. Simplicity can be viewed as cutting down any unnecessary steps and procedures from your general management process
- Remember to constantly evaluate your team’s progress at regular intervals. Use this to fine-tune your future sprints and processes
How these principles help
- As you cut down on unnecessary steps and processes, it’s easier to speed things up to cope with changing project demands
- As you constantly re-evaluate your progress, you can always identify where you’re falling behind and how you can add more quality to your sprints
What are the 4 core values of Agile?
The 4 core values of the Agile method are:
- Customer collaboration is key
- Embrace change
- Individuals over software
- Working software over extensive documentation
Here’s a breakdown of each one:
A. Customer collaboration is key
The manifesto for Agile also prioritizes customer satisfaction over contract negotiation.
This Agile value states that the only way to truly satisfy the customer is to continuously involve them in the test-driven development process.
Your project team must routinely turn to your customer base for hands-on experience on how the product is shaping up. It’s then up to your software development team to tweak your project as per your customer’s recommendations.
This constant collaboration process is the only way to create a final product that meets your customer’s product requirements.
Sure, you could try and simply read their minds to find out what they want, but we’re not sure about how successful that’ll be!
B. Embrace change
Most other project management methodologies view change as an unnecessary spike in project cost.
However, that’s not the case with the Agile project management methodology.
The Agile Manifesto understands that change is the only way to eliminate waste and achieve continuous improvement.
That’s because initial assumptions about a project often prove to be incorrect. And when that’s the case, trying to fit the project requirements to those faulty assumptions leads to inferior products that no one really wants!
*ahem* foldable smartphones *ahem*
That’s why every Agile sprint gives your team ample opportunities to review every project development phase and make easy changes to them, offering you greater flexibility.
C. Individuals over software
One of the major benefits of the Agile Manifesto is that it prioritizes individuals and interactions over the software products and processes.
Because, no matter how complex and advanced your Agile tools and Agile processes get, there’ll always be a human element attached to it. And it is this human element that’s integral to understanding customer needs and adapting to them
D. Working software over extensive documentation
Agile prioritizes delivering working software or a working prototype over carefully documenting everything.
For example, when you’re under time constraints, Agile practices emphasize on value delivery, i.e. delivering a final finished product over documenting what you are doing for future reference.
You can always document things later, but if you don’t prioritize delivering the end product, you’ll miss your deadline!
However, that doesn’t mean this project methodology views documentation as useless. While it doesn’t prioritize it to the extent that the Waterfall approach does, documentation is essential for reviewing sprints and trying to optimize them.
You need something to look back on and be proud of, right?
If you want a more detailed look at these values, check out our detailed guide on Agile values.
What Is The Structure Of An Agile Team?
An Agile team is usually a small unit with a product owner leading the way, helping the team understand what the customers need. The project manager, in turn, is in charge of making the development team members do their job properly.
However, the best thing about the Agile methodology is that it’s adaptable to your entire business setup. That’s why you’ll rarely find two Agile practitioner companies with the exact same team setup!
Here are the answers to a few comment questions about the team setups in Agile teams:
A. Who is the product owner?
The product owner (sometimes called the project owner) is responsible for staying in touch with the customers and understanding their needs. The product owner will gather and analyze customer feedback and finally communicate to the project team to help them make the necessary changes.
Let’s explain this in simpler terms and say that you were organizing a birthday party.
The product owner would:
- Talk to the person who’s birthday it is, gathering inputs on what they’d like and want
- Coordinate with the party planning committee and give them all the info they need to set everything up perfectly.
B. What is a project manager called in Agile?
There’s no specialized term for an Agile project manager, and they simply head the product development teams. Once they receive information from the product owner, they guide the Agile software development teams through various sprints to help get the work done.
C. Who are development team members?
Development team members are the people who actively work on the project. These can be designers, programmers, engineers, or anyone else who’s actively involved! Their job is to work through the sprints, implement Agile innovation, and carry the project forward.
If we use that party example again, they’re the party planning committee, working hard to set everything up perfectly.
D. What are project stakeholders?
Every project stakeholder has a connection to the project, even if they don’t have hands-on Agile roles. These can include senior project managers, marketers, and salespeople or support team members whose inputs will help steer the project in the right direction.
Want more clarity on how Agile teams work? Here’s our complete guide.
What are The Different Agile Project Management Methods?
There are tons of variations on the Agile project management methodology.
However, four of the most popular are:
Here’s a small breakdown of each:
1. Scrum project management
Scrum project management is a popular Agile development method.
The Scrum framework is characterized by:
- A Scrum master (project manager) and a self-organizing Scrum team
- Breaking down the entire project life cycle of a product into separate time boxes called sprints
- A Scrum team which works in sprints that last from one to four weeks
- Cross-functional groups with overlapping responsibilities
- Best For: Longer projects that constantly evolve and change. For example, developing a new software product when you’re unsure of what users want
At ClickUp, we love Scrum. It’s one of the reasons why we also love writing about it!
For a quick brief on it, check out our article comparing Agile vs Scrum.
And if you’re really curious about Scrum, we have tons of resources explaining what it is and how it works.
To get started, we recommend these articles:
Kanban is a visual-first Agile methodology that just happens to sound like Marie Kondo’s newest organizing technique.
The Kanban methodology is characterized by:
- Prioritizing the amount of work that’s in progress over everything else
- Always visualizing your workflows for simpler task scheduling and management
- Not having a timeboxed development life cycle
- Best For: Managing projects where priorities regularly change, and work-in-progress tasks may be abandoned
3. Lean software development
Lean software development is another frequently-used Agile project management method. As you might have guessed from it’s name, it’s all about removing unnecessary excess from your projects. If software development had fitness trainers, this is what they’d love!
Here’s a quick look at some of the Lean principles:
- Minimizing wasteful and unnecessary activities at all project stages
- Focusing on value provided to the end customer and optimizing the whole rather than small parts
- Simplifying and shortening the software development life cycle
- Empowering individual team members to work on project activities themselves (something not usually present in a Waterfall project)
- Best For: Simplifying current processes and delivering only what is valuable (not everything possible). For example, when your development times are too high, and users aren’t adopting new features, use the Lean principles to solve this
In case you were wondering what those principles were, here’s our guide on Lean principles.
4. XP (Extreme Programming)
The Extreme Programming form of Agile software development is characterized by:
- Focusing on the technical aspects of software development in particular
- Setting up consistent project stages for software developers
- Prioritizing face-to-face conversation within cross-functional teams
- Best For: Most complex software development projects
If you’re curious about XP, here’s our article on what XP is in Agile.
How Does Agile Project Management Work?
The Agile project management method can be broken down into two distinct processes: planning and sprints.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to both:
1. Project planning
As with any other methodology, the Agile process starts with project planning meetings.
However, unlike the Waterfall approach, the Agile method emphasizes agility and minimal waste.
That’s why your Agile planning stage shouldn’t be needlessly drawn-out and detailed. Just follow these three simple steps:
A. Project vision statement
This is a quick description of your project’s scope, project milestones, and deliverables. It’ll highlight the product vision, the targeted product specifications, and how it will satisfy customer needs.
B. Product roadmap
Your product roadmap highlights all the features you’re planning to add to the product specifications. It’ll also mention how each of these features is beneficial and how it helps the customer.
Most roadmaps also include a rough timeline of when each feature is expected to be released. This essentially also serves to keep you updated on when you get that next slice of celebratory pizza 😉
C. Product backlog
This contains all the items in your product roadmap. However, this isn’t a concrete list of backlog items. Most Agile teams add features to this backlog as changes are made, and new features are requested.
Note: Unlike the Waterfall methodology, the Agile process prioritizes change.
Rafiki would have been a great Agile coach!
That’s why you should never view your project plan and backlog as unchangeable. Instead, look at it as a rough blueprint that you’ll keep editing as a project moves along.
Here are two other key concepts to keep in mind:
A. Release plan
Each project will have several release plans at progressive stages. Each of these plans will include a set of features to be released during a specific development cycle, called a sprint. It’s like a roadmap for your customers, giving them an idea of what’s to come (and what to be excited about!)
This is the deliverable at the end of the Agile sprint, such as a new feature that’s been developed.
Sprints are the backbone of any Agile process.
They’re short development cycles that can range from a few days to even a couple of weeks.
Here’s how they help:
- They break your project into smaller, more manageable parts. Instead of looking at one long-term goal, your team breaks the project into smaller increments that are more achievable. This, in turn, leads to continuous delivery and increased feelings of achievement and motivation!
- Sprints give your team the opportunity to constantly re-evaluate your project at every single development phase. This makes it easier for you to accommodate customer feedback and change things around
There are also four key meetings associated with sprints. Here’s a brief breakdown of each:
Note: For a more detailed look at all these meetings, check out our guide on Agile meetings.
A. Sprint planning
Sprint planning sessions begin with your project team agreeing on the project goals and deliverables associated with it. They’ll go over who needs to perform which task and the expected timebox for this sprint.
During the sprint planning stage, the sprint backlog is created.
What’s the sprint backlog?
The sprint backlog is a list of all the tasks and features that will be worked on in the upcoming sprint.
Think of it this way:
The backlog is the backbone of your project!
To understand this better, check our detailed article on sprint backlogs.
B. Daily Scrum meetings
Daily stand-up Scrum meetings are a core part of the Scrum framework.
This Scrum meeting is usually a short 15-minute face-to-face conversation that gives your software development team a daily status update on what’s going on.
In the Scrum methodology, these are meetings that your software development team has on a daily basis, to discuss the previous day’s developments and plan ahead. They’ll go over roadblocks faced, things they learned, and any additions to the backlog.
C. Sprint review
The sprint review is a meeting where the Agile software development teams present the project deliverables of an Agile sprint to the project sponsor, other stakeholders, and the customers.
The product owner plays an active role here and will gather feedback from the stakeholder and customers and update the product backlog accordingly.
For a comprehensive look at this meeting, here’s our article on sprint reviews.
D. Sprint retrospective
The sprint retrospective takes place at the end of each sprint.
It’s where the project team goes over the entire process to find out what worked and what didn’t.
It’s a great way to determine what needs to change in future sprints to achieve optimal customer satisfaction.
Learn more about sprint retrospectives.
3. User stories
Another big element of the Agile method is creating user stories around the features or products you’re working on. It forces developers, product owners, and product managers to go on a joint effort to think about how the user will respond when using the feature.
This way, you’re putting yourself into the shoes of your customers instead of thinking for them. We wouldn’t be surprised if Agile teams scored super high on empathy tests as a result!
Typically, user stories are short and descriptive statements. This can be stored in your task description with the feature you’re working on, or in the list description in ClickUp.
Here’s a basic example of a user story:
As a <<user>>, I want <<to do this>> so that <<I achieve this>>.
With user stories, the conversation changes from writing detailed requirements to discussing how the feature will be used and what it can do.
When writing user stories, ask, “What will the user do, and what will it help them accomplish?”
Sometimes this will be different for the various use cases. Oftentimes, teams will do this activity together, along with every relevant stakeholder (like the project sponsor) towards the beginning of a project or sprint.
Agile Project Management Roadblocks
While the Agile project management methodology is one of the most useful management methodologies, an Agile environment doesn’t suit every team or organizational structure.
Here are two cases against Agile adoption:
- If your executive team and project managers are inexperienced and unaccustomed to dealing with sudden changes
- If your company’s management team is culturally more comfortable working with rigid, standard work processes
However, this doesn’t mean that traditional organizations will never be able to adapt to an Agile environment.
Here are two things you can do to prepare yourself for an Agile environment:
- Take some Agile training:
Accredited training organizations like the Project Management Institute and Agile Alliance give you the Agile coaching and resources you need to brush up on the Agile mindset. Once you get your thinking caps on and pass their PMI-ACP exam, you’ll have everything you need to become an Agile practitioner or even an Agile mentor.
- Use the right Agile project management tool:
Tools like ClickUp are built for the Agile project management framework. Once you start using them, you’ll have no difficulty moving on from your existing management methodologies and quickly adopting a scaled Agile framework!
Here’s our guide on the best Agile tools for a better look at what you should be working with.
What Software Is Used For Agile Project Management?
Agile implementation becomes dramatically easier if you use the right software. The best Agile software encourages functional collaboration, creativity, and adaptability. It brings out the best in your team.
Luckily, that’s what Agile project management software like ClickUp was built for.
ClickUp is the world’s highest-rated Agile project management software. Used by 100,000+ teams in businesses from startups to tech giants like Google, Nike, and Airbnb, it’ll help you instantly adapt to Agile development and manage your tasks and sprints effectively.
It has tons of helpful features for Agile development, such as:
- Multiple Views: to help you cope with varying project stages
- Sprint Lists: to document what each sprint contains
- Agile Dashboards: to quickly track progress of your Agile tasks to facilitate efficient resource allocation
- Comment Sections: to facilitate active, fully functional collaboration over Agile projects
- Assigned Comments: to assign comments and tasks to individual team members immediately
- Custom Statuses: to instantly know the status of your Agile projects
Here’s a quick breakdown of these features and how they can help an Agile project manager:
1. Manage different Agile requirements with Multiple Views
The Agile mindset is all about continuous adaptation to changes.
That’s why your project management tool needs to reflect this too!
Luckily, that’s exactly what you get with ClickUp.
Instead of using a rigid general management tool that forces you to adapt to its interface, ClickUp gives you Multiple Views to adapt to your Agile team!
Here’s a closer look at these views:
1) Required Task Views
ClickUp has two required task views to adapt to different project management approaches:
If you’re a fan of the Kanban methodology of Agile management, this is the view for you.
Here’s how you use this Kanban styled view for Agile project management:
Remember, the Kanban board approach emphasizes quickly moving things around and visualizing project progress.
ClickUp’s Task Board interface helps the team leader quickly move tasks around, view project statuses, and keep up with Agile development principles. All you need is a quick glance to determine what stages your large projects are in and move them around instantly!
This makes managing projects as easy as sinking your teeth into some of that celebratory pizza we mentioned earlier.
This is an excellent view for people who manage their work with GTD-style to-do lists. Here, your tasks are listed down in a simple checklist that can be checked off as you progress.
Here’s how you use this view for Agile project management:
You can use ClickUp’s List view to quickly keep track of your Sprint Lists for varying tasks. As they’re all listed down one after the other, you can tackle each one sequentially.
And trust us, there is nothing more satisfying than checking off all the items on your list, not even pizza.
2) Box view
The Box view is the ideal view for any Agile project manager. It’s a high-level overview of all the tasks currently underway.
Here’s how you use this view for the Agile development method:
The project managers use this view to get a high-level view of everything that’s going on. As the sprint’s tasks are sorted by the assignee, a project manager can quickly determine what everyone’s working on and their task load to make necessary changes.
ClickUp’s Calendar view helps your functional managers quickly plan and manage their work schedule. You can view all your upcoming tasks to prepare for them quickly.
Here’s how you use this view for Agile project management:
Use this view to keep track of your upcoming sprint tasks and plan them out carefully. You can even use it to identify when you’ll be able to add things from your backlog or plan your next office party!
And as the Agile mindset is all about constantly adapting, a manager can even toggle between calendar views!
A manager can view their calendar as:
- Days: to view project tasks scheduled on a given date
- 4-Days: to view scheduled tasks over a rolling four day period
- Week: to look at your weekly sprint schedule
- Monthly: to look at the larger project roadmap for the month
4) Me Mode
ClickUp’s “Me” Mode will only highlight comments, subtasks, and task lists assigned to you. This will minimize distractions – helping you focus better on your current task assignment.
2. Track your Agile tasks with Sprint Lists
Keeping track of your sprints is essential in Agile project management.
Here’s how you do it in ClickUp:
ClickUp lets you add checklists to all your Folders, tasks, and subtasks. This helps you create sprint lists that break down the deliverables for a stretch. You can easily check items off these lists as your team progresses, helping you move onto the next short iteration.
Need to use the Scrum framework?
You can even add Scrum points to each of these lists to better determine how long it’ll take to knock out your product backlog.
Additionally, an Agile project manager can use these checklists as references in their Scrum meetings with the software development team.
3. Visually keep track of your projects with Agile Dashboards
Another important part of managing projects with Agile project management is visually keeping track of all of your data.
Here’s how you manage this in ClickUp:
ClickUp’s Dashboards server as a collaborative workspace for high-level, visual overviews of your Agile software projects. You can add your sprint lists and tasks to these Dashboards to quickly see how things are progressing.
This way, instead of spending hours going over raw data on spreadsheets, give your eyes a break and use colorful charts to track things instead!
Here’s a closer look at the different things you can track:
A. Velocity Charts
ClickUp’s Velocity Chart feature helps you determine the completion rate of your tasks (story points completed per sprint). Your tasks are broken down into weekly or bi-weekly intervals, and their average velocity is displayed here.
Additionally, ClickUp automatically groups your sprint list data to make it easier to add to your charts!
Learn more about velocity charts.
B. Burn Down Charts
ClickUp’s Burndown Charts help you see how well your functional team is performing against a target line. It shows you how much work is still left to be done.
Here’s what the chart highlights:
- Target progress: the ideal task completion pace needed to meet your deadlines
- Projected progress: your current trending rate based on tasks currently completed
- Active: the actual number of tasks currently completed
Burndown charts are a good way to track what needs to be done and identify problems with a project’s progress. For example, if your projected progress is lagging behind your target, you’ll need to speed things up or adjust the project scope.
Want to learn more? Check out our article about burndown charts.
Unlike burn down charts, burn up charts show you what has been completed against your remaining scope.
This helps you take stock of what you’ve accomplished so far and motivate your team to reach the finish line (and that party you had planned as a celebration).
Read more about burn up charts.
D. Cumulative Flow Charts
ClickUp’s Cumulative Flow Chart helps you visualize and track project progress over the total time spent. As tasks are colored based on their status, you can easily determine where things are and identify bottlenecks in no time!
Check out our in-depth guide on cumulative flow charts.
4. Facilitate project collaboration with Comments
Active team collaboration is one of the key elements of any Agile project management tool.
Your team must be able to use it quickly to communicate project updates and collaborate over developments.
After all, Agile is all about being as fast and efficient as possible.
You can’t really do that if your team’s as slow as this:
Here’s how you use ClickUp to implement this:
Each task comes with its own dedicated comment section to help your team exchange files and ideas. They can even tag people and share project updates to keep the project rolling.
Additionally, this project management software can integrate with tons of communication tools, like Slack and Skype, to ensure that efficient project communication is just a click away!
5. Keep your Agile project moving along with Assigned Comments
Agile practices are all about speed and efficiency, right?
But what if your software team is taking too long to take action on your comments?
How will your Agile project stay on track?
Here’s how you can use ClickUp to prevent this from happening:
The project management software lets you instantly convert a comment into a task and assign it to a software team member. They’ll be notified of this, and it’ll even pop-up in their notifications to help them get started immediately.
Once they’re done with it, they can mark the comment as resolved to eliminate any unnecessary follow-ups.
If you’re a fan of the Lean principles and want to eliminate wasteful steps, this is the way to go!
6. Manage varying Agile project stages with Custom Statuses
The beauty of Agile project management is that it can be applied to tons of different domains
Whether it’s sales, marketing, pizza delivery, or rapid application development, you can use Agile practices for everything!
However, just because you can use the same method for different projects doesn’t mean they’re identical.
Every project is going to have it’s own niche-specific stages and requirements, and your Agile tool should be able to cope with these variances.
How ClickUp helps you manage this:
Unlike a traditional project management tool that gives you a standard set of project statuses, ClickUp lets you customize them!
This way, you’re not stuck with a set of statuses that don’t accurately reflect your project stages.
Why would that be a problem?
Imagine using the same set of statuses for your blog posts and information technology tasks!
However, with ClickUp’s customizable statuses that isn’t a problem.
You can get as creative and detailed as you want – “Editorial Review”, “User testing”, “Beta Testing Cycle”, “Vulnerability testing”, “Wireframing”, “Celebratory party time”, it’s entirely up to you!
This helps you get a much better idea of the project situation.
However, those aren’t all of ClickUp’s features.
Here’s a short overview of what project management tool also offers you:
- Priorities: to help your team tackle the most important tasks and subtasks first
- Automations: automate over 50 project tasks to save time
- Dependencies: to attempt your tasks in the right order
- Gantt Chart: to chart your project’s progress easily
- Pulse: your leadership team can use this know which tasks your project team is most active on in real-time
- Docs: to create comprehensive documentation for your company and projects
- Detailed Reporting And Insights: for thorough progress reports on your team and company
- A Native Time Tracker: for efficient, ideal time management
- Powerful iOS and Android mobile apps: to help you stay on top of your projects even when you’re on the move
- Mind Maps: build free-form mind maps for planning and organizing your projects easily
- Multiple Assignees: assign multiple team members or Teams to a task when needed
It’s no secret that Agile project management is one of the world’s most popular project management methodologies.
It’s simple and quick to help your team breeze through your tasks and projects in no time!
Additionally, as it emphasizes the change in response to customer feedback, you can rest assured that you’ll be putting out a product that your customers love.
If you’re looking to adopt the Agile methodology, why not try a project management software like ClickUp?
It has everything you need to manage your projects and sprints effortlessly! Sign up for ClickUp’s forever free version today to get yourself one step closer to that celebratory pizza we’ve been talking about this whole time!
Wes is ClickUp’s fearless Chief Operating Officer. He also has a degree in nuclear engineering from the University of Tennessee. When he isn’t helping the worlds most productive teams get more done he can be found on the water wakeboarding in Tennessee.