Project Management Transformation in an Agile World

Business team working togetherBy Ava McClain, Intern and Kevin Smith, Lead Consultant

In the early years of information technology, project managers felt compelled to carefully plan out their every move. They delicately prepared each detail of a project and followed their pre-made path to the assignment’s completion. However, as technology evolved and created an age of increasingly rapid progress, a new mindset and a different approach to project management has developed. Since the turn of the century, project managers often leverage the Agile Mindset, named for the dynamic world we now live in.

The fluidity of an Agile project management approach makes it better suited for modern industries in which important factors in a project can change on a dime. It has been adopted by the !m team as a way to harness this change for our clients. Favoring an adaptive rather than a predictive approach, Agile allows a PM team to be flexible and “ready to change for changing realities.” It promotes constant forward momentum through practices such as continuous face-to-face check-ins where the team reflects on how to become more effective and adapt to new situations.

The Impact Makers headquarters, a collaboration-friendly office with an open floor plan, constantly buzzing with conversation and settled into the up and coming area of Scott’s Addition in Richmond, Virginia, demonstrates the company’s embrace of progress and readiness to surf the changes to the project management field. Agile experts say that the method requires “soft skills, leadership competencies and an understanding of how to apply those skills in a more malleable, people-focused setting.” When these skills are applied, along with supportive technology, it creates “a phenomenal sense of accountability, transparency, and collaboration, even when managing a project team that spans multiple continents,” says Kevin Smith, a lead consultant at !m.

But what exactly is the result of this transition to the Agile world? Kevin Smith attests to the limitless possibilities of applying the Agile methodology. “During Agile Scrum certification training, the instructor showed us a video about how a team built a car from the ground up after their day jobs using the Agile Scrum methodology. Agile can be scaled up, and scaled outward, to provide a delivery framework for a range of diverse applications of various sizes.” In short, Agile is simply the next phase in the co-evolution of technology and businesses response and use of it.