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Agile PM - 6 skills for a successful career

Adrian Sita
30 Jun, 2019
3 m read

What is an Agile PM?

The role of an Agile Project Manager is less defined because Agile focuses more on team collaboration and less on hierarchical leadership. The Agile PM is the person who, together with the development team (which is not referring necessarily to the software development team), decides on the sprint duration and on the implication of the stakeholders and customer feedback along the way.

Basically, an Agile Project Manager guides creating teams that collaborate in persuading the same goal: successfully delivering the product that brings the right value at the right time that offers the business advantage on the market for the client.

agile pm

Usually (because these can slightly differ in the organisation' culture and the projects/products types), the key characteristics are:

A great facilitator

The Agile PM behaves like a servant leader and helps the team and each of the members to achieve their great potential by clearing potential roadblocks. According to this article, the Agile PM's goal as a facilitator is to be there for the team anytime their members needed.

Communication is a very important factor in our teams, and therefore this person should be very clear in transmitting the right information at the right time - to be sure that every member of the team knows all the objectives, planning and how they can serve the client better!

Change management knowledge

The person in the Agile PM role communicates with the stakeholders about how the processes are continuously changing and why they are changing. There is a strong connection between change management and an Agile approach, as it shows in this article:

Agile’s iterative development nature drives Change Management to:

  • become iterative
  • create adaptive, living, plans
  • work to increase the pace of change
  • the communication process becomes more complex
  • the involvement of stakeholders is increasing
  • change management becomes more widespread

Be the team coach

The Agile PM helps the entire team to master:

  • their mindset
  • all the processes
  • the needed tools

When there are any conflicts between team members or between colleagues, this person should be there and help them resolve any issues that may exist.

Critical thinking skills

Agile critical thinking is a framework for applying critical thinking to decisions made in an organizational setting.

It is a structure with a series of steps and tools designed to promote effective critical thinking of teams where factors other than logic (especially the emotional ones) play a big part in the decisions, as this article points out.

Organisational skills

Get efficiency in terms of how to prioritize tasks that are top priority and let go of all the distracting work that encounters in the day by day activities in their work but also in the teamwork which is more important

Agent of change

In times of uncertainty, the Agile PM should be able to be effective, which is more important than being efficient.

Which are the risk factors that the Agile PM need to take care of?

Product

A product, in the beginning, could be just a simple excel file, a brochure that will help you validate the product and to know what is the right value to offer to your client

Market

Doing the right market research means that you assure that together with your client will build the right thing.

Financing

This is part of the market research level, but should you pay more attention? From my perspective to know just how you differentiate from the competition will be just enough and not to make it an obsession.

Competition

A solid customer acquisition strategy is one of the most important aspects of your go-to-market plan.

Execution

Why do you need to use Agile? Simple...because after all the previous risks that you took care of now you need to build the thing right!

Some (final) thoughts

Agile practices do not specify a Project Manager role but are very well spreader because of the team's willingness and organizational structure.

This article is part of a bigger topic called: 

Agile Project Management

Resources related articles

Agile PM

Agile Business Analyst

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