Job Description, Responsibilities, and Required Skills for an Agile Project Manager

The Agile framework was developed in the 1990s in response to the traditional, rigid approach to project management that was prevalent at the time. The Agile methodology was formalized in 2001 with the publication of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development.

Since then, the Agile framework has attracted a large number of supporters. It provides a flexible methodology that employs cross-functional, self-organizing teams that work and collaborate with the product’s customers or end-users. Agile is adaptable, iterative, and always looking for ways to improve.

Even a less rigid, more relaxed philosophy like Agile, however, necessitates some level of management. This is where the Agile Project Manager enters the picture. This article discusses the role, including what it entails, what they do, and how to become one.

An Overview of the Agile Project Manager

At some point, every Agile practitioner will require guidance and management. Although the position of “certified Agile project manager” exists, it is just as likely that the Agile project team is led by a Scrum Master or product owner. In some cases, the Scrum Master, product owner, and even individual team members share the traditional non-Agile project manager’s responsibilities. It’s a testament to Agile’s adaptability that there is no one-size-fits-all solution; each Agile project plan is unique. However, your project should ideally be led by an Agile Project Manager.

Agile Project Managers, like traditional project managers, are ultimately accountable for successful product delivery. The point of departure, however, comes from the Agile values that govern the Agile project management style.

According to the Agile Manifesto, the four fundamental Agile values are:

Individuals and interactions take precedence over processes and tools. Technology comes and goes, but it is the people who propel the project forward. Despite their technological sophistication, tools and methods are incapable of adapting to changing circumstances in the same way that people can.

Working software is preferred over extensive documentation. Software manuals that are well-written are beneficial. Things become easier to understand when there is good documentation. However, well-running software is far superior. While having both is ideal, if forced to choose, always choose good software over the good copy.

Customer collaboration is preferred over contract negotiation. Involve customers in the development process, understand their needs, and solicit their feedback, and you will have a better chance of releasing the perfect final product. It is far preferable to collaborate with customers rather than haggle with them. It reduces stress and saves time.

Responding to a change by sticking to a plan. “Even the best-laid plans of mice and men frequently go astray.” Change is viewed as an expensive impediment in traditional project management. Agile believes that change is unavoidable and allows for it at any stage of the project. Change isn’t an impediment; it’s an opportunity.

What is an Agile Project Manager’s Job Description?

Management expects Agile Project Managers to excel in a variety of roles. These roles can be classified into three types: team-level roles, enterprise-level roles, and hybrid Agile roles.

Roles at the Team-Level

In the project process, Agile Project Managers can play two distinct roles.

Assist as a consultant in allocating the appropriate personnel, processes, and resources to improve team effectiveness and efficiency.

Assume the role of a coach, advising team members on how to maximize their efficiency within the project team to the greatest extent possible.

Enterprise-Level Positions

Because of the breadth of these roles, Agile Project Managers face more significant challenges.

As a director, you will be in charge of managing multiple Agile teams and integrating their work with activities outside of their purview.

Take on the role of a leader and manager in charge of large, enterprise-level, complex projects.

Agile Roles that are Hybrid.

The Hybrid Agile process combines Agile methods with non-Agile techniques such as Waterfall.

Create a solid project management strategy that works best for planning and managing the work. Filling a Hybrid Agile role is difficult because the APM must consider traditional techniques as well as the Agile methodology.

The primary goal of an agile project manager in a company is to effectively perform multiple roles. Discover how agile and scrum have grown in popularity. Learn more!

Meet the project’s goals while staying within the project’s constraints.

Investigating the Roles of an Agile Project Manager

It (also known as an Agile project manager) plans, leads, organizes and motivates Agile project teams. The manager is responsible for a wide range of tasks:

assisting the team in reaching a high level of performance and quality, holding teams accountable for their work, removing obstacles, and mentoring less experienced team members

Defining the project’s schedule and scope while balancing this with timely and consistent value delivery, as well as organizing and leading working and project status meetings

Delivering Agile projects that provide exceptional business value to users.

Assisting the product owner in managing stakeholder communications, managing customer expectations for deliverables, and implementing an effective project governance system.

Encourage team empowerment through team-building techniques, ensuring that each team member is contributing meaningfully and is fully engaged in the project.

The APM may also be in charge of managing several high-profile projects at the same time. APMs are used to working with Agile methods in a fast-paced environment that may span multiple business divisions.

APMs collaborate strategically with management teams to define the epics of the product. It should be noted that an “epic” is a large piece of work with a single shared goal. Epics can be a business requirement, a customer request, or a feature that is desired. Epics frequently necessitate more than one Sprint to complete.

What Qualifications Does an APM Require?

You might think that the position has some hefty skill requirements based on the enormous expectations placed on APMs. You’d be correct. One of the most important Agile project management tools is a strong skill set. To that end, here is a list of hard and soft skills that every good APM should possess.

Excellent organizational skills, particularly the ability to prioritize. APMs must concentrate on the critical components of the project while ignoring unnecessary or distracting work.

The ability to not only remain calm under pressure, but to thrive in it.

Excellent communication skills are required for collaborating with teams as well as communicating with management and other non-team members.

The ability to collaborate effectively with others.

Superior critical thinking skills, including the ability to think on one’s feet.

demonstrating comfort with rapidly changing priorities, as well as highly developed adaptability and flexibility

A solid understanding of various Agile and Scrum elements, such as Agile planning and Agile project management with Scrum.

The ideal APM has official project management certification and training. More on this in a moment.

In addition to the skills listed above, an excellent APM is familiar with, understands, and adheres to the four key values of Agile methodology as outlined in the Agile Manifesto, which was mentioned earlier in the article.

Remember that in some cases, different Agile team members may share the duties of an APM. However, it is preferable to have one person whose sole responsibility is to keep the project running smoothly, to act as a motivating leadership figure for the team, and to act as a liaison between the team and the customer. Although this may necessitate posting, filling, and paying for a new position in your company, it will save you money in the long run.

Do You Have What It Takes to Become an Agile Project Manager?

Agile and Scrum have grown in popularity. Why not consider Agile Project Management if you want a job that provides security, stability, good pay, and an exciting challenge? Simplilearn offers a Post Graduate Program in Project Management certification course to help you get started with Agile project management.

The course, which is aligned with PMI-PMP® and IASSC-Lean Six Sigma, allows you to attend UMass Amherst’s live online interactive classes and masterclasses. Harvard Business Publishing case studies and capstone projects are included in the program to teach you how to strategize and manage various aspects of program management such as project, program, risk, quality, and complexity management. You’ll also learn about customer-centric digital transformation and PMO implementation, as well as how to use Agile and Scrum.

Assume you require additional Agile training or upskilling. In that case, Simplilearn has a wide range of courses to fill in the skill gaps, including Agile Scrum Foundation, Certified Scrum Master, and Agile Scrum Master.

According to Glassdoor, the median annual salary for Agile Project Managers in the United States is USD 88,328. According to Payscale, APMs in India can earn a yearly average salary of 1,427,943.

Good project managers are required for agile teams. Why can’t you be that? Visit Simplilearn’s certification courses today to jumpstart your career!

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