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Agile Project Management

Agile Project Management

A short tutorial of Agile Project Management

For those who stumbled upon Agile Project Management and they didn't know what this actually is, they should know that it's high paced software development technology used for the planning of software releases. This type of software development relies on short and fast product development cycles which actually produces software that comes with complete features over 2 to 4 weeks. When the product is ready it will be tested by a customer team. In some cases the customer team can be an internal team which consists of other employees and project managers, yet in other cases it's just the actual customer.

So how does one such process work? Well in the following minutes this article will go through each step of what Agile Project Management means and explain the different stages that need to be crosschecked.

1. First of all a customer team will have to be created and then this team will make sure that the product will meet the requirements of those who will use it. Generally such teams will include technical writers, usability designers and project managers. Ideally it's also recommended that they will use an actual user from a customer site.

2. In step two of the Agile Project Management user stories will have to be developed around the desired product features. According to what Mike Cohn said, a user story describes functionality that's going to be valuable to the purchase of the software or to the user. That is why when the story is going to be created it should specify the exact benefits of the product to the user. It's vital that these stories don't contain architectural details or programming and they should also not be interdependent. If this happens things will get complicated in what regards completing each story and estimating time. Generally numbering unit testing and also development, a user story should not take more than 5 days to be completed.

For the confirmation of the functionality of each feature acceptance tests will have to be written for the customer. These tests should be yielded out of the various conversations that will take place between the customer team and the development team. The target to be reached in this case is to have as many details as possible fleshed out before the acceptance tests.

4. At this point of the Agile Project Management, between the development and customer team, iterations have to be decided upon. They're usually between 1 to 4 weeks.

5. The development team now has to be asked for an estimation on the time they need in order to complete each iteration based on the user stories. This step of the process is called "velocity". But for the development team to give an exact estimate is very unlikely to happen and there will be revisions coming up in the future on this.

6. The stories will then have to be organized on a priority basis and thus the ones which will get to be completed in each iteration will be chosen. At this point the development team needs to take into consideration the interests of a specific user segment for them to complete that story and the actual impact a missed deadline would have. Should there be disagreements between the customer and development team, the first one always wins.

7. At the beginning of the iterations the acceptance tests have to be broken down in many technical and functional tests. Given this need the development team will need to make sure an adequate cover is going to be achieved and that is why they have to come up with as many tests as possible. Also the ones who will be responsible with the iterations of the acceptance tests are the leader of the testing team and that of the product manager.

8. Now at the beginning of each iteration the stories need to be broken down into individual tasks and given to the developers. At this step the members of the development team and the development manager ensure things will go on smoothly.

9. At this pre-final Agile Project Management step the acceptance and development testing will be complete and additional post-development testing will incept. Then a daily "scrum" meeting will need to be held by the development manager to ensure the accountability of the team members. Thus the acceptance test should not be run against what a developer will decide, but against the previously determined acceptance criteria.

10. As the end of the iteration has come the stories which didn't get to be used will need to be rolled for the next iteration. The process should go on until the deadline has been reached. This has been the tutorial for Agile Project Management.