Agile provides a mindset for approaching how businesses get projects completed. In companies ranging from large biotechnology corporations to software development startups, agile principles help team members collaborate, adapt to changes and deliver quickly.
The four basic principles of Agile are adaptability, iteration, continuous delivery, and short time frames. Agile is also a term used to describe a variety of management methodologies, including Scrum, Kanban, Lean, and Extreme Programming.
Agile provides many benefits, including improved ability to manage changing priorities, increased project visibility, better project predictability, and increased delivery speed. To implement and direct Agile processes into their workflows, many companies employ Agile managers.
Let’s take look at what this role entails.
What Does an Agile Manager Do?
Agile methodologies focus strongly on collaboration within and among self-organizing, cross-functional teams. As a result, an Agile manager’s overall goal is to create a nimble, flexible environment that enables teams to be successful. That means setting expectations, tracking progress, ensuring best practices, enhancing teamwork, and stepping in to solve problems when a team is struggling to resolve an issue. Agile managers are also evangelists for the Agile process, making sure Scrum masters and product owners know and follow Agile methodologies to achieve project goals.
What Are an Agile Manager’s Daily Responsibilities?
Agile managers strive to help teams work together to push projects forward. They work with team members to improve skills, and they keep C-suite and other managers apprised of progress, ongoing issues, and future concerns.
Typical daily responsibilities of an Agile manager include:
- Developing and implementing Agile projects
- Scheduling, managing, and coordinating all aspects of one or more projects
- Promoting team development by overcoming obstacles blocking success
- Improving team capacities for quality work
- Leading Agile training sessions for team members
- Acting as coach and mentor to junior staff.
- Identifying opportunities to simplify workflows
- Creating and submitting status reports to higher management
Who Is Suitable for an Agile Manager Role?
Agile managers typically have ample experience providing leadership in an Agile environment. They’re skilled at defining and managing key performance indicators, as well as working collaboratively with clients, technology and business teams, C-suite officers, and other stakeholders. They need to be proficient with productivity and project management tools, such as Asana, Wrike, and Smartsheet.
Personality qualities that are essential for an Agile manager include strong relationship, conflict-resolution, and problem-solving skills. A flexible management approach, strong mentorship skills, self-motivation, and an ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment are other qualities that help an Agile manager thrive in their role.
Certifications needed to become an agile manager
Many employers prefer that applicants for an Agile manager position to be certified in Agile project management. As a supplement to your work experience or as part of a career change, having a certification helps verify your abilities and knowledge of Agile or its specific methodologies. Here’s an overview of popular Agile certifications:
- PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner: PMI-ACP certification formally recognizes your knowledge of Agile principles and your skills with agile techniques. It encompasses a variety of methodologies — including Scrum, Kanban, Lean, and test-driven development — which provides certificate-holders greater versatility in their careers.
- ICAgile Certified Professional: ICP certification demonstrates that you understand Agile principles and tools, solution-focused approaches to team facilitation, and Agile transformations.
- AgilePM Foundation: APMG certification shows that you know how to identify and apply popular Agile techniques, assign roles and responsibilities within an Agile environment, and measure progress.
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