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What is Agile Project Management?

Have you ever tried something new that worked well but you didn't understand why it was working? When we first started implementing Agile we had tremendous success. For instance, we turned a twice failed custom CRM implementation into a home run for a leading insurance company and had many other similar victories. It really is a great project management tool, but there are still many people who don't know the basics of Agile.

So here is a brief overview of Agile Project Management and what it accomplishes for you.

Agile Software development is a term coined with the signing of the Agile Manifesto in 2001. At this signing some of the world's most prominent minds came together to rally against the current "heavyweight" (aka waterfall) development methods at the time. From this genesis Agile emerged as a legitimate alternative development methodology. Today Agile adoption is spreading like wildfire and even organizations, such as the Project Management Institute are starting to take notice.

The term Agile refers to a family of methodologies including; Extreme Programming, Lean, Scrum, etc. According to the latest industry data, Scrum enjoys the largest market share at 49.1% (Version One "The State of Agile Development" 3rd Annual Survey: 2008). Each methodology has its own unique differences, however all Agile methodologies share the following characteristics:

• Develop the highest value features first • Short iterations, frequent releases • Fixed resources and time, scope remains variable • High visibility, high bandwidth communication (aka face-to-face) • Small cross-functional, self-managing teams • Inspecting and adapting (continuous improvement)

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What is Agile project management?