How to become an Agile project manager?
The Agile style of project management is fundamentally different than the traditional approaches to project management (such as the waterfall methodology). In fact, many Agile frameworks, such as Scrum, don’t even have a clear role for a project manager within the project team. Instead, there is a “Scrum Master.”
The key difference for a project manager is that Agile focuses on a collaborative approach to projects, emphasizing teamwork, and making the role of the project manager less defined. This means the role of a traditional project manager needs to evolve in an Agile environment into more of a guide, facilitator, mentor, change expert, coach, and/or trainer.
To be a successful Agile project manager, you should possess the following qualities:
- Exceptional organizational skills, including the ability to prioritize
- The ability to thrive under pressure
- Excellent communication skills and the ability to work well with others
- Superior critical thinking capabilities, including the ability to think on your feet
- Comfort with quickly changing priorities and a high level of adaptability and flexibility
An Agile project manager also needs to embrace the four key values listed in the official Agile Manifesto:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
While many of the principles and processes provided in the PMBOK (Project Management Book of Knowledge) are still relevant to Agile, if you want to focus on Agile project management, you should consider an Agile-focused training course, rather than just the standard PMP (Project Management Professional) designation.
More organizations are offering certifications for Agile project managers. A few of the most well-known include:
- Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP) from the Project Management Institute (PMI)
- Agile Project Management Practitioner (AgilePM) from APMG International
- Associate or Master’s in Agile from Strategyex
You can also complete certifications and credentials from: