Agile What? Learn as You Go

Ron Fulmer, PMP

This article represents a real-time learning experience in agile software development methodology during project execution. It is a high-level overview with insights into project challenges, lessons learned, and success realized. It references the Manifesto for Agile Software Development (Beck et al., 2001) and agile software development principles.

As a project manager, have you ever been in a situation where you had to sink or swim—one where failure was not an option and your reputation was riding on it, all while using a project management methodology that you had no prior experience with? Hence the title of this article, “Agile What? Learn as You Go.”

I was asked to execute a high-profile software development project with a near-term-fixed drop-dead date. The end date needed to be met, and it could not slip. The team needed to develop new web interfaces to standardize and enable sales team processes and productivity. The team and I had only a basic knowledge of agile. Another challenge was to use the new Salesforce Lightning interface, for which there was limited experience on the team.

By simple definition, agile means to move quickly and easily, or be able to think and understand quickly. While the team in the scenario above used standard waterfall processes, the management team recognized that an agile approach would…

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"Intelligence is not the ability to store information, but to know where to find it."

- Albert Einstein