Agile Project Manager: Responsibilities and skills

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Jan 24, 2023

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Increasing numbers of businesses are embracing an Agile approach to project management. Agile is a collaborative process that incorporates stakeholder and consumer input in short development cycles called "sprints." The objective is to embrace flexibility and constant development in order to provide a superior final product. However, in an Agile setting, the project manager's function is less well defined.

Agile project manager places a greater emphasis on teamwork and less emphasis on hierarchical leadership. Popular Agile implementation frameworks include Scrum, Kanban, Extreme Programming (XP), and Adaptive Project Framework (APF). In an Agile setting, the job of a typical project manager changes based on the project and organizational structure. Today in this article, we are going give more emphasis on the rules and responsibilities of a project manager and learn more about what skills are needed to become a project manager in agile projects.

But first, let us learn a little bit about agile project management.

What exactly is Agile project management?

Agile project management is an iterative technique for planning and directing project activities that divides them into sprints or iterations.

Agile projects, like Agile software development, are done in tiny chunks. An iteration in Agile software development, for example, refers to a single development cycle. The project team, which should include representatives of the project's numerous stakeholders, reviews and critiques each part or iteration. The next phase in a project is determined based on the insights gleaned from the evaluation of a previous iteration.

The primary advantage of beginning Agile Project Management is its capacity to adapt to challenges that develop during the project's duration. Making a required adjustment to a project at the appropriate moment may save resources and contribute to the timely and cost-effective completion of the project.

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Responsibilities of an agile project manager:

An Agile project manager may assume any of the following responsibilities:

Crucial facilitator:

Their objective is to empower their team and remove possible obstacles, setting the path for the successful completion of the project. As the team needs to have the right direction in which they can work and achieve the goals, the project manager makes sure that the team is on the defined path.

Change management expert:

They will be responsible for engaging the whole organization in Agile project management, implementing new procedures, and interacting with corporate stakeholders. As there could be various changes that come in the team, it is the responsibility of the project manager to make sure that those changes are implemented seamlessly.

Strategic trainer and coach:

Change occurs rapidly in an Agile setting. It will be the responsibility of project managers to assist their teams in mastering the latest tools, workflows, and procedures. All these processes are needed to be explained to the team in the right way and when the project manager has the knowledge of these attributes of the project, he will become a good coach and trainer to the team and help them get all the knowledge.

Possible Agile Project Manager Positions

The Agile Project Manager may serve a variety of purposes in real practice. There are various roles that can be played by an agile project manager and some of them are mentioned below:

Enterprise-level Role

At an enterprise level, prospective jobs include:

  • The project manager will have the leadership and management role of huge, complex corporate initiatives that are needed to be maintained in the organization.
  • The projects may include many Agile teams and may need integration with activities beyond the Agile teams' scope.

Team-level Role

Potential jobs within a team include:

  • Playing a consultative role to implement the necessary people, processes, and tools to enhance the team's efficiency and effectiveness.
  • As required, provide team members with guidance to maximize the efficiency of the project team. Here the project manager will ensure that the team is well aligned and they are able to get all the assistance they need to get the job done.

Hybrid Agile Role

Potential responsibilities in settings requiring a hybrid Agile approach include:

  • Developing a project management strategy that is suited for planning and managing the effort using discretion and competence
  • Obtain project objectives within the specified project limitations. The project manager needs to ensure that the project objectives are very well defined and there is clear communication among the team members.

The agile project manager will be expected to use a high level of knowledge and experience in blending traditional project management principles and practices with an Agile development approach in the right proportions to fit large, complex, mission-critical, enterprise-level projects with the appropriate level of planning and provide the right balance of agility and predictability in performing these duties.

What abilities does an agile project manager need?

On the basis of the tremendous expectations put on Agile Project Managers, one may conclude that the post has rigorous skill requirements. You'd be correct. A solid skill set is one of the most important Agile project management instruments. Here is a list of hard and soft abilities that any excellent Agile Project Manager must possess.

  • Exceptional organizing abilities, particularly the capacity to prioritize. Agile Project Managers must concentrate on the essential components of a project and disregard extraneous or distracting tasks.
  • The capacity to not only maintain composure but to flourish under duress. There could be various times when conflict arises in any organization and with the right mindset and cool, the manager will be able to go through that situation and find the best solution.
  • Essential for cooperating with teams and communicating with management and other non-team members.
  • Ability to cooperate well with others.
  • Exceptional critical thinking skills, especially the capacity to think quickly on one's feet.
  • Exhibiting comfort with rapidly shifting priorities, as well as a high level of adaptability and adaptability.
  • Strong experience with several Agile and Scrum components, such as Agile planning and Agile project management using Scrum.
  • The ideal Agile Project Manager has proper project management certification and training.

Understanding the Duties of an Agile Project Manager 

  • The Agile Project Manager plans, directs, organizes, and inspires Agile project teams. The manager's duties are diverse:
  •  Assisting the team in achieving a high level of performance and quality, holding teams responsible for their job, eliminating roadblocks, and mentoring less experienced team members.
  •  Determining the project's timeline and scope while maintaining a balance between this and timely and regular value delivery, as well as planning and conducting working and project status meetings.  
  • Delivering Agile initiatives that provide users with exceptional commercial value.
  • Supporting the product owner in managing stakeholder interactions, customer expectations for deliveries, and the implementation of an efficient project governance framework.
  • Promote team empowerment via team-building approaches, ensuring that every team member contributes meaningfully and is completely invested in the project. 
  • The Agile Project Manager may also be responsible for managing many concurrent projects with high visibility. Agile Project Managers are used to using Agile methodologies in a fast-paced corporate setting that may include many company divisions.
  • Agile Project Managers collaborate with management teams to define the product's epics in the most effective manner. 

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Final verdict

In this article, you have learnt about what is a project manager and what is project manager role in agile. Agile and Scrum have grown in popularity. If you think that you are the right fit to handle situations like this in the team and are also able to follow this methodology with your  scrum master certification you should head straight to StarAgile, where you are going to find specially curated courses to have these certifications. The scrum certification is in so much demand nowadays and with the right training and information, you can also earn your certification and start looking for great opportunities which will help increase your career graph exponentially. You will be able to learn from the professionals and enter the world of scrum masters to find the biggest jobs for you in giant industries.

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