Consulting & Innovation

Agile Project Management

Agile project management: mastering complex projects efficiently

Agile working methods and agile project management have become an important tool for sustainable and efficient business in times of complex projects and ever faster changing requirements. Whether as support for your project team or as a consulting guide: our experts for project and product management, product owners/consultants and agile coaches/Scrum masters actively support you from the idea through the development process to successful project completion.

Your needs decide: Either you request a complete team of diva-e experts. Alternatively, our specialists can work on-site or remotely in individual project phases to support and relieve your staff. We are also happy to support customer roles with selected expertise. Feel free to contact us without obligation!

Your contact person
Nadine Lott
Head of CC PM & Agile Consulting

Our services around agile project management

We support you in the design of agile project setups, agile project organization and planning, and the active management of all project dimensions. These include time, budget, scope and quality. We provide you with an overview and transparency in the planning, implementation and evaluation of agile projects - across all phases.

This includes consulting and tailor-made support in the design of your very individual agile processes, up-to-date requirement engineering, functioning change management, and maintaining a balance between specified budgets and agile procedures for achieving your product vision.

The most important aspects of our consulting services in continuous process support include:

  • Facilitating and coaching the project team

  • Ensuring smooth agile development

  • Working in mixed project teams (e.g. diva-e specialists, internal company specialists, other external team members)

  • Providing impetus for continuous improvement (iterative optimization)

  • Consulting and training for the introduction and further development of agile working methods

Why has agile project management become so important?

Desire for efficiency and planning security

The advantages of agile project management are obvious: Compared to classic working methods, it creates all the prerequisites for stakeholders and team members to always be able to contribute optimally and efficiently in their respective roles within a project.

However, this requirement is often in conflict with fixed project budgets on the one hand and the high degree of flexibility of agile working methods on the other. In case of doubt, this can quickly lead to problems in project implementation. In addition, there is the fundamental problem that project implementation calculated purely on the basis of effort entails risks. From an entrepreneurial point of view, this naturally represents insufficient planning security.

Thanks to the many years of practical experience of our agile in-house experts, we can support you individually in finding the optimal approach to agilization for your needs and processes. In order to comply with budgetary requirements and thus ensure sustainable planning security, we are always at your side to provide advice.

Fast, efficient development that takes user feedback into account

User feedback plays a central role in the agile development of products, services and companies. Simply put: You involve your customers in the development and further development of your offer at an early stage. In this way, you are not only able to quickly build up a high level of trust and a bond with your clientele. By analyzing feedback at an early stage, you also ensure that no unintentional mistakes are made despite meticulous planning, research and testing. This can be the case, for example, if the actual user needs have not been met or if the market conditions have changed during the planning and development periods.

This is realized by defining and realizing a so-called Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Here, only a defined minimum of functionality and scope of your product is initially defined and implemented, which is sufficient to launch your idea as well as business model. The outcome for subsequent versions is deliberately left open. After the go-live, the analysis of user behavior and feedback starts immediately. The insights gained from this flow directly into the further iteration steps of your venture.

This creates a space in which your product or offering evolves along with the needs and desires of your clientele. This process does not only result in a high degree of satisfaction and loyalty of your customers. Internally, the knowledge gained about positive and negative developments reduces tension in the team, reduces the risk of failure and thus creates the conditions for healthy and sustainable growth of your product or offering.

Drive agile mindset in the enterprise

If you are thinking about introducing agile processes in your company, you need to be aware that agile working methodology represents, first and foremost, a very general paradigm shift in the working world.

As in all change management situations, it is important to proceed with great caution and intelligent planning. It is not enough to simply "install Jira" and swear the team to new processes. It is important for the success of agile project management that the agile manifesto - the underlying framework for agile processes, so to speak - is learned, understood and, above all, lived in your company.

In the agile method, things learned over decades are thrown overboard and reorganized. This doesn't mean that you have to change your entire company structure as well as the process system with the introduction of agile techniques. Rather, it means that your employees will be assigned additional project roles that are independent of their positions and areas of responsibility. Existing company processes will be retained as far as possible during agilization. However, major changes may also occur in the individual processes, which must be responded to with targeted measures.

For such implementations of agile mindsets within departments, groups or even within an entire company, we draw on the many years of expertise of our specialists. We are happy to train your employees in agile working methods and support you in the necessary change management. In this way, you will be able to advance your product or project developments faster, better, more efficiently, more sustainably and more cost-effectively in the future, and at the same time successfully lead all participants through this development process.

Modern Requirements Engineering and Product Owner Support

As part of the contract development process, we work with you to define the main project goals (so-called "objectives") and assess their basic feasibility within the available budget. It is important not to create a comprehensive, feature- and function-rich final solution at the beginning. Rather, it is about creating an MVP version of your product based on your business goals, which is then elaborated in further steps and product versions based on user feedback. In this way, long conception phases at the beginning of the project and the often associated planning errors can be avoided.

The jointly defined objectives are broken down into larger thematic units (epics), which, based on the needs and requirements of the end customers, lead to more precisely specified requirements (user stories). The formulation of epics helps to structure the content required to achieve the objectives and facilitates the derivation of concrete requirements as well as the joint design of the feature and function scope. Directly at the start of the project, the initial elaboration usually takes place within the framework of a joint workshop - for example, with the help of the story mapping method.

During the agile project implementation, we promote the discussion in partnership, the detailed elaboration of the requirements and their sensible prioritization through continuous reviews and retrospectives. We support you throughout all change processes and evaluate agreed changes, also taking into account the originally set objectives, the time frame and the available budget.

MVP as initial result

Agile project management can be excellently linked to the objective of achieving an MVP (Minimum Viable Product) as the first major project result. For this purpose, the goals are defined at the beginning of the project that must be achieved in order to obtain the smallest possible (minimum) and at the same time viable (marketable) product.

We also create MVPs to prove the meaningfulness of a project. The design of these goals in the form of features corresponds exactly to the MVP. From a business perspective, the MVP approach provides the best cost-benefit ratio. The full focus of the project team is on the absolutely necessary objectives (product breadth) and features (depth of detail) and their completion in terms of the fastest possible start-up and market launch. Further objectives and the deeper design to improve the product are coordinated and planned in the further course of the project - always based on the findings of the MVP.

Agile project management in professional style

The diva-e experts for agile project management draw their experience from many years of practice and continuously deepen it. In our work, it is particularly important to us that we provide our expertise in an undogmatic, direct and eye-to-eye manner. Only in this way are we able to understand and optimally support our clients' teams to ensure that project processes are efficiently and effectively planned, implemented and organized.

Agile project management methods such as Scrum can be used to solve the challenges of even the most complex projects. For example, by breaking them down into small, manageable and implementable partial results, each of which is realized by the agile team in just a few days.

Transparency and efficiency across all project phases

Maximum transparency towards all parties involved as well as continuous review and adjustment of processes and requirements are important to us - and therefore an integral part of our project methodology.

Transparency is necessary for all project participants in order to make the right decisions and optimally influence product development. It requires a valid information base, an overview of events, challenges - and ultimately results, which we ensure through regular project controlling and efficiently designed project meetings.

In the agile project methodology, we actively involve our customers in the development process and consider them as part of the project team, so that no gray areas arise in the course of the project. Regular retrospectives also enable us to learn together from the experiences of previous project work, to further optimize collaboration in the project team, and thus to ensure the efficiency of the cooperation.

Promote and live agility

Agile product development shows its greatest effectiveness when everyone involved is methodologically confident and trained. We ensure this through in-house training. Our PM & Agile Consulting ensures calmness and effectiveness in the projects through present methodological competence and is continuously active in an advisory capacity. Our experts are also regularly represented with contributions at conferences and barcamps and look forward to meeting you in person.

Planning in the agile project environment

Implementing a project in an agile manner does not mean that rough project planning at the beginning, a definition of the project flow and the determination of the project structure have to be dispensed with. Even with an agile project approach, it is important to plan the resources required for the project - especially if several parallel projects with limited resources have to be served.

The main difference to the classic methodology lies in the planning style.

  • In classical implementation, the project is planned in its entirety and assessed as capable of being planned. This means that work is done towards a defined project goal, which is usually strictly defined at the beginning.

  • In agile project management, planning is incremental. Short planning cycles offer a high degree of flexibility and enable continuous project development. The final project result does not have to be strictly defined in advance.

Requirements determine the project and not the project the requirements.

diva-e relies heavily on the agile project approach due to many years of experience. For most of our customers it is extremely difficult to clearly formulate all requirements at the beginning of the project and thus to fully define the desired project result. At the start of the project, it is often not yet known exactly

  • which internal dependencies on the customer's side will influence the implementation,

  • which interfaces can be connected,

  • which features are required and how these should be designed optimally for the end users.

For this reason, diva-e strongly involves its customers in the development and design of the product vision right from the start of the project. Wishes and changes can be introduced and implemented without much effort in an agile project planning. A backlog is jointly created and further developed over the course of the project. This replaces a detailed requirement and functional specification and offers a significantly higher flexibility in the design of requirements. Regular project controlling and reporting also help to stay on track financially.

Frequently asked questions in the context of agile project management

What actually is agile project management?

What are the differences between classic and agile project management?

When is agile project management not suitable?

Can classic working methods be combined with agile ones?

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