As a part of the VenturePact agile series, we have been regularly sharing agile development posts. Keeping up the same agile spirit, today we begin an interview series, which will bring to you the experts’ take on agile/scrum methodology.
As the first interview, we present to you our conversation with Nada Aldahleh, Co-Founder and CEO at Sandglaz, a lean project management software for agile teams. Nada shares her insight about agile project management and productivity within agile teams.
What is your view on Project Management?
Project management is about focusing on building the solution that best meets your customer’s needs in the fastest way possible. This means iterating on your solution, collecting feedback and measuring results, and learning from that for the next iteration. It’s managing a project by continuously steering it’s direction with market changes, because you want to build the best solution possible rather than simply sticking to your initial plan. Businesses that embrace change win.
I also believe in cross-functional self managing teams. Encouraging team members to be involved, collaborate effectively, and be innovative. This is a great trend we see in the industry today; it’s being encouraged with the digital tools available to us, and the transparency it provides. Employee’s contributions, suggestions and discussions are easily traced back in project management tools encouraging their involvement.
One of the biggest project management challenges is dealing with risk. How do you handle this?
The biggest risk is investing a lot of time building something that nobody wants. The best way is to continuously collect feedback and act on that feedback. The feedback needs to be both qualitative, such as talking to customers face to face, and quantitative, such as programmatically measuring and analyzing the behaviour of customers as they interact with your product. This will help you learn what is working and what’s not, and allow you to adjust.
Can you give us some suggestions on how agile team should plan their tasks better
– Keep it simple and fast so you focus on building your solution rather than managing your tasks. UsingSandglaz to manage your tasks, simply jot down your tasks in the milestone you think you will complete them. You can later easily reprioritize your tasks as you learn more about your product and market. Sandglaz is designed to make constantly changing your plans and priorities very easy. So it doesn’t get in the way of you being agile and responsive to change.
– Keep all your plans, tasks, attachments, notes, discussions, etc in one place available to all team members. Let it act as the one version of truth. Transparency and tracking team discussions and progress willencourage collaboration and innovation.
You are obsessed with being productive all the time. Can you give us some tips on productivity?
It’s not only about how much you work it’s also about working in the right direction. You need to always assess and steer your product or service in the right direction.
Spend your downtime on things that are important to you, like spending time with family and friends, or on a hobby you enjoy. Even your downtime should be productive.
Thanks Nada! This is great advice, something which agile teams could definitely benefit from.
What do you think? If you would also like to share your thoughts about agile development in organizations, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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