Agile methods: How to manage projects agilely!

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Agile methods: How to manage projects agilely!

You are a project manager, entrepreneur or boss and have studied different leadership styles in detail. You have found out that agile leadership is a perfect fit for you, your team and your projects. Now the only real question is how does it all work? How do you lead agile methods? And what if the agile methods are somehow different in practice than the theory promises?

Don't worry about it! Sure, a new leadership style means change. And change is difficult for most of us at first. So don't be surprised if your employees face headwinds at first. This will dissipate as soon as they get used to their new leave the comfort zone have and find that agile leadership can offer them quite a bit.

Agile methods, for example, promote progress and ensure shorter decision-making paths. They are dynamic, flexible and, in the digital age, one of the best methods to get a team in top form. You already know this, of course, and that's exactly why you chose this style of leadership. Your employees will also become friends with agile methods - provided that you motivate and lead them properly.

Most important tips for agile leadership

So now back to the initial question of how to properly introduce agile methods in your company or department. First of all, your current leadership and corporate culture is crucial for the next steps. If you currently follow the classic "command and control" concept, your path to agile methods will be much longer than if you already have a cooperative leadership as a starting point. Therefore, the two most important pieces of advice come right at the beginning:

  1. Take enough time! A leadership style cannot be changed overnight. Unless your team is very small, you don't have any other hierarchies above you, and your employees are directly ready to embrace agile methods and fulfill their new tasks. However, this is probably only the case in young startups. In the vast majority of cases, you have to plan more time, Patience and must not fall back into old routines and behaviour patterns.
  2. Attend a professional leadership training! The 360° leadership training of the Leaders Academy teaches you important skills that help you perfect your agile methods. Experts are on hand to give you advice and help you with valuable practical tips. It's worth it!

Agile methods: What else you should consider

Of course, you can apply some agile methods right now, though, and develop a sense of how to move step by step from your current leadership style to agile methods. Before we get started, here are a few quick tips:

The cornerstones of agile methods are communication and teamwork. As the boss, you promote the development of individual employees and the entire team. This requires that you yourself meet the desired criteria: Can you communicate well? Are you open to personal and professional development? Will you deal openly with mistakes and reflect on yourself?

If you answer no to any of the questions, it will be difficult to credibly demonstrate agile methods to your team. Therefore, first make sure that you are 100 percent ready to lead your team with agile methods in the future. You are sure? Very good, then go for it! For example, you can start with one of the following two methods!

Agile Method 1 - Building Flexible Teams

Rethink existing departmental structures and form new, flexible teams on a project-by-project basis. If you're creating a web project for a client, for example, it makes sense for a programmer, a copywriter and a project manager to work together on the task. But if the programmer sits in the web designer's office, the copywriter in the editor's office, and the project manager somewhere else entirely, they'll be slowed down by time-consuming communication structures. They have to make phone calls, write emails, wait for responses .... You already realize, that's not very agile.

However, if you manage to bring the employees together spatially, this can change very quickly: The employees complete their subtasks much faster, because they can exchange and coordinate personally. At the same time, their different skills, ideas and views lead to completely new results.

For this agile method, you don't have to dissolve or permanently change any departments. It's enough if you bring the right employees together and give them enough space - in both senses of the word - both spatially and mentally. Create the right structures, provide your employees with meeting and coworking spaces. You will quickly notice that the results will be much more innovative than before thanks to this agile method.

Agile Method 2 - Giving employees responsibility

Let's move on to the second example - the advanced agile method. After bringing your employees together in a meaningful way in the first step and carefully introducing them to agile methods, it's now time for them to take on more responsibility. Now it's about realizing your full potential!

Not only do your employees have to settle into a new role, but you do too. Because the more responsibility they take on, the more you give away. So from now on, you're a kind of trailblazer. You no longer set the path, but enable your team to find their own. Always with the goal in mind that every employee moves the company forward with their own ideas and implementations. For this you have to:

  • loosening old structures and flattening hierarchies
  • Network employees and form flexible teams
  • Provide resources, rooms and budgets
  • trust in the skills of your employees and provide them with further training

These are big changes for everyone involved. But at some point, even the biggest change becomes a habit and the results and outcomes are guaranteed to inspire you! Therefore dare the step, use the chance agile methods and optimize your agile leadership style. It's worth it!

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Reviewed by Dr. med. Stefan Frädrich

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