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By Saurabh Jain

What Is Agile Project Management?

When I started my startup I had a tough time completing projects on time. Some how we were always late. After many years I bumped into a process called ‘Agile’. Agile is a way of managing work. It is an easy process to understand and relatively light weight process in execution. Agile Manifesto is the guiding spirit of agile project management.

Agile is a term that includes lots of project management techniques. SCRUM is the most famous among them. Extreme programming is another. Many people get into Agile thinking it’s a water tight methodology.

I have used Agile for many years now and also read many books on it and have attended a few meetups and workshops on it. My own take is that Agile can be summed up in Saint Kabeer’s couplet:

Kaal kare so aaj kar, Aaj kare so ab, pal main parley hoyegi bahuri karega kab

It means, instead of tomorrow do work today, instead of today do work right now, death will come any moment, how will you finish the work.

Agile is actually not a process but a way of thinking. It is about prioritizing and doing the most important work today instead of spending a long time planning or procrastinating. We all know after Covid that death and disruption can come at any time. Agile also tries to reduce time wastage in unnecessary planning, documentation and meetings. Agile also tells that customer is always right and products should be built as per his or her needs.

Agile has been a hit in silicon valley and beyond in startups over last nearly 20 years. Companies like Google and Paytm use it extensively. My favorite book on this topic is Scrum: A revolutionary approach to building teams, beating deadlines, and boosting productivity by Jeff Sutherland.

This is an extract from Saurabh Jain's book - Startup Canvas, available on Amazon