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How to Make an Agile Project Management Plan (+ FREE SmartSuite Template)

How to Make an Agile Project Management Plan (+ FREE SmartSuite Template)

June 23, 2023

Welcome to the world where Agile project management reigns king! If you're scratching your head about organizing agile projects or if you've been eyeing that slick SmartSuite template and wondering how to tackle it, you've come to the right place. Today, I'll guide you through the essentials of agile workflows within Smartsuite's environment and show you how you can seamlessly integrate it into your work management game. And hey, don't forget to hit up our affiliate link below to snag your SmartSuite account and follow along on this journey. A big shout-out to smartspeed for sponsoring this tutorial!

Before we deep dive into the SmartSuite template goodness, let's square away on a fundamental question: What the heck is an agile project anyway?

Agile vs. Waterfall: Finding Your Flow in Project Management

Project management approaches are typically classified as Agile or Waterfall. Now, while Waterfall has its own charms, we're gonna camp out with Agile today.

Imagine Agile as a less-is-more art form. You plan your work in bite-sized chunks—think under 30 days—then execute, reflect, and repeat. It's like doing a self-check after a workout:

"Did that go as expected? Do we need to switch up our routine?"

In Agile, you're on a constant loop of action and improvement. It's not about locking into a set destination from the get-go but moving, evaluating a bit, and then moving some more—embracing change like an old friend.

Agile excels when your end goal is akin to a fog-covered hilltop. You know you'll eventually clear the mist, but you're not quite sure of the best path just yet. It's perfect for those "let's figure it out as we go" situations, dealing with opinionated stakeholders wanting regular peeks at your progress, or if innovative twists and turns are common guests in your projects.

By contrast, Waterfall is the straight-and-narrow path. You map the entire journey upfront—there's no detour, no looping back. It fits like a glove when you know your destination and the steps to get there like the back of your hand.

Though Agile and Waterfall seem like polar opposites, most people find that a splash of both spices up their project outcomes. That said, those who lean a tad toward Agile have a smoother trek when they need to switch things up on the fly.

Unboxing the Agile Template in SmartSuite

Now let's get to the meat of it: setting up your Agile project in Smartsuite. First up, you'll encounter the "Sprints" app. Think of Sprints as your project's heartbeat—periodic bursts of work, each with clear start and end dates, along with a nifty set of tasks called "stories" and "bugs."

  • Stories: These are little chapters of user benefits that you plot and track during your project.
  • Bugs: Here's where you list the gremlins that are dampening your user's day, so you can squash them.

But what's this Agile shindig without 'Epics,' you ask? Imagine an Epic as a season of your favorite show—multiple storylines converging to leave you on a cliffhanger. That's your Epic: a bigger vision made of multiple Stories.

Once you hop over to the "Stories and Issues," you'll find tasks pulsing with life, arranged by status, with a slick double-click revealing their Sprint affiliations.''

Estimating Story Points

Now comes the mind-bender—estimation. But don't sweat it:

"How heavy is this task relative to others?"

That's all you're answering with Agile's story points. They're not hours or days—they're a gut-check on a task's heft relative to ones you've wrestled before.

With Smartsuite's Fibonacci-scaled single select field, just tag your task with a number that fits its size.

Dealing with the Big Fish—Epics

When you have your sights on monumental goals, you lodge them in the "Epics" app. Here you see the grand tapestry of your undertaking, with individual Stories like stars dotting the night sky of each Epic.

Bugs and Issues—The Cleanup Crew

Every hero needs a trustworthy sidekick, right? Enter the "Issues" app—your trusty tracker for fixing what ails your project.

And, before you say it, nope, you don't need to be a software wizard to use it. Every business has its fair share of hiccups—the missing link in an invoice, the permission slip-ups—and this is where you give those bugs a permanent vacation.

Ideas and Team Meetings—Your Think Tank and War Room

Last up, we've got the "Ideas" and "Team Meetings" apps. These are the cogs that keep your project engine purring.

  • Ideas: This is where every brainwave gets its moment in the sun—your very own sandbox for schemes and dreams, complete with a handy voting system to prioritize like a boss.
  • Team Meetings: The glue that binds your Agile adventure, where you chalk out agendas, scribe your retrospectives, and keep track of the ebb and flow of your project tides.

Take the Agile Leap with SmartSuite

Imagine plugging into this whole Agile setup for free! Yup, Smartsuite's free tier hands you this robust template to magpie into your project management nest. Delete the dummy data, sprinkle your own brand of project pixie dust, and you're off to the races.

Whether you've got the Agile spirit or you're taking a traditional project march, this template is your map to success. For more deep dives into the Agile landscape, keep the comments coming, or if you're more of a Waterfall person, you know where to find guidance for a more structured approach.

Install SmartSuite's Agile Projects Template for FREE:

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