11 Agile Project Management Skills You Need to Succeed in 2024

Sandeep Kashyap
10 min readFeb 7, 2024


Want to be an agile project manager?

It’s no secret that agile project management has become a buzzword in today’s fast-paced business world. And for a good reason — it offers an iterative and flexible approach to managing projects. It ultimately leads to faster delivery of high-quality products and services.

But to succeed in this dynamic realm, you need the right agile project management skills.

Don’t worry! I have got you.

In this article, I will cover 11 essential skills you will need to be a great agile project manager. I will also share practical tips to help you develop them. But first, let’s dive into what an agile project manager is.

What is an agile project manager?

An agile project manager is a professional who manages projects using agile methodologies. Agile is a flexible approach that prioritizes collaboration, adaptability, and customer satisfaction.

Agile PM facilitates the agile process. Agile PM also makes sure that teams deliver value to customers in a dynamic environment.

But how is Agile PM different from a traditional PM?

Agile and traditional PMs have different approaches to project management.

Agile PMs work iteratively and prioritize frequent feedback and continuous improvement. They are flexible and adapt to new information and changes. They encourage collaboration and communication. They manage risks continuously.

On the other hand, traditional PMs have a linear approach. They plan everything in advance and find it difficult to accommodate changes. They are in charge of assigning tasks and managing resources. They have a more formal and structured communication style. Their risk management is less iterative and dynamic.

Now, you must be thinking about what you have to do as an agile PM in an organization.

The role of an agile PM can vary depending on the organization. As an agile project manager, you can take any of the following roles:

  • Key facilitator: They empower their teams to make independent decisions. They also clear any roadblocks that may stand in the way of success.
  • Change management expert: They bring the entire organization together towards agile project management. Plus, they introduce new processes and keep company stakeholders informed.
  • Strategic coach and trainer: In an Agile environment, change happens quickly. They help their teams learn the newest tools, workflows, and processes.

Must have agile project management skills

Regardless of the role of an agile PM, he has to manage projects in an agile environment. So, he must have some essential skills to make him stand out.

  • Adaptability

“Enjoying success requires the ability to adapt. Only by being open to change will you have a true opportunity to get the most from your talent.” — Nolan Ryan

In an agile work environment, you have to be open to change and flexible to succeed. The agile method delivers projects in smaller portions. It allows you to collect regular feedback from customers. This means you need to adapt to changes quickly to ensure customer satisfaction.

Agile also emphasizes continuous improvement. There will be continuous changes in customer needs or market demands. So, your project must be flexible enough to be modified at any moment to meet these changing needs.

How to develop: Instead of viewing change as a disruption, you need to see it as an opportunity for improvement. Also, keep yourself updated with industry trends and adapt to new project requirements.

  • Communication

“If you just communicate, you can get by. But if you communicate skillfully, you can work miracles.” — Jim Rohn

Communication is essential for any project manager, especially for an agile PM. You have to communicate effectively with stakeholders, such as customers, users, developers, testers, and senior managers.

You should convey complex information in a way that is easy for others to understand. By mastering this skill, you can build trust and improve project outcomes.

How to develop: While communicating, you should give your full attention to others. Try to understand their perspective, and then respond thoughtfully. Be clear and concise, and use simple language. Keep your messages short and to the point. To keep everyone on the same page, schedule regular team meetings. You can also use communication tools to keep the team informed and aligned.

  • Critical thinking

“If you want to succeed in 21st-century business you need to become a critical thinker” — John Baldoni

Critical thinking will help you make informed and effective decisions. It involves analyzing information, questioning assumptions, and evaluating evidence to reach logical conclusions.

With the help of critical thinking, you can identify potential problems and risks, anticipate challenges, and develop innovative solutions.

How to develop: Encourage your team members to share their thoughts and ideas. This will bring diversity to the project. Plan ahead by evaluating different scenarios and their potential impacts on the project. Keep a curious mindset and always seek to understand why things are the way they are.

  • Prioritization

“The mark of a great man is one who knows when to set aside the important things in order to accomplish the vital ones.” — Brandon Sanderson

Prioritization helps you focus on the most important tasks and complete them on time. When working in an agile environment, things change frequently. So it’s essential to prioritize tasks based on their importance and urgency. By doing this, the team can concentrate on tasks that are most critical to the project’s success and have the highest value.

Prioritization also helps manage limited resources effectively. It ensures that the team is not overwhelmed by an excessive workload, which can lead to burnout and missed deadlines.

How to develop: To align project goals with organizational objectives, clearly identify and prioritize customer requirements. One way to categorize and prioritize tasks is to use the MoSCoW method (Must-haves, Should-haves, Could-haves, and Won’t-haves). This helps in organizing tasks based on their priority.

  • Organizational skills

“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.” — A. A. Milne

A good agile project manager needs strong organizational skills to plan, manage, monitor, and control the project. You should know how to use proper agile frameworks and methods, such as Scrum, Kanban, or XP, and apply them consistently and effectively.

You also should have knowledge of various tools and techniques such as user stories, backlog management, sprint planning, daily stand-ups, retrospectives, and burndown charts. These will help you manage the project’s scope, schedule, budget, quality, and risks.

How to develop: Use techniques like the Eisenhower matrix to categorize tasks based on urgency and importance. Set specific time limits for tasks to avoid spending too much time on non-critical activities. You can also use a project management tool like ProofHub to organize tasks, track progress, and collaborate with others.

  • Risk management

Risk management helps you identify potential problems that could derail the project and take steps to prevent them. It involves identifying, analyzing, and planning for risks that could threaten the project’s success.

By doing this, you can create a proactive approach to managing risk, which helps to minimize the impact of any risks that do occur. This skill ensures that the project stays on track, on time and within budget.

How to develop: Familiarize yourself with agile principles to align risk management with agile values. During agile meetings, regularly review potential risks. It will help you determine their likelihood and impact on the project. You can use a risk prioritization matrix to focus on high-impact and high-probability risks that could affect the success of the project.

  • Collaborate with stakeholders

“Collaboration is like carbonation for fresh ideas. Working together bubbles up ideas you would not have come up with solo, which gets you further faster.” — Caroline Ghosn

Collaboration helps you understand the needs and expectations of everyone involved in the project. By working closely with stakeholders, you can keep them informed about the project’s progress, and also gather feedback and suggestions to improve the project.

In addition, when stakeholders are involved in the project from the beginning, they are more likely to support the project and its goals throughout the process. This helps create a positive work environment and increases the chances of project success.

How to develop: Regularly engage with stakeholders through meetings, emails, and other channels. This will keep them up-to-date on project progress, challenges, and upcoming milestones. You can also use collaboration tools to facilitate communication and information sharing among team members and stakeholders.

  • Problem-solving

“There’s no use talking about the problem unless you talk about the solution.” — Betty Williams

As an agile project manager, you have to identify and resolve issues that may come up during the project. This will keep the project moving forward and ensure that it is completed on time and within budget.

When working in an agile environment, you should think on your feet and be flexible in your approach to problem solving. You need to quickly assess the situation and come up with a solution that will work for everyone involved. Good problem solving skills can also help to prevent future issues from occurring. This will save time and money in the long run.

How to develop: When analyzing situations, consider different perspectives and potential solutions. Try to identify the underlying causes of problems rather than just addressing surface-level issues. This will help you find more effective solutions.

  • Scrum

Scrum is a framework that helps teams work together to complete complex projects. It helps you to break down a big project into smaller parts, called sprints. Each sprint is a short period of time, usually two to four weeks, during which the team works on a specific set of tasks.

Scrum allows the team to collaborate, communicate, and adjust their approach as needed throughout the project. An agile project manager with scrum skills can manage the team’s progress. And, make sure that the project is completed on time and within budget.

How to develop: Obtain Scrum master certification to gain a solid understanding of scrum principles and practices. Apply scrum principles in real projects to gain hands-on experience and refine your skills. Seek guidance from experienced scrum practitioners, and consider mentoring others to strengthen your own understanding.

  • Ability to thrive under pressure

“How we handle pressure will determine whether we stand or break.” — Ed Hindson

Being able to thrive under pressure means the ability to perform well even in challenging or stressful situations. A project manager with this ability can remain calm, focused, and constructive during such situations.

You can make sound decisions, prioritize tasks, and keep team members motivated to meet project goals. Without this skill, you may experience burnout, make mistakes, and lose the confidence of your team. So, thriving under pressure is a must-have skill for an agile project manager.

How to develop: Practice stress-reduction techniques, such as mindfulness or deep breathing, to stay calm and focused in high-pressure situations. Cultivate a resilient mindset to bounce back from setbacks quickly. Learn from failures and use them as opportunities for improvement.

  • Time management

“Until we can manage time, we can manage nothing else.” — Peter F. Drucker

Time management helps you complete tasks efficiently and meet project deadlines. By managing your time effectively, you can prioritize tasks. Also, it helps you allocate resources and plan project timelines.

Without good time management skills, you may struggle to keep up with the demands of the project. This will ultimately lead to delays, missed deadlines, and budget overruns.

How to develop: Set SMART goals for yourself and your team. This means making goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. Use time-tracking tools to monitor and analyze how much time you spend on tasks. This will help you make adjustments and work more efficiently.

Agile principles in project management

An agile PM adheres to the agile manifesto principles to plan, develop, and release software.

Here are the 12 principles of the agile manifesto:

  1. Meet end users’ needs with early and continuous delivery of work.
  2. Be open to changes in requirements even late in the project.
  3. Deliver completed work at regular intervals, preferably short ones.
  4. Work with the project team and business owners daily.
  5. Assemble a motivated agile team. Then, provide them with the right environment and support, and trust them.
  6. Communicate face-to-face regularly.
  7. Use completed work to measure progress.
  8. Create processes that promote sustainable efforts and a constant pace of work.
  9. Require continuous attention to excellence through good design.
  10. Encourage simplicity.
  11. Recognize that the best work emerges from self-organized teams. These teams deliver the best architectures and designs.
  12. Reflect regularly on how the team can be more effective. Then, fine-tune and adjust the approach.

Now that you know the principles, the next question arises.

How to put them into practice?

Here are some practical tips to apply these principles in your daily work:

  • Embrace iterative development: Don’t plan everything in advance when working on a project. Try breaking the project down into smaller, more manageable tasks. This will help you respond more quickly to changing requirements and feedback.
  • Use visual tools like Kanban boards: Kanban boards help you visualize the workflow and identify any issues. They can also help team members stay organized and focused.
  • Prioritize user feedback and continuous improvement: Agile places a high value on feedback from end users. Make sure you regularly collect feedback and use it to improve your product or service.
  • Celebrate small wins: Agile teams work in short sprints. They focus on delivering small, incremental improvements. Celebrate these small wins to keep team morale high and encourage continued progress.
  • Encourage team autonomy: Empower your team members to make decisions and take ownership of their work. This will enhance creativity and innovation in team members.


In a nutshell, agile project management is crucial for succeeding in today’s fast-moving business world. By adopting agile project management skills, you can become more flexible, responsive, and collaborative, leading to better project results and increased customer satisfaction.

To make the most of agile project management, you can use agile project management tools like ProofHub.

ProofHub is a project management and team collaboration tool that simplifies communication, task management, and time tracking.

Book a demo today with ProofHub and reap the benefits of effective agile project management!

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Sandeep Kashyap

Internet Entrepreneur, CEO of SDP Labs and Founder of ProofHub