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The 5 Phases of the APM Framework


The Agile project management (APM) framework is an iterative and cohesive method of effective project management during the entire lifecycle of the project. It successfully integrates the traditional aspects of project management with modern requirements within the scope of the project.

Rather than focusing only on the development of the final product within the given constraints, the APM framework focuses on delivering both quality and value under the same conditions.

In the APM Framework, the entire project gets divided into smaller, achievable milestones that are completed in iterations. Quality control is built into the whole process and teams check the quality of their project milestones completed after each cycle.

Why should you consider the APM framework?

The Agile project management framework gives numerous benefits to users in both efficiency and effectiveness. The greatest benefit it offers to the agile project management is the quick ability to change the direction of the project in order to meet the changing demands of the project.

In traditional project management methodology, there are just too many processes, and incorporating changes is hard. Agile project management principles give complete freedom to the team members and prioritize customer demands over other factors.

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The five phases of the Agile project management model

The five phases of the APM framework, as introduced by Jim Highsmith in 2004, directly correlate with the five phases of project management defined in the PMI Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK).

Let’s see how project management stages are connected along with a brief overview of each phase.

agile project management framework

1. Envision:

This is the first phase of the APM Framework and corresponds with the Initiation phase of PMBOK. In this phase, a product is conceptualized and all the project stakeholders are identified. The possible objectives of the project and the identification of the customer’s needs are also a part of this phase.

2. Speculate:

This is similar to the planning phase of the PMBOK’s version. It deals with creating a features list of the final product and how the team would work to achieve it.

The speculation phase normally revolves around two key activities:

  • ‘Breaking down’ the project into a series of high-level milestones and deciding the expected project timeline.
  • Coming up with the initial understanding of the critical tasks of the project. Priority to a certain class of tasks is given over others in this phase and the team members decide on the way to maintain the quality of the final project deliverable.

3. Explore:

This phase is parallel to the project execution phase and team members explore the various alternatives to fulfill all the requirements of the project while staying within the given constraints. The main focus is on creating value and maintaining the quality of the final deliverable.

Similar to almost all Agile methodologies, teams work by focusing on a single milestone and iterate until perfection is achieved. This phase works parallelly with the Adapt phase because teams may have to change their plan and execution-style if a customer demands it or if the feedback is not as expected.

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4. Adapt:

This is perhaps the most distinguishing phase of this framework. The ability to adapt to different circumstances allows the team to be prepared for anything that gets thrown towards them.

By constantly taking feedback from customers and ensuring that each aspect of the project is up to the end user’s requirements, teams can significantly increase their efficiency and effectiveness.

5. Close:

This is the final phase. Teams ensure that the project gets completed in an orderly manner without any hitch. The final deliverable is checked against the updated requirements of the customers and teams ponder over their mistakes in order to avoid them in the future.


Implementing the APM framework using Kissflow Project

With the introduction of modern project management tools, implementing effective project management techniques has never been easier. The APM framework is quite simple to implement within a team with Kissflow Project integrated features.

There are several templates which you can modify to suit your team’s needs or you can create one from scratch. Even if you’re new to project management, Kissflow Project puts you in control and lets you keep track of progress, assign and delegate tasks, and ensure that all your projects are right on track.

Using an Agile project management framework is an iterative process where members learn through self-assessments and continuous improvement. You can always be sure that your team’s performance will be better than last time. Kissflow Project can be a great support tool to ensure that this growth is headed in the right direction.

Using Kissflow Project will significantly improve the way your team handles and completes its projects. Start using Kissflow Project for free.