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How to Make Agile Project Management Work in Your Organization

So you want to be more agile, but is it possible in a waterfall world? The short answer is yes! Waterfall can be combined with principles of agility. The trick is to recognize how agile practices lead to organizational agility. Any organization can become more agile, but there are trade-offs that need to be considered. Instructor and presenter Brian Egan will help you understand how to make agile work within your organization. In it you will learn:

• Agile best practices
• Discover how organizations can be more agile
• Agile vs. Waterfall: Discuss the pros and cons of each
• Dispense the myth that agile can only be used for software development

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How to Make Agile Project Management Work in Your Organization

  1. 1. How to Make Agile Project Management Work in Your Organization
  2. 2. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 2 Presenter Brian D. Egan BSc, MSc, MBA, PMP Photo of Presenter
  3. 3. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 3 Agenda/Overview ● What is agile project management? ● Terminology ● Waterfall life cycle ● Agile life cycle ● Link between agile and waterfall ● Attributes of an agile environment ● Ad hoc versus agile project management environments
  4. 4. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 4 What is Agile Project Management? • Agile project management means responsibilities are shared among a team. • Scrum = Agile framework (example of team structure) • Scrum master – Team coach – main function to remove impediments from the team – no traditional responsibilities such as scope, cost, risk management • Product owner – responsible for business aspect of the project – scope and schedule trade-offs • Team – Self-organizing – collaboratively divides tasks to decide how to best achieve the goals defined by the product owner – quality is a shared responsibility
  5. 5. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 5 Terminology 1. Role of project management 2. Agility explanation 3. Waterfall life cycle 4. Agile life cycle
  6. 6. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 6 Role of Project Management Project management is: • Investment management • Stewarding change, implementing improvements • Developing new stuff An effective PM system is one that helps an organization to choose and then implement internally-managed investments that represent change.
  7. 7. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 7 Agility Explanation Agility = responsiveness to change. An organization’s agility is its ability to rapidly revise execution strategies in response to:  External forces  Internal forces  Revelations  Preferences  Discoveries
  8. 8. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 8 Classic Waterfall Project Management Life Cycle • One-way flow. • Each step occurs once. Analysis Design Implementation Testing Deployment Maintenance
  9. 9. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 9 Characteristics of Waterfall Life Cycle • Heavy upfront planning followed by careful execution of the plan. Plan the work – work the plan. • Assumes that project work (scope) can be unambiguously defined prior to work starting. • Assumes that planning can and will lead to discovery of everything that needs to be known in order to forecast future outcomes. • Requires a stable, predictable environment.
  10. 10. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 10 Classical Agile Project Management Life Cycle • Minimum upfront planning followed by a series of short iterations. • Between iterations, plans are revised in response to discoveries.
  11. 11. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 11 Agility Results From Having Inflection Points • Revising plans between iterations is what makes the system agile (responsive). • Documentation and planning systems are designed to support rapid revisions to plans without losing sight of objectives.
  12. 12. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 12 Fundamental Ingredients of Agile Systems • Ability to react quickly and easily to change, discoveries and lessons learned. • Agility comes from regularly revising execution plans. • Agile project management methodologies are designed to support the ability and willingness to adapt to change between iterations.
  13. 13. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 13 Link Between Agile and Waterfall Practices • Agile projects are actually a series of short waterfall-style projects.  Each iteration is a separate “project.”  Each iteration is rigidly planned and executed. • There are no change controls in a classic agile system.  Change is managed episodically, not continuously.
  14. 14. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 14 Agile PM is the Solution for What Problem? • The inability to define and lock down the entire scope of work in advance of starting. • Waterfall project management requires a stable environment. However, the IT environment is characterized by rapid change and a large number of unknowns. • This inability to rigidly define scope in advance of starting work is caused by:  Urgency/desire to get started quickly  Lack of experience – lots of unknowns  Complexity of the problem
  15. 15. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 15 Attributes of an Agile PM Environment 1. Minimum, detailed long-term planning 2. Short iterations with rigid plans 3. Documentation system that supports just-in-time planning 4. Documentation system that supports adaptability 5. Control/management systems that support short projects 6. No change controls 7. Motivated teams that understand how they contribute
  16. 16. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 16 1. Minimum Long-Term Planning Starting with clearly defined objectives is not the same as having detailed plans of how to achieve them. Clear objectives are great. Rigid predictions of events far in the future are not. Tactical (near-term) clarity – Strategic (long-term) realism Not “no plans,” just not plans that create false expectations of outcomes far into the future.
  17. 17. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 17 2. Short Projects • Short planning windows • Realistic expectations about how far into the future you can predict • Complexity is managed by minimizing the planning horizon
  18. 18. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 18 3. Just-in-Time Planning • Just enough planning to use in the immediate future most wisely • Fast, flexible and adaptable system of documentation and planning  Examples: user roles, personas, user stories
  19. 19. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 19 • Changing a plan that took months to prepare is difficult for people to accept (and probably difficult to do). • Changing a plan that took a day to prepare is easy for people to accept (and should be easy to do). 4. Planning Systems that Support Adaptation
  20. 20. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 20 5. Management Systems that Support Short Projects • Senior management needs to accept that accurate long-term forecasts of cost and time are impossible. Waterfall-style projects create a “fixed price” relationship with sponsors. Agile-style projects create a “cost plus” relationship with sponsors.
  21. 21. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 21 6. No Change Controls During Iterations • Iterations are given inflexible targets (scope, time cost). • Change is managed between projects, not within them.
  22. 22. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 22 7. Motivated Teams • Motivation comes from understanding how you can contribute. • Understanding how you can contribute comes from understanding the iteration plan and your part in it. • Give the team clearly-explained, achievable, short-term goals and then let them decide how best to fulfill those goals.
  23. 23. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 23 Ad hoc Versus Agile In an ad hoc project management environment: • Change is adapted to at any time • There are no rigid plans of any duration • There is a lack of centralized coordination • The overall strategy, and individual contributions, are not understood by team members An ad hoc project management environment does not necessarily deliver greater agility.
  24. 24. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 24 Summary • Attributes of an agile project management environment:  Progressive planning – not big bang  Minimum documentation – just enough  Short, rigidly planned projects (iterations) – 7 to 30 days  No long-term commitments – requested or given  No change controls – what gets planned gets built
  25. 25. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 25 Courses 2923 Agile Project Management 2501 Transitioning from Waterfall to Agile 2506 Introduction to Agile 2401 PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® Boot Camp
  26. 26. © Global Knowledge Training LLC. All rights reserved. Page 26 Learning More www.globalknowledge.com For additional on-demand and live webinars, white papers, courses, special offers and more, visit us at…

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