Agile Project Management #01 – Introduction

I often hear the call “We don’t need project management (or project managers); we’re Agile!” These are sometimes the same people that I talk to years later who tell me they are now creating a formal PM discipline within their companies. It seems that just “being Agile” may have been good enough for a while, but when all the problems pile up, and they keep repeating themselves, getting serious about the full breadth of project management practices becomes the last resort. They then start sending their people for PM training, they are getting their PMP or PMI-ACP certifications, and the teams may even be forming PMOs within their companies.

Curiously, these same organizations applied some type of project management when working with their clients right from the start. That may have fallen on PMs, account managers, or whoever else was the most client-facing person. From the outside looking in, they knew it needed to appear some project management was happening.

This is not the way it needs to be. There are many ways to incorporate traditional PM practices into your Agile organization right from the start. Certainly, PMs can tailor and scale the practices for the organization.

Before I get any negative responses, let me say “I love Agile!” I just believe when Agile is first applied, it is the bare bones application. It gets the work done but may overlook a lot of important practices that keep a project on track and out of trouble.

This series of posts will address how some of the traditional PM practices, right out of the sixth edition of the PMBOK® Guide, fit in with Agile practices. For those interested, the current PMBOK® Guide includes the Agile Practice Guide. The series will cover the following PMBOK® knowledge areas and how they apply in an Agile environment.

  1. Project Integration Management (Section 4)
  2. Project Scope Management (Section 5)
  3. Project Schedule Management (Section 6)
  4. Project Cost Management (Section 7)
  5. Project Quality Management (Section 8)
  6. Project Resource Management (Section 9)
  7. Project Communication Management (Section 10)
  8. Project Risk Management (Section 11)
  9. Project Procurement Management (Section 12)
  10. Project Stakeholder Management (Section 13)

This is going to be a long haul. I hope I (and the readers) can make it through. The PMBOK® which includes the Agile Guide is now 977 pages, a tome approaching biblical proportions. (The PMBOK® has a lot of white space and diagrams, so there is a way to go.)

The topic for the next post will address the five Project Management Process Groups as defined in the PMBOK® and their place when adopting or using an Agile method.
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