The PMBOK® defines five process groups:
- Initiating Process Group
- Planning Process Group
- Executing Process Group
- Monitoring and Controlling Process Group
- Closing Process Group
The processes in these groups take place mostly in sequential order but Executing and Monitoring & Controlling take place when the team is doing the “real work” of the project. I put “real work” in quotes, as some stakeholders I worked with do not consider the initiating and planning real work! For those who do planning well and regularly, they know it most certainly is a lot of work. However, since the team may not be fully engaged, and there is no tangible product output, the planning gets discounted.
This is where many believe a lot of the benefit of being Agile lies; building starts earlier and therefore finishes faster. The team and project manager (if there is one) does not need to do a lot of the planning work outlined in the PMBOK® and present in a Waterfall model. But is this true? Can managers just eliminate some of the processes and documents with no loss in project execution performance? If so, being Agile certainly sounds awesome, yes?
Maybe this is true, but what could be lost? By going through each activity in the PMBOK® and mapping those activities to what one finds in an Agile practice, the reader can decide. I’m guessing more activities will remain, at least in some form, than what may be quickly dismissed without closer examination.
The topic for the next post will address the Project Charter which is part of Project Integration Management Knowledge Area and in the Initiating Process Group. What is the Project Charter’s role in Agile or what takes the place of it?