Agile Project Management #07 – Enterprise Environmental Factors and Organizational Process Assets

Besides the activities noted in Agile Project Management #05 – Planning Process Activities, there is information which teams must consider in creating the Project Management Plan. These are called “Enterprise Environmental Factors” and “Organizational Process Assets” in the PMBOK®. What do these include?

Enterprise Environmental Factors

  • Government or industry standards (e.g., product standards, quality standards, safety standards, and workmanship standards);
  • Legal and regulatory requirements and/or constraints;
  • Project management body of knowledge for a vertical market (e.g., construction) and/or focus area (e.g., environmental, safety, risk, or agile software development);
  • Organizational structure, culture, management practices, and sustainability;
  • Organizational governance framework (a structured way to provide control, direction, and coordination through people, policies, and processes to meet organizational strategic and operational goals);
  • Infrastructure (e.g., existing facilities and capital equipment);
  • And others as needed.

Organizational Process Assets

Organizational process assets are any policies, processes, procedures, templates, guidelines, reporting methods, etc. which already exist within an organization. There may also be tailoring criteria. These are guidelines for picking and scaling any of the mentioned process assets depending on the size or type of the project. While teams can consider whether their company processes are applicable at the start of each project, this may be an area where teams may waste a lot of time. It may not save time by not following or changing established organizational norms. The team may be recreating the tailoring process with each project instead of addressing the tailoring process as a separate change project within the organization. It may be best just to document concerns with current processes and then move forward with what is in place instead of addressing those organizational changes as part of the project. This does not eliminate the process of change which should occur to succeed but moves it out of the concern of the immediate project.

Effects on “being Agile”

When one considers the environmental factors and processes within their organization and industry, it becomes clear that these project inputs are important and need to be incorporated into the project no matter what the team selects as the development approach. (See the last post in this series, Agile Project Management #06 – Project Life Cycle and Development Approach.) It may be the case that the development approach is predetermined because of the environmental and process factors. The organization can certainly work to have a more agile mindset and perhaps one particular flavor of Agile practice maps well to the organizational constraints.

Next Considerations

In the last few posts, we have been focusing on the inputs to scope management. As noted previously, the method of managing scope is one of the big differences among the various development approaches. In the next post, we will address the Risk Management Plan.

References:

  1. PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition

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