Reasons why project managers like Agile PM®
It is a complete package incorporating enough structure to manage projects and an agile delivery method. You don’t need anything else to manage and deliver projects in an agile way. It is easy to understand and apply.
The Agile Business Consortium (formerly DSDM Consortium) is a not-for-profit organisation behind AgilePM. This approach is a result of 20 years of experience and based on continuous feedback from private and public sector projects.
Many agile approaches are based around ongoing product development and they are fine for that purpose. AgilePM recognises that a project environment is different from ongoing product development. It recognizes that projects have a life cycle and need to be investigated as to their strategic fit and a business case developed that defines the benefits and value that the deliverables will provide. The lifecycle in AgilePM encourages this through the Pre-project, Feasibility and Foundations stages.
The Agile Business Consortium philosophy is that any project should be aligned to clearly defined strategic goals and focus on early delivery of real benefits to the business. “Early” being the important word. An agile approach should start to deliver benefit earlier than a more traditional project management approach.
AgilePM has a defined life cycle taking the project from early conception right the way through to benefits realization.
The project is broken down into short, focused periods of time, each with clearly specified outcomes. Work is divided into Timeboxes with immovable deadlines and delivered through evolutionary development. The use of MoSCoW prioritization ensures that the deliverables are continuously re-evaluated against the business priorities.
Must have – the project guarantees to deliver
Should have – important but not vital
Could have – wanted or desirable but less important.
Won’t have this time – requirements that the project team has agreed it will not deliver.
The roles required at the project and delivery team levels are defined with clear responsibilities and represent the Business, project Process and Technical Development required to manage, develop and deliver the project. To get the best out of the approach a DSDM Coach is suggested.
Throughout the project eight principles need to be upheld:
There are also five factors that need to be monitored to ensure that the spirit of agile is maintained throughout the project:
- Embracing the DSDM approach
- Effective solution development team
- Business Engagement
- Iterative development, integrated tested and incremental delivery
A very useful project approach questionnaire to help assess the viability of using the AgilePM approach on each project is also available. The guidance also gives some great advice on how to deal with situations that might not be as conducive to the agile way of working as it could be.
Who might find it useful?
Any organisation that is looking at using an agile approach, whether they already have a structured approach or not. It can be integrated successfully with PRINCE2® because the roles are complementary and the life cycles similar. What it does have that PRINCE2 does not are roles defined for delivering the requirements.
It can also be successfully integrated with existing agile delivery methods (i.e. SCRUM) because the agile delivery methods are like most other agile delivery methods. What AgilePM has that SCRUM doesn’t is the defined roles for directing and managing the project.
AgilePM delivers an efficient and flexible agile approach to project management.
Author: Julia Gosse
Julia has been delivering project management training and consultancy for over 30 years and is an accredited trainer with SPOCE Project Management.
SPOCE Project Management Limited is a global leader in delivering best practice training for project program and risk management. They offer a wide range of courses which can be tailored to suit any form of training need. SPOCE was the first training organization accredited to deliver PRINCE2® and MSP® training. Find out more at www.spoce.com.
Find out more about the AgilePM guidance, training and certification at https://apmg-international.com/AgilePM.