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Case Study: Project Agility in a Strict Waterfall Organization

by Eric Frisvold, PMP

When a project requires an agile delivery model but the organization is tied to strict waterfall methodology, the team needs to be creative in order to meet its goals using all of the tools in the project management tool bag. Read the story of a team that learned that agile and waterfall can (and, indeed, should) co-exist to provide outstanding results.

What the Heck is Hybrid, Anyway?

by Andy Jordan

Hybrid project management is getting a lot of press recently, but what does that mean? And is it really what we should be striving for?

Hybrid Methods for High-Tech Spaces

by Carleton Chinner

New technology projects carry a high degree of uncertainty. Agile promises to manage uncertainty. Does this make for a natural match? Or are there more factors that influence the project manager’s chosen approach to a new project?

Planning and Managing Development Projects: The Hybrid Way

by Michael Wood

The risk we take in swearing allegiance to a specific approach is that following the approach often becomes more important than achieving the goal of the project. Let’s explore the merits of using the best of different approaches—and how marrying them into a hybrid model impacts the way projects are planned and managed.

The Best of Both Worlds

by Kevin Coleman

If you have not run a hybrid project leveraging agile and waterfall methodologies, you are in for a great learning experience. Let’s put the two distinctively different approaches into a broad and high-level context…

Does Hybrid Project Management Mean a Hybrid Team?

by Andy Jordan

As hybrid projects become more common, what has to change among team members, and how do we manage that change? Do we have to minimize these disruption scenarios, or can we create an environment where teams are more comfortable with the shifts?

How to Demonstrate Trustworthiness: A Key Success Factor for Distributed Agile Teams

by Mark Kilby

The best agile software teams communicate well, push hard to meet deadlines, support each other when struggling with issues, and go above and beyond to maintain quality. The key element is trustworthiness. In this article, the writer provides a self-assessment tool that will allow you and your team members to assess and demonstrate trustworthiness over time.

Topic Teasers Vol. 77: Agile Non-Functional Requirements

by Barbee Davis, MA, PHR, PMP, PMI-ACP

Question: We have switched to agile practices and, if I do say so myself, I think we are doing an awesome job. However, even though we are carefully creating backlog lists and writing user stories, more often than not our end product or service still does not meet the expectations of our internal and external customers. Has something been left out of what we were taught?
A. Agile does provide a way to use non-functional requirements in its methodology, but often it is overlooked or not stressed when new teams are preparing their first few projects. Make a point to add them into your new process.
B. The reason agile projects are completed so much faster and provide so much more value is that with the Scrum practice methodology, it is no longer necessary to consider vague things like non-functional requirements. If they aren’t going to function anyway, why bother with them.
C. User stories are only written if there is a need for outside personas to be created to represent users. Non-functional requirements are the ones assigned to those personas who would not be interested in your product or service, and therefore can be excluded from consideration.
D. Many projects have both functional and non-functional requirements that impact the outcome of the project. That is why only traditional processes should be used. Agile processes work only on software projects, and then only when there is an absence of non-functional requirements to be considered.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

Moving from Traditional to Agile DevOps

by Kevin Aguanno, PMP, MAPM, IPMA-B, Cert.APM, CSM, CSP

Trying to implement agile DevOps in a traditional DevOps environment is a huge challenge without first changing underlying governance practices. In this article, the author explains why--and identifies some success factors.

Preparing Teams for Different Ways of Working

by Andy Jordan

As more and more organizations recognize they need both agile and waterfall project execution processes in order to succeed, teams are being asked to work in very different ways.

Project Management – Fast and Slow

by Klaus Nielsen, MBA, PMI-ACP, PMI-RMP, PMP

How do the biases, effects, fallacies, illusions and neglects outlined in Kahneman’s Thinking, Fast and Slow (2013) affect decision making? By applying Kahneman to the Knowledge Areas of the PMBOK® Guide, the author illustrates how project managers can mitigate the effects of irrational thinking.

Four Elephants in the Agile Testing Room

by Paul Carvalho

Some topics in agile testing may point to dysfunctional organizational practices that are often taboo, off limits or avoided in regular conversations. In this article, we identify four such topics that need to be discussed and addressed for agile success.

Self-Managed Waterfall?

by Andy Jordan

One of the cornerstones of agile is the concept of self-managed teams. Does that concept translate into more traditional project areas?

Collaboration as a Productivity Booster

by Mike Griffiths

Are command-and-control undertones hurting your organization's performance? Are people getting the passion and desire to contribute slowly crushed out of them by project management bureaucracy and prescriptive process? Then free them to be hyper-productive by emphasizing collaboration.

The Key to Greater Organizational Agility

by Braden Kelley

Companies seeking to cope with the pace of accelerating change are looking for ways to go faster, and managers in non-technical disciplines have become increasingly infatuated with the agile software development methodology. Agility sounds like a good thing, and agile marketing sounds like it must be better than regular marketing...but is it?

How to Stay Agile in a "Wagile" Environment

by Gopinath Venu, PMP, PMI-ACP

The transformation from waterfall to agile frequently meets with resistance to change. Many startups who want to embrace an agile approach fall into a vicious trap of a blended methodology often called “Wagile.” Learn how to encourage development of an agile mindset in your organization.

Benefits Realized by Applying Agile

by Oscar Correia

There’s a simple solution to complex projects: Create agile project teams. These teams close the gap between business areas and IT, reduce the workload, do away with rework and improve communication and team performance.

Getting Inventive with Agile

by Ankit Kothari

Agile principles have expanded much further beyond their software development roots. Here, we look at how agile principles were used in each step of the process to make a multimedia invention emerge from inception to reality.

Is Agile More Successful?

by Blaize Reich

What is best: a pure or hybrid approach? Help answer this question by participating in a survey.

Topic Teasers Vol. 72: Agile Customer Support

by Barbee Davis, MA, PHR, PMP, PMI-ACP

Question: We’re totally committed to agile as a methodology, and we think that is partially why we have now grown so big that we need to open a customer call center. However, my expertise is not in planning contact centers, so what is the current wisdom of how these need to function to satisfy customers?
A. Customer inquiries are best served by FAQ sites: online and well-written website summations of the products you offer and the way they function. Spend your money in this type of development, which is probably more comfortable for you anyway.
B. Most staff members are reluctant to move into customer support functions, so you will first need to make sure there are enough competent people who know about your offerings available for hire. Prepare hands-on tests to screen out those who do not already know your merchandise or service products.
C. Call centers are the most cost efficient way to deal with customer issues, but you should outsource this function as creating your own may be beyond the skill set you possess. Third-party providers are uniformly cheaper than an internal system.
D. First, determine if it’s in your organization’s best interest to create a call center or a contact center. They are two different things and have different pluses and minuses. Then consider a management style for the center based on the agile philosophy.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

Servant Leadership: The Agile Way

by Johanna Rothman

In more traditional projects, we often hear about "control." But what might an agile project manager do? Here are three examples of servant leadership in action with respect to the team, the product owner and management.

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