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Earned Value Management in Agile Projects

by Marcos Saboya

The use of traditional empirical project management tools can be used in a simple way to manage and control project deadlines and costs without losing the flexibility of agility. In this article, we are going to mix a traditional technique with agile management using a simple practical example.

The Moment of Truth: There Is No Hybrid Agile

by Nima Bahrehdar

"Hybrid agile" sounds like a great middle ground between our established ways of doing things and trendy agile methodologies. We keep our current employees happy since they won’t need to abandon their old skills and habits. The only problem? It doesn't exist.

What Exactly is Agile Project Management?

by Jim Hannon

The words “agile project management” are being used in the industry to describe a new approach to how project management is conducted. The industry and company leaders need to fully understand how project managers can be brought into the agile world to ensure cohesion between these two disciplines.

Is the Hybrid Methodology the Future of Project Management?

by David Robins

A more nuanced approach to agile and waterfall has started gaining traction. Once referred to as “structured agile,” more practitioners are combining both methodologies. This article provides a framework for how ScrumMasters and project managers can work together using hybrid principles.

Be Careful Not to Break Something While Being Agile

by Rich Hephner

Agile is all about managing change, but every organization has a different rate of change. We generally think about agile as removing impediments to accelerate development and keep up with change. It also has an important role to play in placing constraints on change so that it doesn’t spin out of control. This article is a case study of how too much change can lower quality and lead to products that completely miss the mark.

Scope Changes Within the Agile/Scrum Framework

by Karen Z. Sullivan, PMP, PSM 1

The approach to scope changes used within the agile/Scrum framework provides a stable environment so the development team can focus on getting work “done.” Frequent feedback about the product allows for less upfront planning and means the Scrum team can quickly adapt to changes. Delivering business value early and often results in increased customer satisfaction.

Topic Teasers Vol. 88: Chalk and Cheese Teams

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

Question: We are now part of a project that will use both an agile and a traditional waterfall team. As our British associates say, “It’s like chalk and cheese.” Is there a smart way we can work with this other group since none of our processes will match, none of the timing will be the same and, frankly, we each believe that the others are seriously misguided in having chosen their approach to project work?
A. There is a reason for the “chalk and cheese” expression. When you mix them you either forfeit a beautiful drawing or you miss a delightful appetizer. While multiple teams can work successfully on a common deliverable, it is vital that all teams are using exactly the same approach.
B. By now, 15 years after the meeting to create the Agile Manifesto, all teams should be aware that in today’s marketplace the only way to keep your organization competitive and protect your own job is to work in an exclusively agile environment. Most of the newsworthy business closings or serious curtailing of products are in industries that refuse to go agile.
C. It is not only possible for an agile team and a traditional team to work together successfully, it’s probably going to become the norm for more and more projects in the future. The secret it to understand where you can sync your work and where you need to use the parts of your preferred approach freely in order to have the best end outcomes.
D. While agile works situationally in software, the traditional methodology espoused by A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) has the advantage of a 55-year history. The knowledge amassed within that length of trial and error makes waterfall the preferred approach for all industries that want to make projects successful.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

Back to School: Projects and Project Management (Re)Defined

by Priya Patra

If we are limited by the triple constraint, how do we as project managers lead with agility and embrace change? If projects are all about needs and values, then project management should be the tools and techniques to achieve this value. Is it time to redefine project management? Should we move away from the iron triangle to the value triangle?

Deep Dive Models in Agile (Part 6): Decision Models

by Candase Hokanson

This series provides valuable information for the product owner community to use additional good practices in their projects. In each installment, we take one of the most commonly used visual models in agile and explain how to create one—and how to use one to help build, groom or elaborate your agile backlog. This is the last paper in this series and covers decision models, which include both decision trees and decision tables.

Succeed with Scrum: Don't Break These 7 Rules

by Anthony Mersino, PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM, CSP, PSPO

Is your organization undermining the benefits of Scrum without even knowing it? Scrum is a simple agile framework that can be difficult to implement. Here the author looks at the seven most commonly missed or abused rules of Scrum.

Take Your Time to Go Faster

by Andy Jordan

Organizations who are now embarking on agile adoption are feeling pressure to “catch up” with their competitors. But when “late adopters” of agile try to make up for lost time, it can cause problems.

The Business Analyst and the Product Owner

by Mike Griffiths

In this article, we will review the contentious topic of how the BA role varies and overlaps with the product owner role. We cover the similarities and differences, including danger signs (such as the “BA as PO Go-Between”) and positive patterns (such as the “BA as PO Supporter”).

Deploy Faster by Getting Rid of End-of-Development Testing

by Paul Carvalho

Testing at the end of a development cycle is a common practice in traditional approaches. Unfortunately, it becomes an obstacle on your path to agility, slowing down your ability to deploy to production faster. Let’s take a look at what goes on in this testing phase, some potential causes and ideas for getting unstuck.

Deep Dive Models in Agile (Part 5): State Models

by Candase Hokanson

This series provides valuable information for the product owner community to use additional good practices in their projects. In each edition of this series, we take one of the most commonly used visual models in agile and explain how to create one—and how to use one to help build, groom or elaborate your agile backlog. This installment covers state models, which include both state diagrams and state tables.

The Agile Scene in a Small-Town Theater

by Roger Kent, PMP, PMI-ACP

Iterative and incremental methods can be used outside software development. Here’s a challenge that arose in one small-town Shakespeare festival--and the “agile” approach used to meet it.

Examining the Agile Experience Requirement

by Mike Griffiths

Have you been thinking about getting your PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® credential but are put off by the agile experience requirement? Fear not, you might have the experience you need even if you have not been working on a pure agile project. This article explores the prerequisites elements and explains what you need to qualify.

Building the Self-Organized Team Anywhere

by Mark Kilby

Agile self-organized teams come up with a wider variety of options and better solutions than you ever could alone. And there are a number of things you can do as an agile manager to help create the work environment for a self-organized team, be it co-located or distributed.

The What, Why and How of an Agile BA

by Mike Griffiths

Agile approaches promote development teams comprised of generalizing specialists and seem to ignore the BA role. This begs the question: Do BAs have a role on agile projects? And if so, how do their functions change? This article examines their new role, what changes and what stays the same.

Adopting Agile: What Works and Doesn't Work?

by Gil Broza

If you adopt the agile approach, it will affect every aspect of your work. Learning it will be challenging for you, your team and your organization. The learning process will take months or even years; during this time, you still need to produce results. After 20 years of agile’s existence, do we know of a reliable, effective way of learning it?

Being a ScrumMaster and Project Manager in an Agile World

by Sally Wycislak Bommen

It took this practitioner a while to find her footing as both a project manager and ScrumMaster. Here, she shares lessons learned in a large, corporate environment in which agile is considered "new."

Agility and Values-Based Leadership (Part 5): Respect

by Andrew Burns

Following installments on the other four stated Scrum values (courage, focus, openness and commitment), this concluding entry focuses on respect. It offers techniques to scrutinize agile project management frameworks based on values, principles and practices.

Rise Above the Competition: The Rhythm of Business Success Through Cultivated Project Management

by Todd Materazzi, PMP

To rise above the competition requires tenacity, veracity and intangibles that organizations need to respect, comprehend and practice. Business success is cultivated through sound project management practices, which include business rhythm, organizational intangibles, organizational development, project production, project delivery and a project management team. These key ingredients, when working together, guarantee project success.

Deep Dive Models in Agile (Part 4): Business Data Diagram

by Candase Hokanson

This series provides valuable information for the product owner community to use additional good practices in their projects. In each installment in this series, we take one of the most commonly used visual models in agile and explain how to create one and how to use one to help build, groom or elaborate your agile backlog. This installment looks at business data diagrams.

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