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Operating Agile with an ERP Implementation

by Jason Coe

This real-world example looks at how agile principles were applied to an international company’s global ERP project. It discusses how agile was used to provide continuous feedback into how the project operates. It discusses many of the company’s lessons learned and how it solved challenges in a typical waterfall environment using agile principles.

Agile: Adapt or Acquiesce?

by Naresh Saharya

How should a team calculate realistic velocity? How fast should a team go? The assumption of higher velocity points is a reality in agile projects, and the ability to adjust to the "right" velocity is a challenge posed to every agile team. Quickly adjusting the team velocity with respect to the sprint backlog is critical in accomplishing the delivery of the scope of the planned release.

Topic Teasers Vol. 94: Clearing Confusing Priorities

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

Question: Whether I’m working on an agile or a waterfall project, we always get an overload of features or activities to complete. In theory, it sounds easy to prioritize them; but in practice, that’s where most of our projects bog down. Defining the order becomes a politely disguised free-for-all. At the end, while we may be able to set up the project, I’m still not convinced that we have made the best long-term choices for the company in our selection of which items we have elected to implement. Is there a fresh way to handle these decisions?
A. The manager or product owner who pays for the project always has the final vote. Even if you know he or she is missing important viewpoints, you should accept those decisions and work your hardest to make them deliverable. If it goes astray, it’s not your problem.
B. A business analysis tool, the Purpose Alignment Model, may be a fresh insight for your management and your team into which items on a Scrum Backlog or a project management plan should be prioritized and which should be done with a minimal amount of cost and effort. Try this fresh approach for a new view of your project work.
C. Rapid application development (RAD), which uses fourth-generation languages and frameworks such as low-code development web applications, is a technique one can use across all industries and on all types of projects. Get a clearer look about the value of each product feature by switching to RAD.
D. Some purposeful activities in modern corporations are not appropriate for project management techniques. Only governmental and not-for-profit entities can gain value by their use, since the need to get a profit or any return on investment is limited in these types of organizational structures.
Pick your answer then Test Your Knowledge!

Did Agility Slip Away?

by Tina Szarenski

What happens when you are not part of an agile development team? If you aren’t exercising your planning rituals and weekly sprints, will you lose muscle memory? Or is there an opportunity to apply what you know to better all aspects of what you do?

The Hybrid Solution

by Ali Forouzesh

Implementing a hybrid methodology can be more effective and useful to your project needs, because traditional approaches can sometimes be too heavy and complex for incremental projects. Here, a practitioner shares his experiences consulting on a project.

Agile: Where the Magic Happens

by Paolo Birsa

Is agile outside of your team's comfort zone? Read how one practitioner successfully applied agile principles in the organization he's managing.

The Daily ScrumMaster?

by Bart Gerardi

Should ScrumMasters ever attend the daily scrum or stand-up meeting? As a guiding principle, agile values self-organizing and self-managing teams, but let’s explore five scenarios where the presence, and perhaps even participation, of a ScrumMaster could be helpful if they adhere to a specific role.

First Sprint, Lasting Lessons

by Andrew Makar, PMP

Agile processes can offer rewarding advantages to traditional software development, but they take time to adopt properly. New teams will likely encounter conflicts and confusion during their first sprint retrospective. Here are five lessons learned that can help your next sprint avoid some common pitfalls.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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."

Scrum vs. PMP® in IT Projects: A Possible Compromise?

by Emanuele Boschi

Today, roles have changed. As a project manager, you must keep your projects (and developers) on the right track. It doesn’t matter how many languages or platforms you know. This seasoned practitioner explores two different approaches and applies them to a complex IT scenario, looking at the best of both worlds.

From Scrum Master to Manager: A Dangerous Metamorphosis

by Nima Bahrehdar

Many organizations are obsessed with getting things done quickly no matter what. Therefore, they create reward plans that motivate this behavior. ScrumMasters gradually deprioritize promoting Scrum values and metamorphose into agile project managers. How can we prevent this?

Agility and Values-Based Leadership (Part 4): Commitment

by Andrew Burns

This fourth installment of articles scrutinizing agile frameworks based on values, principles and practices focuses on commitment (following the entries on courage, focus and openness). A stated value of the Scrum framework, commitment is everything in agile.

Agility and Values-Based Leadership (Part 3): Openness

by Andrew Burns

All agile frameworks may be examined in terms of core values. This third entry in a five-part series continues to explore agile frameworks from the vantage point of values, principles and practices. Agile’s Scrum framework in particular espouses five values: courage, focus, openness, respect and commitment. This offering looks at the value of openness to bring principles and practices into better relief.

Agility and Values-Based Leadership (Part 2): Focus

by Andrew Burns

This is the second in a five-part series of articles regarding agile frameworks based on values, principles and practices. Scrum espouses five values: courage, openness, respect, commitment and focus. In this series, each article will explore one of these values--on which a deeper discussion of principles and practices assembles.

Project Managers Still Don't 'Get' Agile

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

If you are a traditional project manager practicing agile methods, chances are you don’t really “get” it. Nothing has been worse for the understanding and proper application of agile approaches in organizations today than the flawed thinking and actions of well-meaning middle managers and project managers.

What It Takes to Manage Hybrid Projects

by John Reiling

These days, it takes more than project management skills to succeed. It takes a person with agility—flexibility in understanding and applying the ins and outs of any method. Let’s investigate what "hybrid PM" is all about!

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