5 Tips for Using Agile in Nonprofit and Government Organizations

PMI Chicagoland Chapter

Traci is a senior project manager currently working with a medical nonprofit in Chicago. Traci serves as a volunteer PMP study group facilitator with her local chapter and is a fan of working with teams to find the tools and methodologies they need to accomplish their project goals.

Agile transformation. Going agile. Scaling agile. I hear variations of this term daily, which makes sense. Organizations of all shapes and sizes are looking for ways to be more responsive to change and to get their project done faster and better. Incorporating more agile approaches has proven a good way to get there.

Like other fields, many nonprofit and government organizations are looking for ways to finish projects faster and more efficiently. Just like companies, these organizations also want to be quick, nimble and efficient. They are focused on a mission, a calling, a reason to exist—and those serving in roles at nonprofits are often servant leaders at their core. This seems like the perfect foundation for an agile team.

Working in project management roles with nonprofits and government for most of my career has given me a chance to think about ways to incorporate an agile approach to projects. By no means are these suggestions part of a perfect agile process. They might even be a hodgepodge of suggestions, but as PMI’s Agile Practice Guide points out:

Do not plan on the ‘perfect’ agile process, but instead look for results. When a cross-functional team delivers finished value often and reflects on the product and process, the teams are agile. If does not matter what the team calls its process.” (p. 33)

1. Use kanban or …

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