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Topics: Agile
Agile for beginners
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Dear PMs, I hope you are doing well!

Although I have plenty of experience with project management I lack the skills and formal education in the Agile methodologies - Scrum, Waterfall, etc. I can see this Agile skill set is more and more needed and valuable for the organizations, and I feel I need to start to get in touch with these knowledges.
Do anyone here have some suggestions as how and where to start learning the Agile methodology? What is more important to focus on and how to set up a learning plan for beginners like me?
Thank you so much in advance!
Carlos Ronald Chaves
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How did you learn PM? The same way you can learn Agile or Scrum or ... ? Start with some related literature and books. Try to find an opportunity to experience one of these methodologies.
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Carlos -

Agile is NOT a methodology - it is a set of values & principles which can be used to develop a delivery methodology, but could also be used when managing non-project or even personal work.

A good starting point would be with the Manifesto itself (agilemanifesto.org) and then read PMI's Agile Practice Guide. You could also read a few of the HBR articles which have been written in the past couple of years on organizational agility.

But merely reading about it is of little value so find a way to apply agile thinking & practices to the work you are currently doing.

Kiron
...
2 replies by Joshua Bosell and Yenny Peguero Jimenez
May 08, 2019 10:03 AM
Joshua Bosell
...
Kiron,

You make a good point here. But, how would you get buy-in from leadership on the idea? There's been organization's that want agility to successfully manage "tactical" projects and fail due to attempting to modify existing processes to accommodate small projects. Would you build a business case here and present it to gain support?
May 08, 2019 2:26 PM
Yenny Peguero Jimenez
...
Hello Kiron,

I was really surprised when i read that agile was not a methology and even more when i realized that Scrum neither. I was wrong all this time. So Agile is a mindset.

https://www.agilealliance.org/agile101
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May 08, 2019 8:50 AM
Replying to Kiron Bondale
...
Carlos -

Agile is NOT a methodology - it is a set of values & principles which can be used to develop a delivery methodology, but could also be used when managing non-project or even personal work.

A good starting point would be with the Manifesto itself (agilemanifesto.org) and then read PMI's Agile Practice Guide. You could also read a few of the HBR articles which have been written in the past couple of years on organizational agility.

But merely reading about it is of little value so find a way to apply agile thinking & practices to the work you are currently doing.

Kiron
Kiron,

You make a good point here. But, how would you get buy-in from leadership on the idea? There's been organization's that want agility to successfully manage "tactical" projects and fail due to attempting to modify existing processes to accommodate small projects. Would you build a business case here and present it to gain support?
...
1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
May 08, 2019 10:45 AM
Sergio Luis Conte
...
Joshua, believe me, when organizations do not understand what Kiron has stated then if you are in charge to lead initiatives with agile you are DOD (Dead on Arrive). I disagree with Kiron about the Manifesto is a good starting point of the PMI´s Agile practice guide because both are related to software, not to Agile. To understand about Agile go here: http://www.parshift.com/index.htm
On the other side, PMI has published a short article I wrote time ago:
http://www.pmnetwork-digital.com/pmnetwork/april_2016?pg=73#pg73
http://www.pmnetwork-spanish.com/pmnetwork...2016?pg=68#pg68
Network:196



Hi Carlos,

Having gone through books and online material I realized theoretical aspects/terminology is equally important with on the job learning . Implementation in your team always catalyzes the grasp for practical aspects of the game. You can start reading with the scrum guide first and using it in your team before jumping to all lean methodologies gradually.

Good Luck
Network:1832



May 08, 2019 10:03 AM
Replying to Joshua Bosell
...
Kiron,

You make a good point here. But, how would you get buy-in from leadership on the idea? There's been organization's that want agility to successfully manage "tactical" projects and fail due to attempting to modify existing processes to accommodate small projects. Would you build a business case here and present it to gain support?
Joshua, believe me, when organizations do not understand what Kiron has stated then if you are in charge to lead initiatives with agile you are DOD (Dead on Arrive). I disagree with Kiron about the Manifesto is a good starting point of the PMI´s Agile practice guide because both are related to software, not to Agile. To understand about Agile go here: http://www.parshift.com/index.htm
On the other side, PMI has published a short article I wrote time ago:
http://www.pmnetwork-digital.com/pmnetwork/april_2016?pg=73#pg73
http://www.pmnetwork-spanish.com/pmnetwork...2016?pg=68#pg68
Network:263



Carlos, Kiron nailed it. The Agile Manifesto fits on a single sheet of paper (maybe double sided). Start there. It's amazing how many people want to talk about Agility and have never even read the manifesto. The values and principles basically define "Agile" in the modern business sense, and you need to understand these before you focus on the various ways people practice agility.

Look around the web a little after that. I like to talk about the history of Agile because people should understand that we've been solving the same problems for decades. Try one of the Lean / Agile timelines such as:
https://www.agilealliance.org/agile101/practices-timeline
http://www.agilereleaseplanning.com/agile-timeline/

Here are a couple other good links:
Agile 101 from Agile Alliance: https://www.agilealliance.org/agile101
Lean and Agile Adoption with the Laloux Culture Model: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0Jc5aAJu9g&t=496s


If you feel fairly comfortable with Agile culture, then you can start to learn about the various practices and frameworks that Agile organizations use, such as Scrum, Kanban, or XP. I should point out that the term "waterfall" refers to predictive project management and is not considered an Agile framework. Indeed, many Agile organizations want nothing to do with "waterfall" (even if they have predictive plans), and many Agile organizations have no interest in those of us sporting our PMP credentials. That last point probably speaks to the years of misunderstanding that project managers have had about Agility, but that can change if more people like you are willing to learn.
...
2 replies by Sergio Luis Conte and Yenny Peguero Jimenez
May 08, 2019 1:54 PM
Sergio Luis Conte
...
The Manifesto is for softtware, not for Agile. Is Agile implementation and use into software field. Agile is beyond that.
May 08, 2019 1:54 PM
Yenny Peguero Jimenez
...
It is true, i have been working with agile and i have never heard about the manifesto... Thanks for the info.
Network:1832



Carlos, I understand that you are not searching for Agile. You are searching for Agile based methods. My recommendation is taking a closer look to:
Agile Project Management, Highsmith
Agile Estimating And Planning, Cohn
Become Agile In Imperfect World, Smith
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In addition to what others have suggested, there are some good and interesting podcasts available. I, personally, find it helpful to listen to others discuss topics. There are several, but certainly a good one is Meta Cast w/ Bob Galen and Josh Anderson.
Network:1832



May 08, 2019 10:49 AM
Replying to Wade Harshman
...
Carlos, Kiron nailed it. The Agile Manifesto fits on a single sheet of paper (maybe double sided). Start there. It's amazing how many people want to talk about Agility and have never even read the manifesto. The values and principles basically define "Agile" in the modern business sense, and you need to understand these before you focus on the various ways people practice agility.

Look around the web a little after that. I like to talk about the history of Agile because people should understand that we've been solving the same problems for decades. Try one of the Lean / Agile timelines such as:
https://www.agilealliance.org/agile101/practices-timeline
http://www.agilereleaseplanning.com/agile-timeline/

Here are a couple other good links:
Agile 101 from Agile Alliance: https://www.agilealliance.org/agile101
Lean and Agile Adoption with the Laloux Culture Model: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0Jc5aAJu9g&t=496s


If you feel fairly comfortable with Agile culture, then you can start to learn about the various practices and frameworks that Agile organizations use, such as Scrum, Kanban, or XP. I should point out that the term "waterfall" refers to predictive project management and is not considered an Agile framework. Indeed, many Agile organizations want nothing to do with "waterfall" (even if they have predictive plans), and many Agile organizations have no interest in those of us sporting our PMP credentials. That last point probably speaks to the years of misunderstanding that project managers have had about Agility, but that can change if more people like you are willing to learn.
The Manifesto is for softtware, not for Agile. Is Agile implementation and use into software field. Agile is beyond that.
...
2 replies by Joshua Render and Wade Harshman
May 09, 2019 8:13 AM
Joshua Render
...
I have to agree with Sergio. The Manifesto doesn't do Agile justice and too often people point to it and think only iterative development is acceptable and then they ignore all the rest.

Try Agnostic Agile (I believe Sergio introduced me to it last year sometime) https://agnosticagile.org/

I am taking some Udemy classes myself on complexity theory to try and learn more, you can start with this YouTube video: https://youtu.be/g13IDarbR_4
As you learn about Agile, complexity theory is essentially what you will be learning. That video hits upon some Agile values.

Just always remember that Scrum does not define Agile.
May 09, 2019 8:56 AM
Wade Harshman
...
Agree, but the Manifesto for Agile Software Development is only 300 words (including the signatures). If someone wants to learn about the Agile movement, there is no excuse to ignore this short document. This is not the end of our education, but our education is incomplete without it.
Network:109



May 08, 2019 10:49 AM
Replying to Wade Harshman
...
Carlos, Kiron nailed it. The Agile Manifesto fits on a single sheet of paper (maybe double sided). Start there. It's amazing how many people want to talk about Agility and have never even read the manifesto. The values and principles basically define "Agile" in the modern business sense, and you need to understand these before you focus on the various ways people practice agility.

Look around the web a little after that. I like to talk about the history of Agile because people should understand that we've been solving the same problems for decades. Try one of the Lean / Agile timelines such as:
https://www.agilealliance.org/agile101/practices-timeline
http://www.agilereleaseplanning.com/agile-timeline/

Here are a couple other good links:
Agile 101 from Agile Alliance: https://www.agilealliance.org/agile101
Lean and Agile Adoption with the Laloux Culture Model: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g0Jc5aAJu9g&t=496s


If you feel fairly comfortable with Agile culture, then you can start to learn about the various practices and frameworks that Agile organizations use, such as Scrum, Kanban, or XP. I should point out that the term "waterfall" refers to predictive project management and is not considered an Agile framework. Indeed, many Agile organizations want nothing to do with "waterfall" (even if they have predictive plans), and many Agile organizations have no interest in those of us sporting our PMP credentials. That last point probably speaks to the years of misunderstanding that project managers have had about Agility, but that can change if more people like you are willing to learn.
It is true, i have been working with agile and i have never heard about the manifesto... Thanks for the info.
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