Agile Project Management Is Not Enough!

This content is syndicated from by Kelly Waters. To view the original post in full, click here.

Agile Project ManagementFor agile project management, agile methodologies such as Scrum and eXtreme Programming alone are not enough.

eXtreme Programming (XP) is excellent for agile engineering practices that improve product quality, and User Stories from XP are an excellent way to simplify the understanding and management of requirements on a piecemeal basis.

Scrum is excellent for managing a project team's workload and delivering products incrementally through iterative development.

If you're not familiar with it, take a look at the Project Management Body Of Knowledge (PMBOK). This body of knowledge is a globally recognised standard and was put together by the PMI (Project Management Institute). It encapsulates common practices for project management irrespective of specific methodology.

PMBOK embodies all that we refer to as 'traditional' project management and is a very useful resource. No doubt it includes traditional project management practices that are not at all appropriate if you're doing agile. But it also includes key aspects of a project that need managing which are simply not addressed by Scrum or eXtreme Programming.

For instance:


  • Project Initiation

  • Cost Management

  • Human Resources Management (hate that term, but important nevertheless!)

  • Communications Management

  • Risk Management

  • Procurement Management

  • Stakeholder Management

  • Organisational factors


Sure, in agile we don't want to see a big specification up-front. We don't want to see every task mapped out on a huge gantt chart. We don't want to see change control as the process for scope management. But we do need the above list of things managed in many agile projects.

So how is this overcome in practice?

In my experience, it is overcome by having a 'traditional' Project Manager, who understands project management (such as PMBOK, or the PRINCE2 project management methodology that has become the standard in the UK), who can apply the relevant aspects of the traditional PM approach with the agile practices of Scrum and eXtreme Programming. Effectively augmenting agile with traditional project management methods where appropriate.

Wow! In my view that requires a lot of skill, knowledge, experience and expertise. To understand Scrum, eXtreme Programming and PMBOK, and somehow blend it all together to create a method that encompasses agile management, agile engineering and project management. All the time still retaining the agile mindset and satisfying stakeholders that are used to a more traditional project approach. And without a clear industry reference point to help convey the blended process to all stakeholders and members of the project team.

Is it my imagination, or are we missing something important in the agile community?

Is there anything similar to "PMBOK'' for agile? Is there something that blends PMBOK with Scrum and XP, in order to create a comprehensive methodology for managing agile projects. Something described in a way that is easily accessible to all roles in a project, not just those that are experts in the subject?

If there is, I'd really like to hear about it...

Kelly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

four − two =


There are 101 ways to do anything.
To find the best way, sometimes you need expert help

What People Say

“Kelly was engaged as a Program Director on a complex business and technology transformation program for Suncorp Commercial Insurance. Kelly drew on his key capabilities and depth of experience to bring together disparate parties in a harmonised way, ensuring the initiate and concept phases of the program were understood and well formulated. Excellent outcome in a very short time frame. ”

BRUCE WEIR/EGM
SUNCORP

“Kelly is an Agile heavy-weight. He came in to assess my multi-million $ Agile development program which wasn’t delivering the right throughput. He interviewed most of the team and made some key recommendations that, when implemented, showed immediate results. I couldn’t ask for more than that except he’s a really nice guy as well.”

DAN PULHAM, DIGITAL DIRECTOR
TELSTRA

“Kelly is an extremely talented and visionary leader. As such he manages to inspire all around him to achieve their best. He is passionate about agile and has a wealth of experience to bring to bear in this area. If you're 'lucky' he might even tell you all about his agile blog. Above all this, Kelly is great fun to work with. He is always relaxed and never gets stressed - and trust me, he had plenty of opportunity here! If you get the chance to work with Kelly, don't pass it up.”

GILES BENTLEY, DEVELOPMENT & OPERATIONS DIRECTOR
TIME INC

“I worked with Kelly on many projects at IPC and I was always impressed with his approach to all of them, always ensuring the most commercially viable route was taken. He is great at managing relationships and it was always a pleasure working with him.”

BEATRIZ MONTOYA/CONSUMER MARKETING DIRECTOR
IPC MEDIA

“Kelly was a brilliant CTO and a great support to me in the time we worked together. I owe Kelly a great deal in terms of direction and how to get things done under sometimes difficult circumstances. Thanks Kelly.”

JULIE PEEL
GLASS'S INFORMATION SERVICES

“Kelly revolutionised the way our digital department operated. A true advocate of agile principles, he quickly improved internal communication within our teams and our internal clients by aligning our business and creating a much enhanced sense of transparency in the decisions the business was making. Kelly also introduced a higher sense of empowerment to the development teams...”

PETER SILVA-JANKOWSKI
IPC MEDIA

“Kelly came to the department and has really made a huge impact on how the department communicates, collaborates and generally gets things done. We were already developing in an agile way, but Kelly has brought us even more into alignment with agile and scrum best practices, being eager to share information and willing to work with us to change our processes rather than dictate how things must be done. He is highly knowledgable about agile development (as his active blog proves) but his blog won't show what a friendly and knowledgeable guy he is. I highly recommend Kelly to anyone looking for a CTO or a seminar on agile/scrum practices - you won't be disappointed!”

ANDY JEFFRIES/TECHNICAL LEAD
IPC MEDIA

“Kelly’s a leading program director with the ability to take charge from day one and keep strong momentum at both a program and project level driving prioritisation, resourcing and budgeting agendas. Kelly operates with an easy-going style and possesses a strong facilitation skill set. From my 5 months experience working with Kelly, I would recommend Kelly to program manage large scale, complex, cross company change programs both from a business and IT perspective.”

LUKE SHARKEY /STRATEGY & IMPLEMENTATION LEADER
SUNCORP

“Kelly was a great colleague to work with - highly competent, trustworthy and generally a nice bloke.”

HANNAH JOYCE
GLASS'S INFORMATION SERVICES

“I worked with Kelly whilst at Thoughtworks and found him to be a most inspiring individual, his common-sense approach coupled with a deep understanding of Agile and business makes him an invaluable asset to any organisation. I can't recommend Kelly enough.”

PETER THATCHER, SENIOR ACCOUNT DIRECTOR
ThoughtWorks

“Kelly and I worked together on a very large project trying to secure a new Insurer client. Kelly had fantastic commercial awareness as well as his technical expertise. Without him I would never had secured this client so I owe a lot to him. He is also a really great guy!”

GINA MILLARD
GLASS'S INFORMATION SERVICES

CONTACT US

To explore how we can help you, please get in touch