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Agile® Project Management

A leaner, more structured approach to project management

Agile project management provides organisations with a leaner, more structured approach to project management. It enables them to respond far more quickly to change and provides a way to implement high-priority initiatives.
To stay effective, businesses need to be able to change quickly. However, the core focus of traditional project management methodologies is to thoroughly understand the reasons for change before the change can be enabled. In the real world, this approach can be far too time-consuming.
Agile project management is a set of frameworks that covers the people, products and practices (techniques) required to successfully implement projects. Agile is not only suitable for software/systems development – it can also be used to help manage any form of business change.
Agile will help you:

  • Put the greatest business benefit first by
    • Prioritising change around business benefits
    • Prioritising the implementation of change within releases
    • Regular reviews of prioritisation and re-planning

 

  • Deliver better communications by
    • Ensuring that all of the correct stakeholders are identified, involved and informed throughout the project’s lifecycle
    • Regular planned reviews of work with stakeholders at the appropriate organisational levels
    • Facilitated workshops to gain consensus decisions from stakeholders
    • Daily communications between the change team and business representatives

 

  • Build trusted teams by
    • Self-directed and empowered teams of change and business personnel
    • Project managers facilitate the teams and do not direct them
    • Fixed timescales and resource budgets
    • Software development techniques that significantly reduce errors

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Key Questions Answered
What is Agile?
Agile is not a project management method or framework. Rather, it is a term that encompasses a family of different approaches, including DSDM Atern, Scrum, XP, Crystal, Feature-Driven-Development, which came together in 2001 as the “Agile Alliance” to formulate the Agile Manifesto – a statement of shared values about the development of software to support business. Now it extends to include other approaches such as Lean development and its values have spread well beyond the bounds of software into many other areas of business.
What is an Agile project?
Good Agile means delivering business value early. The key characteristics which make a project Agile are: short increments and frequent delivery; continuous user involvement at all levels; scope management by prioritisation of features; focus on business need; delivery on time and to budget; a collaborative approach between all parties, including external suppliers; embracing change and learning; sufficient but not excessive control; facilitative leadership and appropriate empowerment.
The APMG Agile Project
Management certification
There are very many variants of Agile available. ALC offers the training and certification accredited by APMG, the organisation most closely associated with PRINCE2. In November 2010, APMG launched its new Agile Project Management certifications (AgilePM) in partnership with the DSDM Consortium. Based on the familiar structure of the PRINCE2 Foundation and PRINCE2 Practitioner level qualifications, AgilePM certification is underpinned by DSDM Atern, whilst acknowledging the other popular agile approaches around.DSDM Atern is a mature and fully-featured Agile approach, established for more than 15 years and appropriate to all types of project. There are many organisations who have been training in, and using, this approach over the years, so it is robust, tried and tested. Unlike other popular Agile approaches, its focus is not purely on the development team: its scope extends to project structure and control. It specifies roles and responsibilities for project governance as well as for the mixed-skill development teams. It gives guidance on project management concerns such as risk and escalation, configuration management and quality. It also focuses on the triple concerns of time, cost and function, which, along with timeboxing, all work to deliver on time and within budget by prioritisation of features.
I have my PRINCE2 certification.
Do I really need more training? 

The good news for those who have laboured through PRINCE2 certification is that your knowledge is not redundant. However, in the ever-moving need for new skills, the logical next step in your life-long learning is in most cases Agile. Development teams are already doing Agile and current PRINCE2 project managers are already becoming an essential part of the new Agile project workforce.
Is Agile Project Management
the new PRINCE2?
Separately, PRINCE2 and Agile are good, robust approaches for the management of all types of projects; together they are greater than the sum of their parts. The answer is that, although Agile Project Management can stand alone in certain environments, it is not a replacement for PRINCE2, but a complement to improve project delivery and success.  Agile is not the new PRINCE2. It is, however, here to stay.
What is an Agile Project Manager?
There are many stereotypes about what is traditional project management and what is Agile.  In reality, Agile and traditional project management approaches as complementary to each other rather than competitive. In this context an Agile Project Manager is not someone who only does Agile projects. It is someone who has a deep knowledge of both Agile and traditional plan-driven principles and practices and knows how to blend them together in the right proportions to fit a given situation. Significant rewards will accrue to organisations and individuals who get it right.

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No public courses currently scheduled. Please contact ALC.
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