The Agile Value Proposition


In John Stenbeck’s book “PMI-ACP® and Certified Scrum Professional Exam Prep and Desk Reference”, he starts out the first chapter “Agile Project Management Value Proposition” with the answer to the question “Why should a project manager study Agile Project Management?”

Actually, he gives several answers to that question.

1)  Agile Project Management will help your company thrive

Whether an organization thrives, survives, or fails in today’s competitive environment depends on its ability to be agile and innovatiive in order to respond to ever-changing business needs.  In order to help one’s company to thrive, therefore, a project manager needs it to become agile and innovative, and Agile Project Management can help a project manager do just that.

2)  Agile Project Management will help your company put an innovative strategic vision into operation

A company does a project for two reasons, because it fulfills a business need and because it coincides with the company’s strategic vision.   If the competitive environments creates a business need which demands innovation, then the strategic vision that lines up with this business need will also need to innovative.   Agile Project Management will help a project manager maximize the positive impact of the company’s assets, including the people deployed to deliver them.

3) Agile Project Management will help you as a project manager to use the correct project management framework

Organizations need for professional project managers to synthesize the best practices of traditional and agile frameworks to respond to the challenges their companies face.   The received wisdom that Agile Project Management is for software projects is just not true–most projects in the next 20 years will not be Agile or traditional, but rather Hybrid projects that combine elements of both.   A project manager that wants to be on the cutting edge of project management will have to acquaint him or herself with the agile framework as well as the traditional framework, and then have the experience to know which elements of each to combine into a hybrid framework.

Agile Project Management, therefore, helps a company adapt to business needs, to operationalize an innovative strategic vision, and to have available the fullest possible palette of project management possible in order to bring what is appropriate to the company and to the project at hand.

This process of hybridization of projects is not happening in the future, but is happening now.   As an example, in one of the sessions of our PMI Chicagoland Chapter dinner meeting in the Fall of 2014, there was a presentation made on the Lessons Learned project.   Traditionally, this is done at the end of the project, but more companies are following the practice of doing lessons learned exercises periodically while the project is going on.   When I asked the person giving the presentation where this idea came from, he said it came from Agile Project Management.   This is one example, but I’m sure if I surveyed the project managers in the Chicagoland area, they would be able to supply other examples of variations to traditional project management practices which have been inspired by the Agile Project Management framework.

With these three reasons for learning Agile Project Management, the question is not “why study Agile Project Management”, but rather, why wouldn’t you?

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