Mapping Agile to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®)


In his book on Agile Project Development entitled “PMI-ACP® and Certified Scrum Professional Exam Prep and Desk Reference”, John Stenbeck talks about how Agile fits into not only the PMBOK®, which is trademarked under the Project Management Institute, but under the other frameworks that exist in the world of Traditional and Agile Project Management.

1. Traditional Project Management

Let’s talk about traditional project management first.

The Project Management Institute is the industry leader (measured by the membership base) in traditional project management, with its PMBOK® framework.   John Stenbeck says that he thinks PMI remains the leader because of its extensive research grants and educational scholarships which extend and promote this framework.

There are other organizations in traditional project management, including

  • Prince2®
  • Association for Project Management (APM)–more prominent in the UK
  • International Project Management Association (IPMA)–more prominent in Europe
  • various universities (which issue certificates as well as degrees in Project Management)

2.   Agile Project Management

On the Agile side, however, there is a LOT more competition, because it is an emerging and less established field than traditional project management.

The Scrum Alliance is now the industry leader, because of its largest membership base.   The most recognized certification in Agile is the Certified Scrum Master®, but it also offers the Certified Scrum Product Owner® and Certified Scrum Developer® at the entry level, and Certified Scrum Professional® at the more experienced level.

In addition to the Scrum Alliance certifications, the other organizations are:

  • Scrum.org
  • PMI (with its new Agile Certified Practitioner certification (PMI-ACP®)
  • various universities (which issue certificates in Agile Project Management)

Although Scrum is an approach within Agile, Agile is broader than Scrum and includes other frameworks, of which the main ones are

  • Extreme Programming (XP)
  • Lean Software Development (LSD)
  • Feature Driven Development (FDD)

and the relatively smaller frameworks (in terms of the total market), which are

  • Crystal
  • Spiral
  • Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM)
  • Agile Unified Process (AUP).

Although Scrum Alliance’s Certified Scrum Master® certification is currently the industry leader, John Stenbeck says that he expects the new ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner) certification from PMI is eventually become the industry leader over the next few years.

Before John Stenbeck goes into all of the Agile frameworks above in Chapter 2 (Introducing Agile Project Management) of his book, he has a long digression on the relationship between the history of Lean manufacturing and Agile, because it shows not only the commonalities between them thematically, but it also points to one of the key reasons why John Stenbeck’s thinks that Agile will continue to grow in the project management community.    Most people have several preconceptions about Agile, one of the most common of which is that it is suitable for the IT application area, but not for other application areas.   The fact that many common ideas are to be found between Agile and Lean Manufacturing shows that Agile has a wide potential for application in manufacturing and other application areas.    The next few posts will cover this relationship between Lean and Agile…

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