Agile Project Management Process Grid–Process 3.1 Team Acquisition.

In the book “PMI-ACP Exam Prep PLUS Desk Reference”, John Stenbeck created an Agile PM Processes Grid, which has 87 Agile PM Processes divided up between the 5 process groups and 7 knowledge areas.

I just got done summarizing the first blocs of processes, those in the first process group (the Initiate process group) and the first two knowledge areas (External Stakeholders Engagement and Value-Driven Delivery).

Now, I am embarking on a description of the third block of processes, those in the first process group (the Initiate process group) and the third knowledge area (Adaptive Planning). Adaptive Planning might be better termed “Juggling the Constraints”.

The first of the four processes in this knowledge area is Process 3.1 Team Acquisition.

The most important aspect of acquiring a team for a project using agile project management is that it must be cross-functional, meaning that each team member has to work well within his or her function or area of expertise, but also be able to translate between each function so that he or she understands the point of view of the other members of the team.

More specifically, members of the team need to have elements of the following key factors:

  1. Ability–what specific competencies do they have
  2. Availability–what bandwidth or, more conventionally speaking, number of hours can they commit to this particular project, and if so, until how long?    Also, can they co-locate with other members of the team for team meetings?
  3. Cost–how appropriate is their cost given the budget constraint of the project?
  4. Chemistry–how well do their work style preferences along with those of the other members of the team
  5. Experience–what similar or related work have they done in the past?

Just as in traditional project management, there are in general three ways a team member may be acquired.

  1. Pre-assignment–this is when a person’s expertise is required for the project to succeed and that expertise is in short supply.   The pre-assignment of that team member is expressed in the contract with customer.   It is called pre-assignment because it is done in the initiating process group even BEFORE planning begins.
  2. Negotiation–this is when a team member is obtained from within the organization
  3. Acquisition–this is when a team member is obtained from without the organization (as in a contractor)

Getting the right person in the right role at the right time, who can also work together with other people on the team, is the key to getting this critical process right in order to make the project a success.

Once you’ve got the team members acquired, forming them into a team is the next step.   One of the processes that achieves this is the project kickoff meeting, which is the subject of the next post.


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