In John Stenbeck’s book “PMI-ACP and Certified Scrum Professional Exam Prep and Desk Reference”, he creates an “agile project management process grid” which describes 87 processes used in agile project management. These processes are divided into five process groups (Initiate, Plan, Iterate, Control, and Close), which are analogous to the five process groups in traditional project management, and seven knowledge areas which can be mapped, more or less, onto the ten knowledge areas in traditional project management.
I’ve covered the first two process groups, “Initiate”, and “Plan,” and will now start to cover the third process group called “Iterate.” This corresponds to the “Execution” process group in traditional project management.
This post covers some general principles related to execution in agile projects through the iteration process.
Although projects run from the present into the future, planning for them starts at imagining the future state (i.e., the result of the project), and then working back into the present the steps needed to take you from the initial state (i.e., the beginning of the project) to that future state.
At the larger level of the program and portfolio, the scale is different, but the process is the same. The future strategic objectives are set as the endpoint or future state, and the whole panoply of projects needed to get to that endpoint are mapped out.
In agile project management, the process is the same although the vocabulary is different. The program and portfolio levels are the release plan and the roadmap, respectively. So the capabilities and the themes from the roadmap are broken down into release plans, and then iteration plans composed of epics and stories, with the estimate of size coming from Planning Poker or similar technique.
But despite the different vocabulary, the principle that links agile and traditional project management is
Excellence in execution is built upon a foundation of excellence in planning.
One of the ways to achieve excellence in planning in the agile PM framework is through diligent grooming of the product backlog, which is the subject of the next post.