Agile PM Process Grid–6.3 Communication Protocols

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.

Today I start on a block of four processes that are part of the sixth knowledge area of Communication that are done during the Planning phase of the project.   The first of these four processes is 6.3 Communication Protocols.

There are two types of protocols:   organic and overt.   Organic protocols are defined as those that are inherently part of the agile framework.   Overt protocols (aka interventions) are externally imposed upon the agile framework    Agile planning can benefit from both organic and overt protocols.

Examples of organic communication protocols are:

  • Preference for face-to-face discussions
  • Collocated workspace
  • Interlinked planning meetings, such as product visioning, roadmap, release and iteration planning, daily stand-ups, and review and retrospective meetings

Examples of overt communication protocols are:

    • Risk-adjusted backlogs (process 5.4)
    • Escaped defects report
    • Variance and trends analysis

Optional open space meetings, where the team discusses ideas for dealing with technical challenges impeding delivery of the iteration goal, can be either organic or overt, depending on whether the technical challenge is coming from inside or outside the agile framework (like regulatory compliance issues, for example).

Much of the output of the meetings mentioned above is communicated to stakeholders and ends users in the form of information radiators which is the subject of the next post.



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