Agile PM Process Grid–6.4 Information Radiators


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, which was covered in the last post.   This post covers 6.4 Information Radiators

In terms of communications on a project, there are three basic types, each of which I have followed by an example:

  1. interactive, usually meaning one-to-one (e.g., a phone call)
  2. push, usually meaning one-to-many (e.g., an e-mail sent to the group)
  3. pull, usually meaning many-to-one (e.g., documents put in Google Drive and shared with the group)

An information radiator is a form of communication which is like the second type above, with some important differences related to agile projects.

  1. The information radiators are posted in the team’s workspace.
  2. They contain various types of visual signals or cues intended to make it easier to guide activities and tasks to completion.
  3. They convey information about specific parts of the process, but are available to everyone, including stakeholders.

They are designed as a combination of status and progress report, status report meaning the cumulative progress on the project and the progress report meaning the status in the current iteration.

They also are a forecast report of sorts, meaning that they can be used to facilitate early detection of risk or problems that are ahead in the development process so that they do not become impediments towards reaching the iteration goal.

Here are examples of information radiators used in agile PM:

  • product vision
  • product backlog
  • release plan
  • burn-up and burn-down charts
  • team work agreements

Since the information radiators are put in the team workspace, let us spend the next post talking about how the team space is organized in agile projects.

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