Agile PM Process Grid–7.6 Process Analysis

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 am now covering processes that are performed during the Control process group of an agile project.   Remember, after the Planning process group, an agile project does not go in a linear fashion from Iterate to Control to Close; rather, it cycles from Iteration to Iteration with periodic checkpoints (many times at the end of an iteration cycle) where you Control or make changes to a project to make sure it gets back on track.   Or sometimes, you even change the track itself if there is a change in the requirements.

In the past set of posts, I have covered those processes done in the Control process group that relate to the sixth knowledge area of Communication.   Today I start covering the process related to Continuous Improvement:  7.6 Process Analysis.

Process analysis describes a process by showing the inputs into the process, the operations of the process, and the outputs from the process.   Process improvement can only come after understanding of how the process works.

Then there is a process flow diagram created which shows how one process flows into another.   Processes done sequentially are drawn in series; processes done simultaneously are drawn in parallel.   This helps identify any bottlenecks that reduce process capacity, and quantify the impact of these bottlenecks.

Here are some common opportunities for process improvement based on analysis of the process flow diagram mentioned above:

  • Reducing work-in-process inventory
  • Increasing the capacity of a bottleneck
  • Minimizing non-value added activities

These improvements can be made at a minimal cost, whereas optimizing the capacity of a single process can require a significant investment.    So choose “lean” over “mean” when trying to improve processes!

This concludes the review of the Control process group.   The next post will start the last process group, when the team will Close the project.



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