August 19, 2017

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Project management advice, tips, tools and recommended resources for existing and aspiring project managers.

Project Managers – Find a Beginners Guide to Scrum

Agile management frameworks are growing in popularity across many industries. Scrum is an agile framework that helps teams manage product development. The core principle behind Scrum is the understanding that customers can often change their mind about what they want at any stage of a project. For some teams, this can generate a lot of rework particularly in the later stages of development, which wastes time and money. Scrum manages this by delivering quickly in increments, gaining feedback early and adapting the product as necessary.

As with all agile frameworks, Scrum encourages team collaboration, frequent communication and continuous improvement. You can download an A0 size poster version of the graphic to print and display in your office!

If you’re interested to learn how Scrum typically works, take a look at the graphic below designed by Knowledge Train.

 

The Scrum methodology: a visual guideINFOGRAPHIC

A Closer Look at What Agile Project Management is

Many project managers prefer to use Agile project management for software development projects or on projects that are too complex for the customer to understand and specify before testing prototypes. This article will explore Agile Project Management to understand what it is, how to receive training and how to become certified.

What is Agile Project Management

According to Mark C. Layton in Agile Project Management for Dummies, Agile focuses on continuous improvement, scope flexibility, team input, and delivering essential quality products. Agile project management methodologies include scrum, extreme programming (XP), and lean.

According to Wikipedia:

Agile is an iterative method of determining requirements for engineering and information technology development projects in a highly flexible and interactive manner. During Agile development deliverables are submitted in stages. One difference between agile and iterative development is that the delivery time in agile is in weeks rather than months.

The 12 Agile Principles

The 12 Agile Principles are a set of guiding concepts that support project teams in implementing agile projects. Please have a look at the Agile Project Management Cheat Sheet for the details of the 12 Agile principles.

A typical Agile project will consist of 7 stages:

  1. Stage 1: Product Vision
  2. Stage 2: Product Roadmap
  3. Stage 3: Release Plan
  4. Stage 4: Sprint Planning
  5. Stage 5: Daily Scrum
  6. Stage 6: Sprint review
  7. Stage 7: Sprint retrospective.

An Agile project also consists of specific roles, namely:

  • Development team: Group of people who create the product
  • Product owner: The person responsible for bridging the gap between the customer, business stakeholders, and the development team
  • Scrum master: Also called project facilitator who supports the development team and keeping the agile process consistent.
  • Agile mentor: Someone who has experience implementing agile projects and can share that experience with a project team.

Agile Project Management Organisations and Certifications

There are several representative organisations for Agile practitioners. Agile Alliance, the original global agile community, with a mission to help advance agile principles and practices.

Scrum Alliance is a nonprofit professional membership organization that promotes understanding and usage of scrum. The following professional certifications are offered by them:

  • Certified Scrum Master (CSM)
  • Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO)
  • Certified Scrum Developer (CSD)
  • Certified Scrum Professional (CSP)
  • Certified Scrum Coach (CSC)
  • Certified Scrum Trainer (CST)

PMI Agile Community

The Project Management Institute (PMI) is the largest nonprofit project management membership association in the world. The agile section of PMI’s website provides access to papers, books, and seminars about agile project management. PMI supports an agile community of practice and a certification, the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP).

Agile Project Management products

For project managers who want to become PMI-ACP certified, there is a good product from Cornelius Fichtner, the President of OSP International. It is called the Agile PrepCast.

The Agile PrepCast™ is a Video Workshop that you download to your smart phone, table or laptop and watch whenever and wherever you want. It’s a podcast/videocast with in-depth video lessons for your PMI-ACP exam prep.

After completing The Agile PrepCast™ and passing the Final Exam you will be able to print a 21 Contact Hours Certificate and use it to apply for your PMI-ACP® exam. OSP International is a PMI® Registered Education Provider.

Agile Certified

 

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