The Agile Methodology for Project Risk Managers
The Agile Methodology for Traditional Project Risk Managers includes two best seller courses already published on Udemy: The Agile Certified Practitioner Training Program and the course on Risk Management for Project Professionals.
The Agile Certified Practitioner Training Program (PMI-ACP)
The Agile Certified Practitioner Training Program (PMI-ACP) includes a collection of eight courses aligned with the Agile Certified Practitioner exam objectives developed by the Project Management Institute® and Certified ScrumMaster learning objectives:
- Agile Project Management Essentials
- Adopting an Agile Approach
- The Scrum Development Process
- Project Initiating and Requirements Gathering
- Planning and Monitoring Iterations
- Leading an Agile Team
- Managing Stakeholder Engagement
- Value and Quality in Agile Projects
Section I – Agile Project Management Essentials
And, the first one will be on what is called The Agile Approach. After completing this part, you will be able to: understand the characteristics of agile project management, and why is this important; distinguish between primary and secondary agile value s, and how this might help you in your work; recognize and apply agile principles in your projects; recognize and use the differences between defined and empirical methodologies; and compare the agile triangle of constraints with that of traditional project management.
The second part of the course will help you understand better the various Agile Models and Methodologies. After completing this part, you will be able to: compare the phases of traditional project management with those of the agile framework, and understand the differences; understand how a project manager’s responsibilities will change on an agile project compared with a traditional project; and distinguish between common agile methodologies.
Section 2 – Adopting an Agile Approach
And, it answers to an important question. Would you like to adopt a more agile approach to project management in your company, only you think the change would be too disruptive? Perhaps you believe that Agile is all or nothing, but that’s not true. Wise project leaders are able to examine their own situations and determine which agile practices to adopt given the nature of their projects, organizations, and teams.
Guidance on how to take steps towards adopting an agile project management approach for those who currently use a traditional, plan-driven methodology is included. The relevant section discusses some common myths and misconceptions about agile development approaches, identifies factors to consider when deciding whether to adopt agile practices, and explains the general agile practices that a company may want to adopt.
The course provides project leaders with general guidelines on how to develop an agile way of thinking, one of the first steps in transitioning a team. The course also looks at some guidelines for obtaining buy-in from organizational stakeholders so they also embrace agile practices.
Section 3 – The Scrum Development Process
Scrum is one of the most popular agile methodologies to date, with tools and techniques applicable to more than just software development projects. This course will assist prospective Scrum masters, product owners, and team members with the understanding of core Scrum practices. This includes an outline of the roles and responsibilities of members of the Scrum team, the importance of good communication, and the role of project stakeholders.
The course divides the Scrum development process into three major phases: pre-game, game, and post-game. It describes the activities performed in each phase, but particularly examines the activities and tools of the game phase. Scrum basics covered include the use of product and sprint backlogs, the use of iterative development in the form of sprints, performing daily stand-up meetings, the use of sprint reviews and retrospectives, and using Scrum task boards and burn-down charts for monitoring and reporting project progress.
Section 4 – Project Initiating and Requirements Gathering
It provides a look at the agile approach to planning and tasks that agile teams have adopted from methodologies such as Scrum and XP. The focus is on release planning which is the first of three agile planning levels. It emphasizes the importance of a properly established product vision, developed by the product owner and stakeholders prior to developing the project backlog.
During release planning, this product vision is shared with the development team and discussed in detail to ensure the proper requirements, conditions of satisfaction, and priorities are established. The course then moves into the requirements gathering and analysis phase, with the use of high-level user case scenarios. It finishes with instruction and practice on developing user stories, which have become the choice method for many agile teams for clearly defining customer-centric requirements or features.
Section 5 – Planning and Monitoring Iterations
This course focuses on the activities performed during the planning and execution of a project iteration, or sprint. During release planning – the previous phase in the overall agile planning process – the team creates an ordered list of project features in the form of the product backlog. Iteration planning is the process of creating an iteration (sprint) backlog that contains more specific detail regarding work items that have been assigned to the upcoming iteration.
An important section of the course will follow the iteration planning process and the creation of the iteration backlog. It also explores how to create a schedule and use principles of buffering. The last part of the course covers key tools and methods used by agile teams to monitor and report project progress, both at the iteration level and at the overall project or release level.
Section 6 – Leading an Agile Team
And, having a good team and quality leadership is key for the success of any project, but in Agile development it is crucial. This course takes a close look at agile teams and team leadership, including the unique skills and roles of the agile project leader and the characteristics of the team as a whole.
You will see how traditional project managers can adopt a new mindset that allows them to thrive in the agile environment, and to take on a coaching, leading, and facilitating role. Leaders must empower their teams to organize themselves, collaborate, and solve problems. This course provides guidance on how to lead a colocated cross-functional team, as well as a distributed team, and how to boost team performance.
Section 7 – Managing Stakeholder Engagement
This course highlights the importance of stakeholder engagement, collaboration, and communication during agile planning and development projects. It discusses the role of stakeholders and how the ScrumMaster or agile project leader must encourage active involvement to ensure the team has a clear understanding of the project requirements and stakeholder expectations.
Also addressed are common tools used for knowledge sharing throughout the course of the project, which is essential in order to deliver value and keep everyone informed on the status of the project. This course also covers techniques that encourage participation in the feedback and decision-making cycle of release, iteration, and project closing processes.
Section 8 – Value and Quality in Agile Projects
This course covers agile techniques and practices that deal with achieving product value and quality, beginning with agile documentation practices and key points to understand about contract types that are most suitable to the agile environment. It proceeds with an overview of agile risk management and the basics of agile Earned Value Management.
Also covered are factors affecting product quality, including agile strategies that promote quality throughout development, and the incorporation of continuous testing as a practice for improving and verifying the expected level of customer value.
2. Risk Management for Project Professionals
This course on Risk Management is designed to meet the requirements of project professionals and of those of you who are interested in taking the PMI Certification exams such us Risk management professional.
The focus of this course is on developing skills and for this reason practice materials cover at least 15 hours of exercise and work on risk management tools and techniques, risk management documents and risk response.
This course on Risk Management for Project Professionals includes more than 7 hours of video materials on:
- Project management (overview)
- Project risk management
- Plan risk management
- Identify risks
- Qualitative risk analysis
- Quantitative risk analysis
- Plan risk response, and
- Risk Control
After each video lecture you will have a practical activity. You will receive instructions for each exercise and, if needed, templates. This is your investment in your risk management actionable skills. And, After each section you will have a quiz that will reinforce your knowledge on risk management and its tools and techniques.
Who is your instructor?
My name is Sorin, and I will be your instructor. I am a trainer and project manager with more than 10 years of experience. Before Udemy, I trained hundreds of people in a classroom environment – civil servants, managers, project workers, aid workers and many more. And I managed projects in the fields of justice, corrections, regional development and human resources development.
How will you benefit?
This course is intended for project managers, program managers, or anyone who wants to efficiently participate in agile projects. It is aligned with the Agile Certified Practitioner exam objectives developed by the Project Management Institute® and Certified ScrumMaster learning objectives.
Training videos, examples, exercices and quizzes will help you learn all about the Managing Stakeholder Engagement. And, if you take your time to go through all the learning materials this will entitle you to claim the necesary PDU’s for the PMI certification exams and to maintain your PMI certification.
So, thank you for considering this course! Now, go ahead, and hit that “Take This Course” button. And, see you on the inside.
This video will help you understand better the content of the other courses that will form this Agile Project Management - The PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner) Certification Program.
You might know this. I’m adding it to any course in the introductory section. But, just in case some suggestions to improve your learning.
Learning objectives, course content, course structure, and course delivery
Agile Project Management Essentials
If you have followed a traditional project management approach and find yourself spending a lot of time fine tuning the design to accommodate changing requirements, you may want to consider a different approach. In this course, you will be introduced to agile project management, including the core values and principles outlined by the Agile Manifesto.
This lesson will be very short and very clear. You are going to learn here what Agile project management means. This we can call the starting point, and with this we begin our course on Agile Project Management Essentials. And, please don’t expect more than the essentials in this course, the other courses that form the mentioned Certification Program will come with the rest of the information.
Agile project management has several key characteristics:
- it relies on cross-functional teams that work in short iterations, and
- uses an incremental approach to development;
- it also focuses on business priorities and customer value, and
- strives for continuous improvement.
Benefits of agile project management in relation to more traditional management approaches are that it can:
- reduce risk,
- speed up delivery,
- generate more value, and
- reduce the cost of making changes.
In 2001, representatives of different agile software development methodologies met to promote the development of the agile approach. They called themselves the Agile Alliance and drafted the Agile Manifesto which outlines basic values for agile development. In turn, these values are underpinned by specific principles.
The authors of the Agile Manifesto are Kent Beck, Mike Beedle, Arie van Bennekum, Alistair Cockburn, Ward Cunningham, Martin Fowler, James Grenning, Jim Highsmith, Andrew Hunt, Ron Jeffries, Jon Kern, Brian Marick, Robert C. Martin, Steve Mellor, Ken Schwaber, Jeff Sutherland, and Dave Thomas.
Twelve agile principles describe the four agile values in more detail. The first six principles are:
- to focus on satisfying the customer
- welcoming change
- delivering working software frequently
- ensuring that business people and developers work together
- motivating the individuals involved in development, and
- using face-to-face communication whenever possible
A development model is a guide to the development process, to help ensure that no important aspects of development are overlooked. Traditionally, development models were highly defined and linear. The trend now is toward more empirical models that include iterative and incremental processes, to provide greater flexibility.
The waterfall (also known as traditional) model divides the development process into five phases:
Traditionally, a project plan is a document that helps project managers execute and control the phases of a project. It clarifies a project's objectives and how they can be achieved. Information included in a project plan typically includes the project's scope, cost, and schedule, as well as its activities, deliverables, milestones, and resources.
The traditional iron triangle of constraints identifies three main types of constraints on the success of a project - scope, cost, and schedule. Change to any one of these constraints will affect the others. The quality of a project depends on satisfying all three constraints.
After completing this section, you will be able to: understand characteristics of agile project management, distinguish between primary and secondary agile values, recognize agile principles...
Based on the Agile Project Management model derived by Jim Highsmith, agile project management can be divided into five phases:
- Adapting, and
Like the agile approach, traditional project management can be described in terms of five key phases. These are:
- Monitoring and Controlling, and
Each of these differs in specific ways from the corresponding agile phase.
Agile development avoids the prescriptive, plan-oriented approach associated with traditional project management, and makes use of self-organizing teams. However, it is a common misconception that agile projects don't require project management.
Project management is still necessary. But, the traditional responsibilities of the project manager may be handled differently and possibly be spread out across members of the agile project team.
You can implement agile project management using different methodologies. Although every agile methodology has different characteristics, they all maintain essential agile principles. Three widely used agile methodologies are:
- Extreme Programming - also known as XP, and
- Lean development
Other agile methodologies include the Crystal family of methodologies, Feature Driven Development, or FDD, Dynamic Systems Development Method - or DSDM - as well as Adaptive Software Development - also known as ASD. The methodology you choose should depend on what will best suit a particular project.
After completing this section, you will be able to: compare the phases of traditional project management with those of the agile framework, understand how a project manager's responsibilities ...
Section project (optional)
After completing the first part of the course - called The Agile Approach -, you are now able to:
- understand the characteristics of agile project management, and why is this important;
- distinguish between primary and secondary agile values, and how this might help you in your work;
- recognize and apply agile principles in your projects;
- recognize and use the differences between defined and empirical methodologies; and
- compare the agile triangle of constraints with that of traditional project management.
Section wrap-up and conclusions.
Adopting an Agile Approach
Wise project leaders are able to examine their own situations and determine which agile practices to adopt given the nature of their projects, organizations, and teams.
Organizations across the world are using agile project management to get superior results. But this doesn't mean that the move from traditional to agile project management will be easy. One of the main challenges is overcoming the various myths and misconceptions about what an agile approach involves.
The approach you adopt doesn't have to be purely agile or purely traditional. Instead of viewing different project management methodologies as black and white, you should view them as points along a continuum, with many shades of gray.
Agile development requires just enough documentation. Creating unnecessary documentation is considered a waste of valuable development time.
Although agile methodologies were first geared towards software development projects, they're not just development methodologies. Instead they're project management methodologies.
Planning in Agile looks very different. In agile development, there's no work breakdown structure or time-phased and resource-assigned task list. Instead Agile uses just-in-time planning.
Various misconceptions about agile methodologies may prevent or hinder their adoption. Learn agile project management to apply it effectively.
Learn agile project management and correct common misconceptions.
Using an agile methodology may have a tremendous impact on a project. It can shorten development cycles, improve quality and efficiency, lower costs, and result in better customer satisfaction.
Some project types are more suitable for agile development than others. An agile approach is especially suitable when a project is characterized by a high level of internal uncertainty, a scope that isn't well- defined at the start of a project, and a product that benefits from ongoing customer feedback.
The structure of an organization is one of the key factors that determines how easily it will be able to transition into using an agile methodology.
The nature of the existing project management processes in an organization will help determine how easily a team can adapt to using an agile methodology. Generally, the more flexible and informal these processes are, the easier a team will find the transition.
The nature of your organization's industry is an external factor that may affect the suitability of an agile approach. Industries that are relatively stable tend to focus on updating or improving products that have already been tried and tested. They have a steady customer base and know their product and competition.
It's likely to be easier for an organization to adjust to an agile approach if its structure is already collaborative and if its culture encourages trust, openness, responsibility, and adaptability.
It's also likely to be easier if the organization's existing project management processes are informal and flexible, if the project team is small, and if team members are suitably skilled and work in the same location.
Determine whether your organization should adopt agile practices and identify factors to consider when deciding whether to adopt agile practices.
It's not always appropriate to adopt a fully agile approach to project management. Organizations might not be ready to commit to the level of change and training that this requires.
Different agile methodologies use different techniques for defining requirements, and project teams may customize these to suit their needs.
Another general agile practice you can adopt is iterative development with incremental delivery. Instead of completing all project work and then delivering the result to the customer for review, you focus on completing regular, short bursts of work and delivering the results to the customer at the end of each cycle.
A final agile practice that can benefit most organizations and projects is frequent, open communication among project team members, and between the team and the project customer.
Recognize the key principles of agile practices.
Agile methodologies don't generally prescribe exactly how you should manage a project. Instead they define principles that you can interpret and implement in your own way. By introducing these principles gradually into your workplace, you can transform the way your project teams operate.
Although lean principles can form the basis of an agile mindset and are generally easy to implement, they're not the only core principles used in an agile approach. Once you've introduced these principles and your team is familiar with them, you can begin introducing other agile principles.
Understand the principles behind an agile mindset.
An important step in the process of adopting agile practices is to obtain buy-in from stakeholders in your organization. Switching from a traditional approach to project management to an agile one involves making significant changes – and change can be difficult for people to accept.
When communicating the need for change to stakeholders, you should focus on explaining the weaknesses of the traditional – or waterfall – model your organization currently uses.
The next step in convincing others of the need to move from a traditional approach to a more agile one is to explain the potential benefits for the organization. When doing this, you can focus on three main benefits – reduced risk, improved control, and improved communications.
Statistics that prove the effectiveness of Agile practices to review some statistics you can use when explaining the benefits of adopting an agile approach.
When you tell stakeholders about agile project management, you should be open about the risks or pitfalls involved. This gives the message that you're not trying to convince them to use agile practices, but that the organization's interests are a priority and that you want them to make an informed decision.
Obtain buy-in from stakeholders to implement agile practices.
Course project (optional)
Course wrap-up, learning objectives review and next steps.
Adopting agile management
The Scrum Development Process
There are two main parts: one is called Managing a scrum project and the other The Scrum Process in Action.
The term "scrum" originates from the rugby formation, in which a team's players work together to gain possession of the ball. The agile methodology of Scrum borrows this term to describe a framework of project management processes and techniques. Scrum enables project teams to develop complex products quickly and efficiently, to adapt to change, and to regularly deliver value to customers in the form of working products.
The product owner is usually a customer representative, whose main focus is to represent the interests of the customer throughout the development process. The product owner measures how well a project performs in terms of return on investment, or ROI.
In a Scrum team, the Scrum Master is the expert on all Scrum-related issues and ensures that everyone works according to Scrum principles and practices. He or she should also shield the development team from external processes and control, so they can fully concentrate on development. The Scrum Master may be a member of the development team.
A Scrum team usually consists of five to nine individuals who share the responsibility for developing a product and delivering it to the product owner at the end of each sprint. The optimal team is self- organizing and cross-functional.
You're working as a Scrum Master on a project that involves developing tracking software for a transport company.
In the Scrum approach, effective communication is vital for ensuring that a Scrum team understands customer requirements, and that development team members can work together efficiently to solve complex problems.
The role of Scrum meetings is to ensure communication flows smoothly between the different stakeholders and team members. There are five types of Scrum meetings – the sprint planning meeting, the daily standup meeting, the Scrum of Scrums, the sprint review meeting, and the sprint retrospective
The core of Scrum, originally referred to as the "game" by its creators, describes how to prepare and run Sprints. While not officially described as such in the Scrum guide, the phases of a Scrum project cycle could be considered and are sometimes described as pre-game, game, and post-game.
The game phase refers to the sprint, or development, phase. This is when the development team plans each sprint and proceeds to create functioning product deliverables, also called potentially shippable product increments.
The work needed after a sprint or series of sprints to release the product, is sometimes referred to as the post-game phase.
Understand Scrum team roles, guidelines for effective stakeholder communication, project activities and phases in the Scrum development process
At the start of a new Scrum project, some initial planning and design must take place in order to define a project goal and product backlog for the project.
Once the product owner has compiled project requirements, the development team reviews the backlog and creates a high-level design for the product to be developed.
The game phase is where the core Scrum practices exist and where the bulk of the work is done. The development team plans each sprint, meets regularly, and creates functioning deliverables. And at the end of each sprint, it delivers the results to the customer, or a customer representative, for review. The process is iterative, with a product developed incrementally over multiple sprints.
During the course of a sprint, the members of a Scrum team meet to discuss task progress and any issues that are preventing tasks from being completed.
Ongoing testing and the adaptation based on test results is a key principle of most agile methodologies, including Scrum. During the game phase of the Scrum development process, this principle is implemented in two ways – through unit testing and sprint reviews.
After each sprint review meeting, the Scrum Master conducts a sprint retrospective with the development team to discuss how the sprint went and how it could have been improved. This helps the team formulate best practices it can apply during the next sprint, in keeping with the agile principle of continuous improvement.
At any point in a project, it's important to know how the project is progressing. That way, team members can make necessary adjustments – and other stakeholders can verify that everything is on track. Scrum teams use various highly visual tools to track their progress during each sprint. These include burndown charts and various progress charts.
As well as burndown charts, a Scrum team may use various progress charts - to track its progress in completing the tasks in each sprint
Both burndown charts and progress charts let you compare actual and estimated values, and both provide a quick, highly visual way to track progress.
When practicing Scrum we can make the sprint backlog visible by putting it on a Scrum task board. Team members update the task board continuously throughout the sprint; if someone thinks of a new task (“Test the snark code on Windows 8.1”), she writes a new card and puts it on the wall.
As well as charts, you can use various metrics to track and report on the progress of a Scrum project. All visual ways to track progress, within the sprint or on project level, are called progress monitors.
At the start of a new Scrum project, some initial planning and design must take place in order to define a project goal and product backlog for the project.
Section project (optional)
Course wrap up and conclusions.
Course wrap-up and conclusions
Initiation and Requirements Gathering
Welcome to the 4th course of the Agile Project Management - The PMI-ACP (Agile Certified Practitioner) Certification Program. This one is focused on Agile Planning and more precisely on Project Initiating and Requirements Gathering.
Project planning involves thinking about how to complete a project within a certain timeframe, usually with defined stages and with designated resources. The success of a project will depend in part on the effort and skill you apply during planning.
Project planning occurs at various levels, each providing a different degree of detail and occurring at different times in the project development life cycle.
Agile project planning is cyclical and ongoing, with different types of planning repeated throughout the project life cycle. Project planning is usually either date-driven or feature-driven. In a date-driven - or time-boxed - project, the release date is set but the set of features that will be included in the product release is uncertain.
A project team is updating the web site of QuickTravel, an outdoor adventure company. The team's instructions are to change the site's look and feel, and to add search, reservation, and payment tools. The team knows what to build, but it is not sure why the customer has requested the changes or which functionality is the most important. As a result, the team runs over budget and develops a product that doesn't fully align to the customer's business objectives.
Recognize the levels of agile planning, understand the benefits of having a plan for an agile project, and identify activities that take place during the different phases of agile planning
Whereas traditional project management is plan-driven, agile planning is value-driven. Value in this context refers to the financial worth of a project to the customer. The purpose of a business case is to confirm that a project will create value for the customer right from the start. A business case addresses questions about a proposed project's economic, technical, operational, and political impact on the customer.
For an agile project, a product vision describes how a product can capitalize on the opportunities and fulfill the goals outlined in the business case. It should provide all stakeholders, including developers, with a common understanding of what's required, without limiting the team's creativity in finding solutions.
Some may think that with an agile methodology, the customer can simply take an "I'll know it when I see it" approach to specifying what's required. However, this would make planning and estimation nearly impossible.
Agile teams are highly responsive to changes in customer expectations and market conditions. However, an agile project isn't without boundaries. Time and money, for example, aren't unlimited - so there have to be some limits on what can change, and the changes can't go on forever.
A project manager defines the scope of a traditionally managed project using a work breakdown structure, or WBS. An agile team, however, defines and manages scope using techniques for capturing requirements, such as use cases.
Use cases provide a big-picture overview of a system and of a project's scope. They can, however, be quite detailed and may not be very suitable for use in planning and estimating. An alternative technique, possibly used in addition to a high-level use case, involves breaking down project requirements into user stories. Each user story describes a specific, required functionality, which is defined from a user's perspective. Together all the user stories for a project provide a detailed description of the project's requirements.
Understand the essential elements of a business case, identify the elements of product vision, analyze an example of a use case, and develop examples of user stories.