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What is Agile Project Management?

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Written by Andy Trainer– Wed 11 May 2011

Silicon Beach Training now offers the increasingly popular range of Agile Project Management training courses – but what is Agile Project Management, and why is it such a big deal all of a sudden?

In March 2011 the government unveiled its new ICT Strategy which identified a number of problems (or challenges using their words!) with the method in which IT projects and programmes were managed and delivered, causing them to fail.  The first of these challenges being:

  • "projects tend to be too big, leading to greater risk and complexity, and limiting the range of suppliers who can compete"

Silicon Beach Training now offer accredited Agile Project Management training, including the Agile Project Management Foundation course and Agile Project Management Practitioner course.

For example, if a project to implement a large IT system is deemed to take 5 years to complete, it is very likely that, in those five years circumstances (e.g. technology, customer and business requirements, even governments!) will have changed, rendering the final solution based on the original specification unfit for purpose.

A number of strategies were identified to address these challenges, one of which is “by the application of lean and agile methodologies that will reduce waste, be more responsive to changing requirements and reduce the risk of project failure”.

Agile methodologies have been used in software development for some years, but are now being applied in project management as they offer a flexible process that can change according to the customer or organisational needs.

How does Agile Project Management differ from traditional project management methodologies?

Traditionally a project manager may direct the project team using a 'command and control' style, actively directing their team towards the work that must be completed.  Agile project management uses a different technique.  At the beginning of an Agile project, a high-level plan will be created by the project manager, which is based on basic requirements and a high-level vision of the solution.  From there on the final project is created iteratively and incrementally, with each increment building on the previous increments.  Agile Project management also differs in the way that team members create the plans for each increment, rather than the project manager themselves.

Close collaboration between the business or customer and the project team allows the team to understand the details of potentially changing requirements and create and validate an evolving solution accordingly.

Which agile method is Agile Project Management based on?

Agile Project Management is based on the longest-established Agile method, DSDM Atern (Dynamic Systems Development Method), which is the only Agile methodology to focus on the management of Agile projects.  The Agile Project Management qualifications take the project management elements of DSDM Atern and make them available as Agile Project Management – a certified approach in its own right.

What benefits will I get by using Agile Project Management?

  • Using Agile Project Management allows projects to respond to changing requirements and ensure that the solutions meet business or customer requirements
  • Agile Project Management can be used in conjunction with other corporate processes such as PRINCE2 and ITIL.  The DSDM Atern agile method was developed to work alongside PRINCE2
  • Agile Project Management certification offers a recognised qualification that will benefit both the individual in career development and organisations in recognising staff development

What are Agile Project Management certifications available to me?

Silicon Beach Training offers both the Agile Project Management Foundation and Agile Project Management Practitioner.

The Foundation Exam is a one-hour multiple-choice paper composed of 60 questions which assess a delegate’s knowledge of Agile Project Management. The pass mark is 50% or 30 correct answers.  This is taken at the end of the Agile Project Management Foundation course.

The Practitioner Exam is a two-hour Objective Test – a complex multiple-choice exam that tests a delegate’s ability to apply the concepts of Agile Project Management to the running and managing of projects.  15 marks are available from each of the four questions. Delegates must achieve 50% to pass (30 marks).  This is taken at the end of the Agile Project Management Practitioner training course.

The Agile Project Management training and certifications are accredited by APMG.

To discuss your requirements for Agile Project Management training and certification please call us on 01273 622272.

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