SPONSORS

SPONSORS

Deliver Faster, More Innovative Solutions

with Agile Project Management

 

ADVISORY ARTICLE

By Kathleen Frankle and John Johnson

Project Management Center for Excellence
University of Maryland

Maryland, USA

 



Agile project management is often overly simplified as the project management practice of varying scope. This simplification loses the emphasis on the true benefits of Agile which are speed, innovation, leadership, and control. Proof that Agile can deliver these benefits in even the most complex environments is shown in its history.

Agile project management can trace its roots back to World War II, when Kelly Johnson formed “Skunkworks” within Lockheed Martin. Johnson used his 14 Rules of Management to run Skunkworks and create the world’s first fighter jet, the P-80, in just 143 days. Kelly Johnson’s 14 Rules of Management mirror the Agile Manifesto and its 12 Principles, which promote cross-functional, self-directed teams; response to change with minimal reports; collaboration between owner and vendor; and Incremental (and Iterative) Development.  All modern Agile project management frameworks draw on these lessons from Kelly Johnson’s work. Other influences include Total Quality Management (TQM), Lean, the Theory of Constraints (TOC), and Adaptive Systems Theory.

These “Adaptive” approaches can appear to be very different, but at their core is the same driving purpose: maximize the speed and sustainability of value delivered to the organization. This means emphasizing the value of the project’s output over its cost efficiency, understanding that speed and innovation change the value of that output, and that the most important organizational resources are its people and its customer relationships. Companies that embrace Agile principles continue to set record earnings and stock prices (e.g. AMZN, APPL, Netflix); and those that ignore them find themselves unable to compete.

Agile project management has proven that it works. Survey after survey provides the data that Agile Project Management increases success rates for projects, especially those with high levels of uncertainty. Success rates in one 2013 survey across industries showed that Agile was successful 64% of the time, while traditionally-managed projects were successful less than half the time (49%).

Recreated from Ambysoft’s 2013 survey, 173 respondents across industries, ranking Agile and Traditional methods from -10 to 10 (source: http://clearcode.cc/2014/12/agile-vs-waterfall-method/).

The success in Agile Project Management, however, has produced an explosion in variants and frameworks. No Agile project looks the same or applies all principles in the same way. Often these adaptations of Agile are driven by the organizational structure, politics, vendor preference, levels of education, and market realities.

Learn at your own pace. To help meet the challenges of this new project environment, the University of Maryland Project Management Center for Excellence has developed an Agile Project Management Professional Certificate program on edX.org. This new program provides participants with the understanding, principles, and skills to confidently deliver faster, innovative solutions for their stakeholders.  The Professional Certificate program consists of five courses designed to teach the mechanics of how to design and facilitate projects using “pure” Agile Scrum and Lean Continuous Delivery techniques. Through the series, participants will explore other frameworks in order to understand differences in scale, structure, and empowerment. These courses are self-paced so learners can speed through them in a day (each is about 10 hours long) or complete the lessons based on a rhythm that suits their schedule.

More…

To read entire article, click here

 

How to cite this article: Frankle, K. and Johnson, J. (2019).  Deliver Faster, More Innovative Solutions with Agile Project Management, PM World Journal, Vol. VIII, Issue II (February). Available online at https://pmworldjournal.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/02/pmwj79-Feb2019-Frankle-Johnson-agile-project-management.pdf

 



About the Authors


Kathleen Frankle

University of Maryland
Maryland, USA

 

 


Ms. Kathleen Frankle has worked at the University of Maryland for over 20 years. She has significant expertise in the development and marketing of education and training programs, both online and in-person.  Currently, she is the Marketing Manager for the Project Management Center for Excellence.  In this role, she has managed their annual Project Management Symposium since its inception fostering its growth from 178 participants to over 400.  She is on the team that is developing the Center’s online “Agile Project Management Professional Certificate through edX.  Ms. Frankle also works for the Center for Advanced Transportation Technology as Program Manager for two nationally known education programs including the Operations Academy Senior Management two-week in-person total immersion program and the Consortium for Innovative Training and Education (CITE) that offers online advanced transportation courses. Ms. Frankle can be contacted at [email protected].

 

 


John Johnson

Maryland, USA

 

 


John Johnson
teaches graduate courses on Agile and Predictive management at the University of Maryland’s Project Management Program. His recent Agile Project Management series on EdX (in-production) was highlighted as the #1 Professional Certificate for massive online open courses (MOOCs) globally by the premier MOOC reviewer Class-Central.com.  He also serves as the Chief Technology Officer for Softek Enterprises LLC. Established in 2007, Softek specializes in evolving business systems using Agile, DevOps, and Cloud technologies to deliver working solutions faster for the government’s most critical IT challenges.  Mr. Johnson works closely with senior Agency influencers to explore and develop solutions, more than doubling Softek revenue annually, while leading multiple deliveries for clients and partners. He has 10 years of project management, systems engineering, and advanced analytics experience.