Agile Practice Demand

Demand Is Growing for Agile Practices in Project Management

In last month’s ProjectPro eNews we looked at the history and principles of the Scrum or Agile project management approach. This month we look at the new Project Management Institute (PMI) Agile certification programme as well as details of the scrum role-players.

Organizations who use Agile techniques in managing projects have documented the value they obtain from its use: 

  • Early and continuous customer feedback— as the customer is involved throughout development, they will end up with an end-product that they need and will use.
  • High visibility and influence over the project progress leading to early indications of problems.
  • Early measurable return on investment—this allows for defined deliverables at the end of each iteration and early in the process.

One of the practices that PMI has monitored over the several years is the continuing growth and usage of Agile practices in project management.  Many practitioners have added Agile to their “Project Management Toolbox” and use it as one of many techniques in managing successful projects.

As a result, more organizations and project management offices are asking their project managers to apply Agile techniques. In fact, PMI research revealed that 68% of the organizations using Agile practices would find value in an Agile certification for project management practitioners. In addition, 63% of hiring managers would encourage their project managers to pursue an Agile certification.

By earning the Agile certification, practitioners can:

  • Demonstrate to employers their level of professionalism in Agile practices of project management
  • Increase their professional versatility in both project management tools and techniques
  • Show they have the capacity to lead basic Agile project teams by holding a certification that is more credible than existing training-only or exam-only based offerings
  • PMI serves the project management profession by providing practitioners with a toolbox of select tools and techniques—and Agile is one of those tools. For example, those who have the PMP® and are working in an organization that is using Agile techniques, the Agile Certification provides an applicable knowledge base of Agile principles and concepts.
  • Key dates for the Agile Certification launch are:

    • May 2011 – Candidates for the Agile certification will be able to submit an application for the pilot. 
    • August 2011 – Pilot testing is scheduled to begin.

    Contact for more details.

    Agile/Scrum Roleplayer

    The core roles in Scrum teams are those committed to the project in the Scrum process—they are the ones producing the product (objective of the project).

    Product Owner . The Product Owner represents the voice of the customer and is accountable for ensuring that the Team delivers value to the business. The Product Owner writes customer-centric items (typically user stories), prioritizes them, and adds them to the product backlog. Scrum teams should have one Product Owner, and while they may also be a member of the Development Team, it is recommended that this role not be combined with that of Scrum Master.

    Team . The Team is responsible for delivering the product. A Team is typically made up of 5–9 people with cross-functional skills who do the actual work (analyse, design, develop, test, technical communication, document, etc.). It is recommended that the Team be self-organizing and self-led, but often work with some form of project or team management.

    Scrum Master . Scrum is facilitated by a Scrum Master, who is accountable for removing impediments to the ability of the team to deliver the sprint goal/deliverables. The Scrum Master is not the team leader but acts as a buffer between the team and any distracting influences. The Scrum Master ensures that the Scrum process is used as intended. The Scrum Master is the enforcer of rules. A key part of the Scrum Master’s role is to protect the team and keep them focused on the tasks in hand. The role has also been referred to as servant-leader to reinforce these dual perspectives.

    There are ancillary roles in Scrum teams, those with no formal role and infrequent involvement in the Scrum process, but must nonetheless be taken into account.

    Stakeholders (customers, vendors). These are the people who enable the project and for whom the project will produce the agreed-upon benefit(s), which justify its production. They are only directly involved in the process during the sprint reviews.

    Managers (including Project Managers). People who will set up the environment for product development.


    Related article

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