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Get to Know Agile

Posted: Oct 20, 2017

Get to Know Agile

Clients love when a team can create the best version of their idea in an efficient time frame. To do this, more and more companies are adopting the Agile method. Agile Methodology is a tool used to promote better project management, but what makes it such a benefit to businesses? Who can use it and how can you get properly trained? All these questions and other helpful facts can be found in the information below.

What is Agile Project Management?

Agile Project Management is a term used for project management using Agile methodologies. Agile methodology refers to the the softwares that promotes project management on collaborative efforts and solutions between teams. The style of agile management is daily standups, dynamic scope, collaboration among the stakeholders, continuous integration and availability of a working product, and many other things. Examples of this include Lean Six Sigma and SCRUM.

Agile uses short development cycles called sprints to focus on continuous improvement in the development of a product or service. It was first discussed in a more in depth way by William Royce through his publications of the development of large software systems. It was originally designed specifically for the software industry but through the success of its collaborative methods and better efficiency many industries have adopted the use of Agile, such as the marketing and advertising, construction, or education industries.

The more traditional methodologies, like the Waterfall methodology, typically require an entire project group to meet and discuss full project goals throughout each phase. Agile is different because it uses smaller, more focused groups that meet more frequently to discuss very specific goals. This makes it easier to make rapid changes as required and allows the team to be more effective and increases the chances of meeting customer goals successfully, especially as a customer's needs change.

Business Benefits of Agile Methodology

Agile has become extremely popular, widely adopted and a highly effective project methodology that offers project teams, sponsors, project leaders and customers many benefits including the following:

  • Agile allows for more rapid deployment of solutions
  • Reduced waste through minimization of resources
  • Increased flexibility and adaptability to change
  • Increased success through more focused efforts
  • Faster turnaround times
  • Faster detection of issues and defects
  • An optimized development process
  • A lighter weight framework
  • Optimal project control
  • Increased focus on specific customer needs
  • Increased frequency of collaboration and feedback

Agile training is an ideal way to level-set your organization or project team the basic concept of Agile and associated implementation methodologies. While a lot of people talk about using Agile, there are many misconceptions and misunderstandings about the distinctions between them. Training can help expose the underlying Agile concepts and clarify the difference between the various implementation methods.

Key Agile Project Management Certifications

PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®

The PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) formally recognizes a candidate’s knowledge of agile principles and overall skill with agile techniques.

The PMI-ACP is the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) fastest growing certification. Organizations that are highly agile and responsive to market dynamics complete more of their projects successfully than their slower-moving counterparts—75% Vs. 56%—as shown in the 2015 Pulse of the Profession report. The PMI-ACP spans many approaches to agile, such as Scrum, Kanban, Lean, extreme programming (XP) and test-driven development (TDD.)

Target Audience: Those who work on agile teams or if their organization is adopting agile practices.

PMI-ACP Prerequisites

  • 2,000 hours of general project experience working on teams. (A current PMP® or PgMP® will satisfy this requirement but is not required to apply for the PMI-ACP).
  • 1,500 hours working on agile project teams or with agile methodologies. This requirement is in addition to the 2,000 hours of general project experience.
  • 21 contact hours of training in agile practices.

SCRUMstudy Agile Master Certified (SAMC™)

Rapid changes in technology, market demands, and expectations have paved the way for the conceptualization and implementation of Agile methods and values in many organizations. Agile relies on adaptive planning and iterative development and delivery. It focuses primarily on the value of people in getting the job done effectively. SAMC™ Certified Professionals should appreciate the concepts of Agile development and have the ability to compare and choose the Agile methodology appropriate in a given situation.

Target Audience: This certification is appropriate for anyone interested in becoming familiar with the concepts and practices of Agile Project Delivery, and who wants to have a working knowledge of the various Agile methodologies. There is no formal prerequisite for this certification. However, a SDC™ or SMC™ certified professional will be able to easily understand the concepts required for the certification exam.

NOTE: To maintain the certification status, SCRUMstudy Agile Master Certified (SAMC™) professionals will need to earn 40 re-certification credits every 3 years.

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Agile Roles

There are 4 typical roles in Agile:

  1. The Stakeholder is usually the instigator of the project or the investor.
  2. The Product Owner is the Stakeholder's representative. They are in charge of prioritizing the Backlog and Writing the User-Stories.
  3. The Scrum Master is a facilitator to the team. They organize the team, removes impediments, oversees the process, manages the Sprint backlog and the overall progress of the project.
  4. The Workers or Scrum Team are the ones getting things done. They estimate the stories in points and the tasks in hours. If the stories are estimated to be too big for a sprint, they can request the stories to be broken down by the Product Owner.

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