BA15-Planning & Managing Agile Projects (PMI-ACP®)

Credits: 21 PDUs / 3 Days     

Course Level: Basic/Intermediate

Course Description:
This 3-day course aims at introducing its attendees to the core values, principles, and practices of Agile. This course is a more elaborate version of the Certified Scrum Master training as it discusses how to plan and manage Agile practices, not only those in Scrum.  The course goes into greater depth about all the roles and responsibilities on the team and not just the ScrumMaster and Product Owner roles.

The use of agile as an approach to managing projects has been increasing dramatically over the last several years. Gartner predicts that by the end of 2012, agile development methods will be used on 80% of all software development projects. PMI’s research has shown that the use of agile has tripled from December 2008 to May 2012. Therefore, PMI® has developed a new certificate called the PMI-Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP®).  The PMI-ACP® is positioned to recognize and validate knowledge of this important approach.

The course outline is aligned with the new PMI® Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP®) credential.

Learn how to apply Agile to current projects: explore how your projects can easily and successfully make the transition to an effective Agile environment.

Intended Audience:
It is appropriate for Managers, Executives, Project Managers, Business Analysts, Business and IT stakeholders working with analysts, Quality and process engineers, technicians, managers; supervisors, team leaders, and process operators. Those wanting to attain the PMI-ACP® credential.

No prerequisites – This course is suitable for both novice and experienced professionals who need to manage and implement a project.  It is recommended that participants have a basic understanding of project management and business processes and business analysis. Those interested in the PMI-ACP® certification should have at least 2000 hours Agile project experience and preferably be a certified PMP® to qualify for the new exam.

Course Overview:
Many of today’s Project Management and Business Analyst Professionals are finding themselves leading, managing and conducting analysis while on Agile development teams.  We have found that many of the tools and techniques applied during a traditional project management approach no longer work as effectively, or at all. In order to do more than survive in this iterative development environment, today’s Project Managers and Business Analysts must employ additional project management and business analysis tools and techniques to effectively lead their teams and deliver projects successfully.

This course will explore how your projects can easily and successfully make the transition to an effective Agile environment.
Agile is an incremental, iterative framework for project management and software development – where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing cross-functional teams. This disciplined project management process involves:

  • A leadership philosophy that encourages teamwork, self-organization and accountability
  • A set of engineering best practices intended to allow for rapid delivery of high-quality software
  • A business approach that aligns development with customer needs and company goals.

Using a case study of their choice, participants learn how to plan and manage an Agile framework. Your role in an agile project will look much different as you form and coach a self-directed team, facilitate continuous collaboration with your clients, manage and deliver business value to your clients early and regularly throughout the project.

Learning Objectives:

  • Plan, manage and close requirements for a project in reduced time using Agile practices
  • Minimize project uncertainty and risk by applying Agile principles
  • Ensure your project delivers required functionality and adds value to the business
  • Create an environment of self-management for your team so that they will be able to continuously align the delivered product with desired business needs, easily adapting to changing requirements throughout the process.
  • Learn how to apply Agile by measuring and evaluating status based on the undeniable truth of working, testing software, creating a more accurate visibility into the actual progress of projects.

Section 1: Introduction

  • Why Agile?
    Exercise 1a: Waterfall-Lean-Agile Simulation
  • History & Mindset: Understand how the agile approach arose.
  • The Agile Lifecycle
  • Introducing Agile to the organization
  • Roles and Responsibilities on an Agile project team. Understand the purpose, the concepts, the theory, and some applications around the importance of people as individuals providing value through working in teams.
  • Establishing core hours – How will the team work during a day?
  • How to build end-to-end systems in early iterations
    Exercise 1b: How to build end-to-end systems in early iterations
  • Planning and Managing Business Analysis Communication and Performance
  • Agile and CMMI
    Exercise 1c: Case Study Project

Section 2: Value Driven Delivery – Identify the Stakeholders

  • Value-Driven Development:  Understand why agile development focuses so heavily on working products, its more general casting as “value-driven” development, with incremental, iterative and risk-driven approaches. Themes, theory and applications.
    Exercise 2a: Identify the “Product Owner”
  • Identify Project Success Criteria
    Exercise 2b: Review the Scrum Cheat Sheet
  • Establish your Agile team using RACI
    Exercise 2c: Build the Scrum Team

Section 3: Stakeholder Engagement – Envision the Product

  • Setting expectations with stakeholders. Understand the value, the concepts, the theory, and some applications for working with stakeholders, buyers and users to get an optimal result.
  • Envision the Product vision with your product owner and other stakeholders
    Exercise 3a: Review Agile Checklist
  • Document Business Functionality
    Exercise 3b: Product Vision Goals and Strategies
  • Document Technical Functionality
    Section 3c: Post-Chapter Activity: Conduct a Review and Retrospective

Section 4: Initiate an Agile Project – Planning Releases

  • Envision the Product and Project outcomes
  • Project Chartering (Project Planning)
  • Assemble the Agile project team – what are their responsibilities?
  • Compile the Product Backlog (Coarse-Grain Requirements)
  • Discuss how to Plan Sprints and Releases
    Exercise 4a: Create a Release Plan
  • Establish the Project “time-box”
    Exercise 4b: Establish the Project Time-Box
  • Embrace the High-Level (Coarse-Grain) Plan
  • Managing different types of Personas on an Agile Project
  • Creating and Managing Team Rooms
  • Identifying and managing “Information Radiators”
  • Planning in Agile Projects – Common practices that work
  • Determine how the team will tracking and monitoring activities

Section 5: Tools and Techniques – Building the Scrum Task board

  • Communications
    Exercise 5a: Discussion – Tools and Techniques for Scrum
  • Planning, Monitoring and Adapting
  • Scrum Task Board
    Exercise 5b: Create a Scrum Task board – Identify Work Streams
  • Agile Estimating
  • Agile Analysis and Design
  • Burndown Chart
  • Team Velocity
  • Soft Skills Negotiation

Section 6: Estimating ad Prioritizing Effort

  • Planning Releases. Understand the value, the concepts, the theory and some applications for learning and adapting at all levels and on all topics (the product, the process, the team, and the organization).
    Exercise 6a: Brainstorm Business Functionality
  • Establishing decision and acceptance criteria for user stories
  • Planning Poker
    Exercise 6b: Estimate Effort (Coarse-Grain)
  • Prioritize themes and releases
  • Prioritize user stories
    Exercise 6c: Confirm the Estimated Effort (Fine Grain)
  • Estimating team velocity
  • Preparing for change – Is the organization ready?
    Exercise 6d: Hold a daily Scrum and update the Task Board

Section 7: Plan the Iteration (Sprint)

  • Sprint Zero activities
  • Elements of a successful Sprint Planning meeting
  • Create a Sprint Backlog
  • How to create a task board
    Exercise 7a: Using the case study – Review Iteration Planning Checklist
  • Create a Sprint plan – Establishing Sprint success metrics
    Exercise 7b: Discussion Sprint “Zero” Activities
  • Define the vision and Iteration Requirements
  • Estimating the level of effort (LOE) with the team
  • Creating user Stories for the Product Backlog – Guidelines to consider
  • The art of slicing user stories
    Exercise 7c: Review the Sprint Plan
  • Managing the Solution Scope and Requirements using 2-4 week Sprints
    Exercise 7d: Adapting a change-driven Project plan that works
  • Adapting a change-driven (Agile) Project plan that works – what are the key differences from traditional (waterfall) project plans?
  • Finalize the Iteration Plan and how the team will operate

Section 8: Running the Sprint – from Planning to Review and Retrospective

  • Managing your Scrums and setting expectations with your team
    Exercise 8a: Using the case study – Review the Review Planning checklist
  • Using Burndown charts to track progress
    Exercise 8b: Using the case study – Review the Retrospective Planning checklist
  • Manage changes during the Sprint – What questions to ask
  • Prepare for the Sprint Review
    Exercise 8c: Review of roles – Quiz
  • Obtain Customer Acceptance of the Product Increment
  • Hold a Sprint Retrospective – What is working and what needs to be improved upon during the Sprints
  • Update the product backlog – Rework the High-Level (Coarse-Grain) Plan
  • Plan and Execute the next Sprint
  • Create an environment for continuous improvement – Product, Process and People

Section 9: Boosting the Team Performance

  • Team Formation – What to look for
  • Team Empowerment
  • Team Collaboration
  • Team Commitment
  • Coaching the Team – How to keep them motivated and moving forward towards the desired outcome
    Exercise 9a: Coach the Scrum Team
  • Assist the team to detect and resolve problems
  • Ensuring the integrity of Scrum Practices
    Exercise 9b: Ensure the Integrity of Scrum Practices
  • Facilitating communication with stakeholders
  • Exercise 9c: Facilitate Communication
  • Remove impediments to Progress
    Exercise 9d: Remove Impediments to Progress
  • Verifying and validating using an Agile approach
  • What does sign-off really mean?

Section 10: Additional Information

  • Useful books and links on Agile


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BA15 Planning & Managing Agile Projects (PMI-ACP)