Planning and Managing Agile Projects (MA-BA 15)

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This 3 day instructor-led 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 also goes into greater depth about all the roles and responsibilities on the team and not just the ScrumMaster and Product Owner roles. The course outline is aligned with the new, PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) certificate that we anticipate will become a worldwide accepted standard for best practices for Agile PM like the PMBOK Guide and PMP recognition is for PM.

Course Overview

Many of today’s Project Management and Business Analyst Professionals are finding themselves leading, managing and analyzing on Agile development teams - only to find that many of the tools and techniques applied when using 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 Manager and Business Analyst must employ additional project management and business analysis tools and techniques to effectively lead their teams and deliver their projects. The 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, participants will 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 software development 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 software development team that will be able to continuously align the delivered software 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.
  •   Will earn 21 PDU's for attending this course


This course suitable for both novices and experienced people who need to manage and implement a project. Having an understanding of project management and business processes is helpful and recommended.


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.

Section 1: Introduction – Fundamentals of Agility

  •   Why Agile?
    •     How to recognize that your organization is heavily regulated, regimented, micro-managed using the waterfall model of development
    •     What Agile can do to address this problem
  •   History & Mindset: Understand how the agile approach arose and the mindset.
    •     Origins, the manifesto, the declaration of interdependence.
    •     Agile as values and culture, cultural mismatches and potential rejection.
    •     Establish the mindset of agile in the student.
  •   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.
    •     Moving ideas between minds (attitude, trust, distance, tacit knowledge, work environments)
    •     Shifting of power, new roles (decision making, role definitions, power centers)
    •     Implications of distance, face-to-face, tacit versus documented, culture
    •     Increasing team cohesion, visibility displays, collaborative requirements/planning applications
  •   Establishing core hours - How will the team work during a day?
  •   Planning and Managing Business Analysis Communication and Performance
  •   Agile and CMMI
  •   How to build end-to-end systems in early iterations
  •   EXCERCISE - Identify Product Owner, ScrumMaster, Committed and non-committed roles

Section 2: Value Driven Delivery

  •   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.
    •     Incremental/iterative/risk development, importance of retaining design quality.
    •     Work-in-Progress (WIP), shorter iterations, continuous flow.
    •     Cost of WIP, relation to design, value of front-loading value in the project.
    •     Value-based work breakdown, spikes or walking skeleton, tracking progress, risk- or incremental-based planning, tools to help track.

Section 3: Stakeholder Engagement

  •   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.
    •     Including customers and users (costs, benefits, and alternatives), costs/benefits to frequent delivery, alternatives, handling changing requirements.
    •     Up-front user studies versus on-the-fly usage design, user reviews.
    •     Contracts (agile in fixed price setting, variations on contracts).
    •     Correlation between user involvement and product success.
    •     Prototypes, demos, feedback.

Section 4: Tools and Techniques

  •   Communications
  •   Planning, Monitoring and Adapting
  •   Agile Estimating
  •   Agile Analysis and Design
  •   Product Quality
  •   Soft Skills Negotiation

Section 5: Initiate an Agile Project

  •   Envision the Product and Project outcomes
  •   Project Chartering (Project Planning)
  •   Assemble the Agile project team – what are their responsibilities?
  •   EXCERCISE - Create a roles and responsibilities matrix (RACI) that are aligned to the desired outcomes
  •   Compile the Product Backlog (Coarse-Grain Requirements)
  •   Discuss how to Plan Sprints and Releases
  •   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
  •   EXCERCISE – Create a high level plan

Section 6: Planning Releases and Managing Expectations

  •   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).
    •     Project-level planning and Adaptive Planning
    •      Levels of Planning
    •     Product-level adaptation
    •     Process-level adaptation
    •     Organization-level adaptation
    •     Estimating
    •     Velocity, Throughput and Cycle time
    •     Stage of learning affects range of adaptation, why different processes/methodologies for different situations?
    •     Chartering, release & iteration planning or lean/kanban work breakdown, monitoring, mid-project reflection with process & product adjustments
  •   Establishing decision and acceptance criteria for user stories
  •   Planning Poker
  •   EXCERCISE - Estimate User stories using Planning Poker
  •   Prioritize themes and releases
  •   Prioritize user stories
  •   EXCERCISE - Prioritize user stories
  •   Estimating team velocity
  •   Preparing for change – Is the organization ready?
  •   Create a release plan
  •   EXCERCISE - Create a Release plan

Section 7: Boosting the Team Performance

  •   Team Formation
  •   Team Empowerment
  •   Team Collaboration
  •   Team Commitment
  •   Coaching the Team – How to keep them motivated and moving forward towards the desired outcome
    •      Immerse the Team in Status
    •     Communicate Status
  •   Assist the team to detect and resolve problems

Section 8: Plan the Iteration (Sprint)

  •   Sprint Zero activities
  •   Elements of a successful Sprint Planning meeting
  •   Create a Sprint Backlog
  •   Create a Sprint plan – Establishing Sprint success metrics
  •   Define the vision and Iteration Requirements
  •   EXCERCISE - Define the vision
  •   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
  •   How to create a task board
  •   EXCERCISE - Create a Task Board and Sprint Backlog for the first Sprint
  •   Managing the Solution Scope and Requirements using 2-4 week Sprints
  •   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
  •   EXCERCISE - Write user stories for the product backlog

Section 9: Running the Sprint from Planning to Review and Retrospective

  •   Managing your Scrums and setting expectations with your team
  •   Using Burndown charts to track progress
  •   EXCERCISE - Conduct a Scrum, update the task board, and create a Burndown chart
  •   Manage changes during the Sprint – What questions to ask
  •   Prepare for the Sprint Review
  •   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 10: Additional Information

  •   Useful books and links on Agile
  •   Agile