Agile Overview

An overview of Agile concepts for the PMP and CAPM Exams

Agile is a term used to describe a mindset of values and principles as set forth in the Agile Manifesto.

The use of agile originated in the computer software development industry, but has expanded into non-software development environments such as manufacturing, education, healthcare, and other industries.

Review the following topics on Agile for the PMP Exam.

Agile Manifesto

Please refer to The Agile Manifesto.

Agile Life Cycles

Please refer to Agile Life Cycles.

Agile Triangle of Constraints

Please refer to Agile Triangle of Constraints.

Agile Approaches and Methods

Please refer to Agile Approaches and Methods.

Agile Planning

Please refer to Agile Planning.

Agile Estimation Techniques

Please refer to Agile Estimation Techniques.

Agile Contracts

Please refer to Agile Contracts.

Agile Suitability

Agile approaches are suitable for projects with high uncertainty and risks. Project with high uncertainty have high likelihood of changes, rework, and wasted effort.

Predictive life cycles tend to minimize changes, whereas as Agile life cycles embrace change.

Small Batch Size

Agile teams deliver in small increments. It has the following benefits:

  • Opportunity to regularly inspect and adapt
  • Allows for understanding true customer requirements faster and more accurately
  • Reduces waste
  • Lowers cost
  • Reduces risks
  • Maximizes business value delivery
  • Improves customer satisfaction

Doing Agile vs Being Agile

Doing agile is following the principles, policies, techniques, and the framework of agile.

Being agile is about adopting an agile mindset.

Agile Mindset

In order to manage projects using an agile approach, the project manager and the project team need to adopt an agile mindset.

The product owner needs to move from a schedule-driven to business value-driven mindset. And the project manager needs to change the mindset from command-and-control to facilitating / servant leadership style.

Form teams by bringing people with different skills from different functions together.

Educate managers and leaders about the agile mindset and engage them early in the agile transformation.

Project Manager’s Role

Please refer to Project Manager’s Role in Agile Projects.

Effective Agile Teams

Characteristics of effective and high performing agile teams are:

  • Cross Functional
  • 100% dedicated
  • Empowered
  • Combination of T-shaped and I-shaped people
  • Colocated or adept at managing the challenges of virtual environment

Transition to Agile

The Agile Practice Guide, 2017, Pg 30, provides guidance on the agile transition strategy. It recommends using hybrid as a strategy to transition to agile starting with a less risky project with a medium to low uncertainty, and gradually trying more complex projects that require more of those techniques to be added.

Shu Ha Ri is a popular agile adoption pattern for teams new to agile.

Also refer to the brief case study under PMI’s Standard+ (free for PMI members):

Case Study: A Slow and Steady Introduction to Agile Through Hybrid

Key Traits of Agile

Last updated: June 03, 2024