Agile Project Management: not just for software & IT projects

Agile is a key trend. Interest in and demand for Agile approaches for an increasingly wide range of projects and initiatives has never been higher.

However there is a myth commonly attributed to Agile which continues to persist, after much discussion and debate, that often discourages individuals and organizations from even considering, let alone adopting, Agile project management. The myth says that Agile is only suitable for software and IT development projects.

In some ways it’s understandable that this misconception exists; after all, the whole concept of Agile was born in the IT and software development arena.

However, it’s simply not true, and it’s a myth that needs busting once and for all.

The AgilePM® approach – based on DSDM Consortium’s Agile Project Framework – has been designed to be industry agnostic, making it applicable for a wide range of projects and change initiatives, ranging from marketing and business development to restructurings and transformations.

AgilePM sets out a step-by-step guide to considering the feasibility of the work and suggests breaking the work into small but independently valuable components. It encourages their early implementation to generate funds to pay for further work.

Each of these elements makes AgilePM a sensible approach to launching anything new. After all, IT hardware and software are just examples of new products and services. AgilePM is not a set of instructions for technical work; it guides how any new product or service, or any refresh of existing products or services, can be launched. A new marketing campaign, a new type of flooring, transferring a call centre from offshore to onshore can all be easily managed using AgilePM.

AgilePM helps to establish the feasibility of the new idea through the completion of a few well thought out documents which push those involved to outline the problems they are trying to solve or the capabilities they want to create. It keeps options open by ensuring these questions are about what the future needs to be and not how it needs to be created. AgilePM establishes both what will exist in the future and the benefits that this will realise by describing very high level stories about what the project will lead to.

The recognition that specialists and experts can debate how best to achieve this only when the expected benefits have been estimated and agreed by more commercial minds is a great way to stop 'vanity' projects, i.e. creating new things for the excitement of creating new things. This protects capital from being sunk into things that will never pay back what was spent on them.

Breaking work into independently valuable component parts delivers value very early in the life of the project. It is thanks to AgilePM that this practice is spreading, which reduces project risk and builds confidence in project management. It allows sponsors to get early evidence about the take up rate of their products or services. We no longer spend all the money delivering all of the requirements before finding out if our ideas are as exciting to our customers as we thought they were going to be. We find out early if our assumptions were right, with money left in the budget to fix the things that don't work. If we are right, then early customer take up generates revenue to pay for further work and creates an atmosphere of success which is very exciting to be a part of.

The AgilePM guidance, training and certification scheme was developed by APMG International and DSDM Consortium. Based on DSDM’s Agile Project Framework, the guidance offers a robust, practical and repeatable methodology for all types of projects. It achieves an ideal balance between the standards, rigour and controls required for effective project management, and the fast-pace, change and empowerment provided by Agile.

AgilePM is fast becoming the go-to standard for agile project management, with over 38,000 exams sat globally since 2011. Discover more at www.apmg-international.com/AgilePM


Need further persuasion?
Join Melanie Franklin and APMG for a webinar on for further insight into the debate…

AgilePM: not just for software & IT projects
Wednesday 15 June 2016 (13:00 BST)

Click for more info and registration.