Agile project management

Agile project management – overview

Agile project management, already widely used for software development, is increasingly recognised as having much more general application. Continuous improvement programmes, business change projects, new technology development, research and development and a variety of other scenarios characterised by rapid change and high uncertainty can all benefit from an Agile approach. This programme presents the concepts and methods of Agile project management, and shows how to apply them to a range of project and change management situations.

Full details below or download course outline.

Learning objectives

Participants will learn:

  • how Agile project management can help with project and change management
  • the 4 values and 12 principles of the Agile ‘manifesto’ and the range of Agile methodologies
  • how to apply Agile project management methods and techniques in a range of project scenarios
  • alternative Agile project management methods and how they can be applied and adapted
  • what makes Agile project teams succeed
  • the key roles and responsibilities needed to enable Agile project teams to work effectively
  • how to encourage an Agile mindset within their organisation and how to move toward an Agile approach to managing projects
Who should attend?

This programme will benefit anyone involved in managing dynamic projects in a fast changing environment. It will particularly suit those in roles such as:

  • project personnel, team members and project technical/support professionals
  • business change leaders, improvement programme leaders and team members
  • those involved in project governance and support roles such as project sponsors, change leaders, line managers and resource managers

Programme participants who are new to this subject will gain a sound foundation in the concepts, methods and techniques of Agile project management whilst those with more experience will acquire new insights, broaden their expertise and extend their skills.

Course format

Participants will learn through a range of teaching and personal development methods including presentations, tutorials, real life case studies, worked examples, short team exercises and video presentations. Active participation and involvement will be encouraged throughout the programme to promote the sharing of ideas and expertise within the group.

Designed as a five-day programme, this course can be tailored to your specific requirements and shortened if necessary.

Expert trainer

John is a highly qualified (BSc, MSc, CEng, MIMechE, MAPM, AMInstP) independent consultant specialising in project and change management. He established his consultancy practice in 1990, following 20 years of industrial management experience, and now offers a wide range of management training and team development programmes. He also provides facilitation and consultancy services to help clients with specific projects or to assist them with staff and management development programmes.

Before setting up his consultancy and training business, John was a senior manager with Ilford Limited, a leading manufacturer of specialist photographic products. Having starting as a development engineer, he progressed through technical and team leadership roles and was appointed Manager of Engineering Development in 1980. In this role he was directly involved in a major company restructuring programme whilst managing a diverse portfolio of multi-disciplinary engineering projects. His project management role subsequently grew to include a range of business projects, including manufacturing improvement programmes and new product introductions. John was also involved in co-ordinating international technology transfer activities and in strategic business development studies within the Ilford Group.

John’s project management experience includes the design and installation of new manufacturing equipment, the development of new products, the improvement of manufacturing procedures, the relocation of offices and staff and organisation restructuring. John has also co-ordinated international project teams and carried out assignments in support of strategic business development programmes.

Prior to joining Ilford Limited, John trained in the automotive industry and gained an honours degree in Applied Physics. He went on to conduct post-graduate research in cryogenics at Oxford University for which he was awarded an MSc in Engineering Science. John is a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, The Institute of Physics and The Association of Project Management.

John’s client base includes leading organisations in Engineering, Manufacturing, Construction, Defence, IS/IT and Education. He is an associate with Loughborough Business School and is a senior consultant and course director with a number of well-known training organisations. Whilst his work is centred in the UK, he frequently works internationally in Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

A highly experienced, popular and professional trainer, John’s courses are always much appreciated by the participants, as the following comments show:

‘I really liked the practical exercises’
‘There was certainly a lot to think about’
‘John’s experience was excellent’
‘The group was encouraged to interact very well’
‘A very useful course’
‘A very worthwhile, productive and enjoyable two days’

Agile project management – course outline

1 Introduction to Agile project management

  • Overview of ‘classical’ project management and methodologies
  • The link between project success and management performance
  • Limitations of classical approaches and the need for Agile methods
  • The 4 values and 12 principles of the Agile manifesto explained
  • Agile project management values:
    • – Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
    • – Working outputs over comprehensive documentation
    • – Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
    • – Responding to change over following a plan
  • The cultural challenges of using Agile project management
  • Choosing when and how to adopt Agile project management

2 Initiating a project using Agile project management

  • Some key Agile methodologies explained: SCRUM, XP, Crystal
  • Identifying and engaging project stakeholders; defining roles and responsibilities
  • Setting the project vision and goals; defining project scope
  • The Agile approach to requirements capture and elicitation of needs
  • Tools and techniques for capturing and characterising requirements
  • The role of documentation, reporting and process management

3 The Agile approach to definition and planning

  • Understanding Agile planning; the ‘planning onion’ concept
  • Developing the culture needed for collaborative involvement and iterative planning
  • Defining project deliverables; the ‘product backlog’ concept
  • Tools and techniques for defining and prioritising requirements in Agile projects
  • Understanding and applying Agile estimating techniques
  • Dealing with uncertainty and managing risks

4 The Agile approach to execution and delivery

  • The results orientated, fast adapting culture of Agile teams
  • The monthly ‘Sprint’ process for project planning and review
  • The disciplines needed for effective daily SCRUM meetings
  • Reviewing progress, managing change and project reporting
  • Testing, completing and handing over of work packages
  • Managing the interface between the project team and the business

5 Leadership and teamwork in Agile project teams

  • Why Agile teams are different: the importance of individuals and interactions
  • The skills and attributes needed to lead an Agile project team
  • The challenges faced and skills needed by Agile team members
  • Recognising team development needs; adopting the right leadership style
  • Making the transition from project manager to Agile coach
  • Key coaching skills explored: mentoring, facilitating, managing conflict