When I first wandered down the road of Agile best practices, I was looking through the lens of a staunch PMP® way of doing things. I’ve been “doing” waterfall for many years and pretty much lived and breathed it. As my project timelines got shorter, more technical and faster-paced I found long term planning and a set scope of work just wasn’t working for me or my current projects. There had to be a better way.
Don’t get me wrong the value of being PMP® certified is exponential and has always been the backbone of my career and will continue to be. To be fair though there are aspects of Agile methodologies that make way more sense to me in my day to day. The more I learned the more I wanted to know, the more I implemented the better it worked and if it didn’t work there was always another way. “Being Agile” took on a whole new meaning. I’m not coding software and I’m not building bridges. I needed a different way of doing things or rather a new way of being.
My wish list was a long one.
- I needed long-term planning with a vague scope of work.
- The ability to incorporate changes as they were identified.
- High-levels of interaction with stakeholders.
- A visual way to see work in progress.
- A comprehensive way to shorten my iterations with feedback during and after each iteration.
- Ways to see and manage risks and lower the impact they had on my projects.
- A very specific idea of the definition of “done”.
I used Agile approaches with a bit of waterfall mixed in and things fell into place. I learned a tremendous amount about how to work, how to “be agile”, how to incorporate what I know and use with what I already knew and used. Trust me nothing I did was perfect and some change is painful but this goes further than another certification under my belt. This was a new way of thinking and working projects for me. I find it not only fascinating but exciting as well!
If you are practicing any variations of Scrum, XP, Lean, Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), Lean Software Development, Kanban, Feature Driven Development (FDD), Crystal Family or Adaptive Software Development (ASD) then you already know how cool it is. I’m excited to move forward with our Agile course in 2017 to prepare you to take and pass the prestigious PMI-ACP exam the very first time. I’m also looking forward to hearing your stories, discussing what works and what doesn’t and all walk away with a better understanding of how to truly “be agile”.