Mastering Agile Project Management Series Topics:


Session 1: Speed

Speed is by far the most sought-after benefit of Agile. First mover advantages, the economic cost of delays, and the enabling effect on innovation drive the search for speed. Agile offers the fastest means of attaining speed: managing scope. But beyond the hype over scope management, there are key principles of non-traditional task management that ensure the scope chosen is delivered as efficiently as possible. Methods such as a Kanban boards to limit work-in-progress (WIP), and using timeboxes with backlogs can reduce delays from working with integrated master schedules (IMS). This session educates on both planning and work efficiencies that can drive speed into any project.

Concepts: timeboxes, buffer propagation theory, task variance, multi-tasking, priorities & Pareto

Friday, Feb 9 2018
SMHEC 8 AM - Noon


Tuesday, Feb 13 2018
UMD 5 - 9 PM

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Session 2: Innovation

If speed is the primary focus of leading companies, innovation differentiates the products produced. Innovation can enable speed and vice versa, through a learning cycle where faster delivery leads to faster feedback for learning; and learning leads to faster, simpler solutions for speed. But beyond the emphasis on fast iterative development, there are the practices that create structure and space for innovation in Agile that are missing from traditional management. Solutioning focuses on business capabilities, not technical scope. Cross-functional teams provide wide-band input on business needs and capability solutions to improve design through diversity. And timeboxes provide the space to enable teams to spend time solutioning.

Concepts: knowledge gap, capability vs. scope, paradox of structure, test-driven development

Tuesday, Feb 27 2018
UMD, 5-9 PM


Friday, March 9 2018
SMHEC 8 AM - Noon

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Session 3: Leadership

Where Agile challenges many project managers is in the realm of leadership. Styles of command-control are no longer effective even for the most conservative organizations. But Agile takes self-empowerment to new levels and challenges traditional beliefs in what leadership means. Leadership that enables, empowers, and puts the team in the role of being responsible for delivery requires the project manager to be a facilitator, not the dictator or even the sage. Facilitating leadership acts like a supercharger to the Agile process, turn one internally motivated and critically thinking mind into many; and driving speed and innovation through leveraging all talents on the team. At the heart of these processes are decision making, tasking, and continuous improvement that must be well facilitated to create a sustainable and adaptable team.

Concepts: self-organizing teams, facilitating leadership, decision science, continuous improvement

Tuesday, Mar 20 2018
UMD, 5-9 PM


Friday, April 6 2018
SMHEC 8 AM - Noon

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Session 4: Control

Agile provides more control than Traditional management. Transparency with daily standup meetings, requirements validation with regular deliveries of working product, and the ability to re-direct efforts based on feedback at regular intervals.  These levers of control far exceed traditional management methods of earned value management (EVM), which relies on esitmates and no changes in scope. The key to unlocking the control potential is to learn what to manage, and how to measure it. The answer varies across levels of management, separating the concerns between the organization and the team. For the organization, the focus is on what capabilities are delivered and how to measure return on investment (ROI) capabilities provide. For teams, it's a focus on team velocity an how to ensure its measurements is useful for diagnosing internal and external productivity constraints.

Concepts: team velocity, process improvement, EVM, earned capabilities, portfolio management

Tuesday, April 10 2018
UMD, 5-9 PM


Friday, May 4 2018
SMHEC 8 AM - Noon

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Session 5: Scale

Scaling Agile projects over time and multiple teams requires new approaches to engineering and coordination, unlocking the potential to scale organizations with stability. Agile offers methods for ensuring team sustainability through timeboxes and continuous improvement, integrating efforts through vertical and service-oriented architectures, and maximizing efficiencies for support teams through lean-scaling. Methods of delivering just-ini-time and the use of automating communication offer new levels of productivity when coordinating teams with shared resources. Agile practices such as cross-training, component reuse, and sprint reviews drive sharing across otherwise siloed teams. And the overall practice of continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) forces teams across product lifecycle to interact and consider up- and down-stream implications.

Concepts: team sustainability, agile systems engineering, support teams, integration and testing

Tuesday, April 24 2018
UMD, 5-9 PM


Friday, June 1 2018
SMHEC 8 AM - Noon

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