fbpx Mastering Agile Project Management | University of Maryland Project Management

In every industry, using Agile methods increases success rates and the overall value projects deliver to stakeholders. The University of Maryland Project Management Center for Excellence teamed with the PMI Southern Maryland Chapter to offer a five-part short course series on “Mastering Agile Project Management” that taught why and how Agile methods work regardless of the framework or delivery approach (Hybrid, Scrum, SAFe, etc.). Each four-hour session focused on a benefit (Speed, Innovation, Leadership, Control, and Scale) that could be immediately used to deliver project objectives despite increasing constraints and uncertainty.

Above is a photo of a group of participants working on an exercise during one of the five sessions of the “Mastering Agile Project Management” series.

The content of this series was converted into an online Professional Certificate available on edX – see links below.

Agile Project Management Professional Certificate on edX

Enroll Now at edX

Why Agile Project Management is Important

Agile project management works. It’s been proven by survey after survey to increase project success rates for projects with high levels of uncertainty. Success rates in one 2013 survey across industries showed that Agile was successful 64% of the time, while traditionally-managed projects were successful less than half the time (49%).

Ambysoft’s 2013 survey, 173 respondents across industries, ranking Agile and Traditional methods from -10 to 10 (source: http://clearcode.cc/2014/12/agile-vs-waterfall-method/).

However, with this success in Agile project management has come an explosion in variants and new hybrid methodologies. No Agile project looks the same or applies all principles or frameworks the same way. Often these adaptations of Agile are driven by the organizational structure, politics, vendor preference, levels of education and understanding of Agile, and market realities. To help you meet the challenges of this new project environment, this course will arm you with the understanding, principles, past examples, and experiences to confidently ensure you get the most value out of your projects.

Why Agile Project Management is Not New and Applies to you

Agile project management is often overly simplified as the project management practice of varying scope. This simplification loses the emphasis on the true benefits of Agile which are speed, innovation, leadership, control, and scale. Proof that Agile can deliver these benefits in even the most complex environments is shown in its history.

Agile project management can trace its roots back to World War II, when Kelly Johnson formed “Skunkworks” within Lockheed Martin. Kelly used his 14 Rules of Management to run Skunkworks and create the world’s first fighter jet, the P-80, in just 143 days. Kelly Johnson’s 14 Rules of Management mirror the Agile Manifesto and its 12 Principles, which promote: Cross-Functional, Self-Directed Teams; Response to Change with Minimal Reports; Collaboration between Owner and Vendor Incremental (and Iterative) Development.

All modern Agile project management frameworks draw on these lessons from Kelly Johnson’s work. Other influences include Total Quality Management (TQM), Lean Six Sigma
(LSS), and the Theory of Constraints (TOC).

These approaches can appear to be very different, but at their core is the same driving purpose: to improve project impacts on the organization. Emphasizing the value of the project’s output over its cost efficiency, understanding that speed and innovation change the value of that output, and that the most important organizational resources are its people and its customer relationships. Companies that are embracing these principles continue to set record earnings and stock prices (e.g. AMZN, APPL, Netflix); and those that ignore them find themselves unable to compete.

If you are interested in learning how to deliver innovative solutions by unleashing your teams potential, sign up for the full Agile Project Management Professional Certificate or one of the individual courses. Each course is free for the first four (4) weeks and it takes approximately ten (10) hours to complete.  For a small fee, edX and UMD will issue a Verified Certificate which provides proof for an employer, school or other institution that the course was successfully completed by the student.

Agile Project Management Professional Certificate on edX

Enroll Now at edX

Posted by Kathy Frankle on June 4, 2018