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Agile in Highly Regulated Environments

Can you use agile in highly regulated environments? This was one of the many great questions that came up at the recent Agile DNA Webinar. This post explores some of the recommendations to consider when introducing agile within highly regulated environments. First, lets understand the potential issues. Agile approaches, were designed for small, co-located teams who can easily validate product increments via demos and discussions.

Agile Approaches in agile projects

This post is a follow-up to my Agile DNA webinar I hosted a little over a month ago. This was my first webinar for RMC and we had a great interest with over 2,000 people registering for the event interested in Agile approaches in agile projects. The recording is now available, see below for details on how to access it. The webinar was entitled “Agile DNA, the People and Process Elements of Successful Agile Projects” and the DNA theme came from the twin strands of People and Process guidance that run through all agile approaches in agile projects and make agile uniquely what it is.

Agile Requirements – The Dance of the Details

The most difficult part of discovering and analyzing requirements on agile teams is determining how much detail is needed and when we should discuss the details. Early advocates of agile approaches, like SCRUM, emphasized a high level product vision at the beginning of development and then quick, lightweight user stories to support the vision detailed before each sprint. They suggested that we don’t need to get into any details until sprint planning. But as more and more teams are attempting to use agile approaches, the challenges of this requirements approach are exposed.

Aggressive Transparency

I came across a new phrase last week, which I really like:  “aggressive transparency”. I saw this phrase in the Project Management Institute, Inc. exposure draft of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition.  It is used in the Project Stakeholder Management chapter referring to the fact that agile approaches strive to be very transparent so that stakeholders always are aware of project progress.  I liked the phrase and searched on it to see if I could find where it originated.

Satisfying Stakeholders with Agile Requirements

As organizations work to be more agile and nimble, people responsible for eliciting and analyzing requirements are working to find new ways to understand and communicate about user and product needs.

Leadership without Authority

I’m reading “Leadership and the One Minute Manager,” by Ken Blanchard. The book discusses “situational leadership,” which essentially means that a manager’s leadership style must vary depending on the competency of the person being managed.   As I was reading the book I realized that these management styles, while probably relevant, would not initially apply to most project managers.

Agile vs Waterfall (A PM Fairy-tale)

A PMP® and a Scrum Master® were having lunch together on a park bench debating the relative merits of Agile as opposed to traditional waterfall project management.  They were making the arguments one would normally expect. At one point, the traditional PMP felt the need to prove his devotion to his profession by pulling out his wallet to show the Scrum Master his PMI membership card.  As luck would have it, a thief was passing  by and, seeing his opportunity, snatched the wallet and ran off.

Titles ARE…..Important

Every organization uses job titles as a way of describing the contribution of an individual employee. Titles are important within an organization for employees to understand their role and their relationships with other employees. But titles are often meaningless outside a particular organization. When someone is looking for skills training or professional development opportunities for their role, it is sometimes difficult to match a job title with a skill description.

Methodology A or B, Or Both?

One Attendee’s Perspective from the Agile 2015 Conference

While attending the Agile 2015 conference in August, I heard a lot of discussion about pure agile teams, waterfall teams, and a combination of the two. A number of the presenters stressed the importance of being a 100 percent dedicated agile team. They stated that the only way to be successful is to make sure your team or company follows the Scrum/Kanban/XP/etc. methodology in its purest form. Other presenters called out these statements as false and went on to discuss numerous examples of blended approaches that have worked at their company or with their clients. How can an organization trying to understand agile figure out the best approach when so many experts in the field have different opinions?

Upcoming Exam Changes to PMI-ACP®-Curious?

PMI-ACP® Exam is Changing Soon, This Guide Can Help

PMI® changes to the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) ® examination have begun and the new version of the exam goes into effect starting October 14, 2015. We want to be sure that those who have taken the exam as well as those who are planning to do so have a clear understanding of how to prepare for these changes and what you really need to know. Written by RMC Editorial Staff and Mike Griffiths, PMI-ACP® and member of the PMI-ACP® Steering Committee, this guide will answer everything you need to know about the upcoming changes. RMC supports the Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) ® designation.

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