Search

Project Management Plan: Traditional Vs Agile

There are hundreds and thousands of projects being executed by the organizations in the world simultaneously. The projects span across construction sectors, industrial engineering, sports or government projects like constructing dams, bridges etc. The projects are undertaken to bring a value to the organizations and increase in ROI.The success and failures of projects are determined by the planning abilities of the organizations right from planning until a closure of the projects. By properly defining the goals, creating schedules with eyes on constraints and delivering per schedule will most likely steer the organizations towards success.Choosing between Agile & Traditional Project PlansWe will look at how project management plans can be useful (for both traditional and agile world) and have been delivering values to thousands of enterprises across the world. This will be useful in knowing the differences between Agile and Traditional Management plans and what methodology should you use for your project.Traditional Project Management Plan: -PMBOK defines project management plan is a set of baseline plans and subsidiary plans.1) Baselines for scope, schedule, and costThe scope will define the business requirements, deliverables, constraints, and WBS.The schedule will include timelines for activities and milestones.The cost will include budgets approved.2) Management plans for scope, schedule, cost, quality, resources, communications, risk, and procurementPlans for scope, schedule and cost will help the project manager to compare the actuals (during execution) of scope, schedule and cost towards the baseline documents and take corrective actionsThe quality management plan will include measurement and control approaches.HR management is to organize and lead the project team as well as other resources by defining the roles and responsibilities appropriately.Risk management plan will include methods can be used to identify and evaluate risks and outline mitigation and contingency plans.Procurement Plan is used to identify require red procurement and purchasing from third-party vendors.3) Requirement management planThe Requirements Management Plan is used to document the necessary information required to effectively manage project requirements from the definition, through traceability.4) Change management planChange management is a way of standardizing to efficiently manage all the changes with minimal impact on the product, processes, and organization.5) Configuration management planConfiguration Planning will identify which all project items are configurable (CIs), which all items need formal change control and what would be the process of controlling changes to these items.6) Process improvement planThe purpose of the process improvement plan is to document how the project team will analyze various processes, determine improvements and implement them.Project Management Plan is the most important plan that is used to get relevant buying from stakeholders. While PMI’s PMBOK defines the project management plans to be sets of plans as described above, the level of details and the formats used in management plans should be tailored to fit based on the environmental factors of the organization and needs of the project.Agile Project Management Plan: -                                                                     "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the face." - Mike Tyson                                                           Dwight D. Eisenhower rightly said, “Planning is essential, but plans are useless”If we cannot foresee everything this can happen during developing the project. Then, how could plans be effective?Agile project management is an approach based on delivering requirements iteratively and incrementally throughout the project life cycle. At the core of this, Agile is the requirement to exhibit central values and behaviors of trust, flexibility, empowerment, and collaboration where traditional plan-driven project management set detailed plans on all accounts and detailed requirements at the start of the project.Then, follow the plan and compare against actuals to take corrective actions. Agile starts work with some initial idea of what is required by a business called Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and by delivering those features in shorter cycles. These frequent iterative methods are central characteristics of the Agile project and because of this way of working, collaborative relationships are established between the Stakeholders and the team.There is a general misconception that Agile means less or no documentation. Agile requires just enough documentation for the team to understand and progress because the primary measure of the progress is always working software than exhaustive documentation. For e.g. If there is a project demand for documentation due to compliance and regulatory rules, then the documentation will be taken up during a sprint as user stories and will be completed.The Agile project management consists of three roles as defined by the Scrum. These roles are the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and the Team.1) Product Owner: - The Product Owner is responsible for the product vision and building the product right. A good product owner should prioritize requirements and is empowered to make decisions about the product.2) Scrum Master: - The Scrum Master serves as a servant leader, helping team members work together cohesively, removing impediments to progress, facilitating meetings and discussions. Also, the Scrum Master keeps the Scrum team focussed towards the defined project goal, and ensures that the team is strictly adhering to the Scrum practices.3) Team: - The Development team is one of the important roles in Agile project management. In Agile software development process, the team collaboratively decide who will work on which tasks, which engineering practices to be followed necessarily to achieve the project goals. Such teams are called the self-organized team in Agile.Unlike traditional project management, where the project teams depend entirely on the project manager, Agile project teams self-distribute those responsibilities. The product scope and schedule is the responsibility of the product owner, quality becomes shared ownership and other responsibilities are distributed to the team.ConclusionNow, we have seen the comparison between the Traditional and Agile Project Management Plans. Be it traditional or Waterfall, plans and planning are essential sets of components for any projects. This set of artifacts are like navigation systems to the project managers that can be used to track the project delivery against the laid out plans and take course corrections.There is no guarantee that projects will go according to the plans as there will always be uncertainties and risks that can disrupt the plans. Having a clear project management plan can reduce the risks greatly through mitigation plans and increase project success.
Rated 4.5/5 based on 1 customer reviews

Project Management Plan: Traditional Vs Agile

163
Project Management Plan: Traditional Vs Agile

There are hundreds and thousands of projects being executed by the organizations in the world simultaneously. The projects span across construction sectors, industrial engineering, sports or government projects like constructing dams, bridges etc. The projects are undertaken to bring a value to the organizations and increase in ROI.

The success and failures of projects are determined by the planning abilities of the organizations right from planning until a closure of the projects. By properly defining the goals, creating schedules with eyes on constraints and delivering per schedule will most likely steer the organizations towards success.

Choosing between Agile & Traditional Project Plans

We will look at how project management plans can be useful (for both traditional and agile world) and have been delivering values to thousands of enterprises across the world. This will be useful in knowing the differences between Agile and Traditional Management plans and what methodology should you use for your project.

Traditional Project Management Plan: -

PMBOK defines project management plan is a set of baseline plans and subsidiary plans.

1) Baselines for scope, schedule, and cost

  • The scope will define the business requirements, deliverables, constraints, and WBS.
  • The schedule will include timelines for activities and milestones.
  • The cost will include budgets approved.

2) Management plans for scope, schedule, cost, quality, resources, communications, risk, and procurement

  • Plans for scope, schedule and cost will help the project manager to compare the actuals (during execution) of scope, schedule and cost towards the baseline documents and take corrective actions
  • The quality management plan will include measurement and control approaches.
  • HR management is to organize and lead the project team as well as other resources by defining the roles and responsibilities appropriately.
  • Risk management plan will include methods can be used to identify and evaluate risks and outline mitigation and contingency plans.
  • Procurement Plan is used to identify require red procurement and purchasing from third-party vendors.

3) Requirement management plan

  • The Requirements Management Plan is used to document the necessary information required to effectively manage project requirements from the definition, through traceability.

4) Change management plan

  • Change management is a way of standardizing to efficiently manage all the changes with minimal impact on the product, processes, and organization.

5) Configuration management plan

  • Configuration Planning will identify which all project items are configurable (CIs), which all items need formal change control and what would be the process of controlling changes to these items.

6) Process improvement plan

  • The purpose of the process improvement plan is to document how the project team will analyze various processes, determine improvements and implement them.
    Project Management Plan is the most important plan that is used to get relevant buying from stakeholders. While PMI’s PMBOK defines the project management plans to be sets of plans as described above, the level of details and the formats used in management plans should be tailored to fit based on the environmental factors of the organization and needs of the project.

Agile Project Management Plan: -
 
                                                                    "Everyone has a plan till they get punched in the face." - Mike Tyson

                                                           Dwight D. Eisenhower rightly said, “Planning is essential, but plans are useless”

If we cannot foresee everything this can happen during developing the project. Then, how could plans be effective?

Agile project management is an approach based on delivering requirements iteratively and incrementally throughout the project life cycle. At the core of this, Agile is the requirement to exhibit central values and behaviors of trust, flexibility, empowerment, and collaboration where traditional plan-driven project management set detailed plans on all accounts and detailed requirements at the start of the project.

Then, follow the plan and compare against actuals to take corrective actions. Agile starts work with some initial idea of what is required by a business called Minimum Viable Product (MVP) and by delivering those features in shorter cycles. These frequent iterative methods are central characteristics of the Agile project and because of this way of working, collaborative relationships are established between the Stakeholders and the team.

There is a general misconception that Agile means less or no documentation. Agile requires just enough documentation for the team to understand and progress because the primary measure of the progress is always working software than exhaustive documentation. For e.g. If there is a project demand for documentation due to compliance and regulatory rules, then the documentation will be taken up during a sprint as user stories and will be completed.
The Agile project management consists of three roles as defined by the Scrum. These roles are the Product Owner, Scrum Master, and the Team.

1) Product Owner: - The Product Owner is responsible for the product vision and building the product right. A good product owner should prioritize requirements and is empowered to make decisions about the product.

2) Scrum Master: - The Scrum Master serves as a servant leader, helping team members work together cohesively, removing impediments to progress, facilitating meetings and discussions. Also, the Scrum Master keeps the Scrum team focussed towards the defined project goal, and ensures that the team is strictly adhering to the Scrum practices.

3) Team: - The Development team is one of the important roles in Agile project management. In Agile software development process, the team collaboratively decide who will work on which tasks, which engineering practices to be followed necessarily to achieve the project goals. Such teams are called the self-organized team in Agile.

Unlike traditional project management, where the project teams depend entirely on the project manager, Agile project teams self-distribute those responsibilities. The product scope and schedule is the responsibility of the product owner, quality becomes shared ownership and other responsibilities are distributed to the team.

Conclusion

Now, we have seen the comparison between the Traditional and Agile Project Management Plans. Be it traditional or Waterfall, plans and planning are essential sets of components for any projects. This set of artifacts are like navigation systems to the project managers that can be used to track the project delivery against the laid out plans and take course corrections.

There is no guarantee that projects will go according to the plans as there will always be uncertainties and risks that can disrupt the plans. Having a clear project management plan can reduce the risks greatly through mitigation plans and increase project success.

Ramkumar

Ramkumar Armugam

Blog Author

Ramkumar is an experienced Program Manager with 13+ years of success in leading all phases of diverse technology IT Projects in retail, e-commerce, insurance and pharma market research industries. He has more than 7+ years of experience in leading and executing projects and programs using agile and lean methodologies. He is currently working as Senior Manager in Cognizant Technology Solutions India Pvt Ltd and holds multiple certifications including PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM, CSPO, CSP and ICP-ACC. He has a zeal for project and program management and his current endeavor includes leading a large scale distributed product development team in delivering a world class product features in the area of Finance and HR domains for a large US retailer. He is a regular contributor to projectmanagement.com.

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Suggested Blogs

The Basics of Project Scheduling

Project scheduling isn’t to be confused with project planning; in fact, it is only one part of the plan and yet, it is a critical piece for delivering your project on time (how do you know what is considered on time without a schedule?). This your starting point and shouldn’t be taken lightly – a well detailed schedule will guide you through the entire project lifecycle and keep you on track. Here are the steps required for putting together your project schedule: Develop your project scope This process is carried out with all the stakeholders. The project scope outlines the intended result of the project and what’s required to bring it to completion. In this scope, you’ll include all the resources involved and cost and time constraints. With this project scope, a work breakdown structure (WBS) is developed, which outlines all the tasks and breaks them down into specific deliverables. Sequence of Activities Once you have your Project Scope and Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), you can extract the list of tasks that need to be completed. To be clear, the WBS outlines what needs to be done – not how or when. Once you have the list of tasks, you can sequence them in the right order and estimate the time and resources required to bring them to completion. Group Tasks Into Phases Once you have your Project Scope and Work Breakdown Structure (WBS), you can extract the list of tasks that need to be completed. To be clear, the WBS outlines what needs to be done – not how or when. Once you have the list of tasks, you can sequence them in the right order and estimate the time and resources required to bring them to completion. Project conception (the idea) The project idea is evaluated to determine if it benefits the organization, what the benefits are and how feasible it is to bring this project to completion. Project definition and planning (scheduling is part of this phase) The project scope is written, outlining the work to be performed. This is also the phase when budgets, schedules and resources required are calculated. Project launch (this is the execution of the project) Resources start working on their tasks, deliverables are completed, meetings are held and status reports and development updates are submitted during this phase. Project Performance (comparing expectations to results) Using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), project managers will determine if the project is on track. Project close (project delivered to client and further evaluated) This phase marks the completion of the project. Often, project managers will organize a post mortem (meeting), to discuss project successes and failures. Map Dependencies After you have a clear view of all the deliverables and what’s required to complete them, it’s time to start mapping out the dependencies between the tasks, ie. which tasks require another task to be started or finished before it can be performed. The dependency map will outline the relationships between tasks.  There are 4 types of dependencies to consider: Finish-to-Start: An activity must finish before the next activity can start. Start-to-Start: An activity must start before the next activity can start. Finish-to-Finish: An activity must finish before the next activity can finish. Start-to-Finish: An activity must start before the next activity can finish. Outline Your Critical Path With all this information, a Critical path can be developed to schedule the project activities. A task is potentially critical if the time between its end date and the subsequent task’s start date is zero. It becomes critical when it cannot be delayed without delaying the whole project. The critical path is then a sequence of linked tasks whose intervals are zero, and this critical path will determine the duration of the project. Define Project Milestones Milestones are like checkpoints along your project lifecycle that mark important activities, which ultimately help the PM to see if the project is on track. Milestones have a duration of 0 and are not tasks in and of themselves – they are progress points for project completion and delivery. You might want to have 2 kinds of milestones in you project : Internal milestones: those directly used to help your project team follow the project progress and their own schedule. External milestones: those meant to be communicated to stakeholders/marketing teams/press, etc., which should be linked to global phases of your project       7.Plan Your Human Resources Now that you have a clear outline of all the essential activities and the timeline, you can start adding people to the plan. Match people with the right skills sets to the appropriate activities. A wise assumption is that people will not be 100% productive or focused on the project – so don’t schedule all of their time. A common rule is to allocate 80% of their time to the project and 20% to administrative tasks, etc. Select Start/Due Date Once you go through all these steps and you create your project schedule, you’ll have a fairly accurate estimate of the milestone dates and how long it will take to bring your project to completion. At this point you can set a well-informed due date and start date. Remember to: Include public holidays and employees’ days off Take the time to properly understand and map out task dependencies Define milestones Make realistic task duration estimates Determine the project duration before setting a project due date Assign people for 80% of their working hours Build in contingency time Be prepared to reschedule (This may happen when one or more resources are unavailable (illness, unexpected activities,etc) Include these “surprises” or manage risks with a B plan For a kick start on the topic of Project Management & Scheduling, check out Genius Project’s Beginner’s Guide to Project Scheduling.   
Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews
The Basics of Project Scheduling

Project scheduling isn’t to be confused with pro... Read More

Importance and Benefits of The Project Charter

What is the Project Charter:PMBOK® Defines Project Charter as a document issued by the project initiator or sponsor that formally authorizes the existence of a project, and provides a project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to the project.PMI® gives a lot of importance to project charter. Project Charter will state the high-level requirements to satisfy the stakeholders’ needs and it also defines the authority of the Project Manager.Business Case and Project statement of work are the documents that are necessary to create a project charter. The purpose of a business case is to understand the business need for the project and determine whether it is worth investing in. Business needs or demands include market demands, organizational need, customers’ requests, technological advance, legal requirements, ecological impacts, and social needs.“According to the PMBOK® Guide, the business case is an economic feasibility study. It is used to track progress and compare project results against the success factors identified in the business case”.A project isn’t a project until the project charter is approved, and the project charter cannot be started until the business case is approved.The Project Charter highlights high-level initiation draft defined as below:Let's look at why the project charter is so important!The main purpose of the project charter is the formal authorization of the project and the go-ahead to commit organizational resources to it; without a project charter, the project can be canceled anytime and for any reason and can be subject to an audit as an unauthorized project.Let us imagine a project without a project charter. If there is no project charter, projects will have no direction. The Project Managers will lack authority. There will be no expectations for the projects undertaken. The scope of the projects will not be clearly defined.Let's consider a project has started for 2-3 months. A Project Manager is already authorized, and the project is moving well. Due to certain circumstances, current Project Manager resigns from the company and the project is assigned to another Project Manager. The initial task of every Project Manager authorized should be to go through the Project Charter to understand its business need and objective. The Project Charter project describes goals, scope, stakeholders and a high-level deliverable at high levels. Imagine project having no project charter then Project Manager would have been like a “Fish Out of Water”.What is included in the Project Charter?A Charter is a document that elucidates the project in succinct wording without a lot of details. It’s written for high-level management needs. Charter doesn’t provide detailed end goals, schedule, and cost.A Project Charter template may include some or all the following:Components of the Project CharterDo We Really Require Project Charter?Project Charter is important for the success of a project. The Project charter builds a foundation for any projects undertaken. It is a great communication tool for the stakeholders and provides a direction to the project.Following are few of the benefits of a project charter:It gives an authority to the project manager to complete the projectExplains the business importance and existence of project.Demonstrates Management support for the project.Defines outcome for the project.Aligns project with the organization objectives.Provides a team with a clear concise reporting system.Protects team members from scope creep.Helps in avoiding disagreements between stakeholders.Authorizes the existence of the project or establishes the project.Defines the parameters within which the project manager is authorized to operate.Gives the project manager authority to spend money and procure resources.Provides the high-level requirements for the project.Links the project to the ongoing operations of the organization.Process of project charter:The project charter is an important document and a project should not be started without one. The success of the project cannot be measured without a project charter.A project charter is important in the Project Management, because-It ensures that the project manager understands the sponsor’s needs and requirements.It provides vital information needed to get the projects started.It acts as a reference document to make sure everyone (i.e. Project Manager, Stakeholder, Higher Management etc.) are on the same page.It authorizes and protects the project manager by describing what are the benefits of the Projects that need to be achieved.* Remember According to the PMBOK® Guide, a project benefit is the result of actions or behaviors, and/or the value of the product, service, or result from the project brings to the organization and the project stakeholders.
Rated 4.0/5 based on 5 customer reviews
Importance and Benefits of The Project Charter

What is the Project Charter:PMBOK® Defines Projec... Read More

Technical and Domain Knowledge – Is it a must for a Project Manager?

A topic much debated in the recent times is as to whether it is mandatory for a project manager to have technical skills specially related to the business or industry that they work in and whether it helps them successfully manage their projects. Project Management in Summary Project Management is a role with a collection of responsibilities in terms of initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling and closing a project.  The project manager must be able to run these main process areas of a project ensuring delivery of the unique product, service or result that it is intended to deliver within the triple constraints of time, cost and scope.  Hence, project management demands mastery of a different set of skillset altogether. The project manager must be skilled in stakeholder management, scope management, cost management, time management, quality management, resource management, risk management, communications management, procurements management and integration management which are the ten knowledge areas as defined in PMBOK™. In addition to these the project managers must have competencies in people management, collaboration and in project management tools in order to be successful. Project Mmanagers Selection in Oorganizations The selection of project managers varies from company to company. There are organizations that look at the project manager role as a dedicated role. This is most common in large organizations where projects run in traditional plan driven waterfall manner. A dedicated project manager is allocated to plan and manage projects end to end. In smaller organizations that mostly follow change driven agile approaches, project management is considered as a role that can be played by a team member whose primary responsibility is something different. In plan driven projects of large team size and scope the amount of tracking and coordination required is more. Hence, a dedicated resource to manage a project makes sense. In this case the Scrum Master role may be played by an individual whose specialization or primary job role is that of a business analyst, developer or even of a QA engineer. Agile projects are normally consisting of 5 to 9 team members who are expected to be cross-functional and be able to help each other to work as self-organizing and self-healing teams. It makes sense to have a technical resource to play a project manager role in such a team. In addition to the project management approach being used factors such as maturity of the project management practices of the organization, organizational culture, size of the organization and even the industry plays a major role in the decision of selecting a technical project manager. For example, IT companies which do technical research on niche areas often appoint a technical resource to manage the project.  A popular project management article published in www.cio.com is ‘7 must have project management skills for IT pros’ which lists critical skills that a project manager in the IT industry must have. They are, ●    Be highly organized and a good multi-tasker ●    Take charge and know how to lead ●    Be an effective communicator ●    Know how and when to negotiate ●    Be detail oriented ●    Recognize and solve problems quickly ●    Possess the necessary technical skills According to this research,technical skills are just one aspect of the skills required by a good project manager. More pertinent skills are to do with being able to organize and take forward the project while handling difficulties with regards to resources, stakeholders and other project constraints.  Technical vs Business Project Managers It can be argued that a technical project manager will be able to look at the problems faced by team members in a more logical manner. If technical project manager can objectively analyze situations when planning and executing projects and guide team members to solve problems more effectively. Organizations which feel this way may promote their technical resources to play project management roles rather than hiring generic project managers from outside. However, it is important to note that project management is applicable for any industry and they are expected to possess transferable skills.  There is a flip side to the argument as well.  A technical project manager may face difficulties in communicating with business stakeholders or, have difficulties in planning as they would always look at things from their perspective about capabilities. They may have problems in identifying and understanding the bigger picture of the project goals and objectives and how they tie with the business objectives as they may base their decisions only on technology. Some organizations when publishing job advertisements indicate that project managers who have worked in a certain business domains are preferred. It is clear that technical knowledge and business knowledge are equally important for a project manager to have. In conclusion, it is clear that good project managers must have a mix of good business as well as technical skills and be able to adapt and apply these skills as per the requirements and context of the project.  
Rated 4.0/5 based on 20 customer reviews
Technical and Domain Knowledge – Is it a must f...

A topic much debated in the recent times is as to ... Read More