Agile Project Management

The Scrum and XP chapters include specific agile project management practices for those methods. Other authors present generalizations with common themes: manager promotes the vision, more communication, avoid command-control, and so on. This section summarizes two well-known descriptions.

Scrum practices

XP practices

Jim Highsmith, an Agile Alliance founder and creator of the Adaptive Software Development method, summarizes nine principles for the agile project manager [Highsmith02]:

1. Deliver something useful to the client; check what they value.

6. Use short timeboxed iterations to quickly deliver features.

2. Cultivate committed stakeholders.

7. Encourage adaptability.

3. Employ a leadership-collaboration style.

8. Champion technical excellence.

4. Build competent, collaborative teams.

9. Focus on delivery activities, not process-compliance activities.

5. Enable team decision making.


Augustine andWoodcock, two managers with experience in XP-oriented projects, recommend six practices [AW02]:

1. Guiding Vision Establish a guiding vision for the project and continuously reinforce it through words and actions.

4. Open Information Provide visible and open access to project management and other information.

2. Teamwork & Collaboration Facilitate collaboration and teamwork through relationships and community.

5. Light Touch Apply just enough control to foster emergent behavior in a self-directed team.

3. Simple Rules Establish and support the team's set of guiding practices, such as Scrum or XP.

6. Agile Vigilance Reinforce the vision, follow or adapt the rules, listen to the people.

A theme of agile project management in Scrum and XP is the devolution of both control and planning to the entire team, not the manager. The manager does not create a work breakdown structure, schedule, or estimates; this is done as a team. The manager does not (usually) tell people what to do. The manager does not define and assign many detailed team roles and responsibilities.

Rather, the project manager role emphasizes coaching, servant-leadership, providing resources, maintaining the vision, removing impediments, promoting agile principles, etc. Thus, managers more used to control and rule-based methods or project management have some challenge adopting agile methods.

Agile and Iterative Development (Agile Software Development Serie. A Manager's Guide2003)
Agile and Iterative Development (Agile Software Development Serie. A Manager's Guide2003)
Year: 2004
Pages: 156 © 2008-2017.
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