What is The Agile Practice Guide

The Agile Practice Guide initiative is an important new collaboration between Agile Alliance and the PMI that brings content from both communities and existing publications to create an Agile Practice Guide. The intention of the initiative is to build a greater understanding of Agile practices with emphasis on how Agile relates to the project management community.

The Agile Practice Guide is project-focused and provides practical guidance geared toward project leaders and team members adapting to an Agile approach in planning and executing projects. This practice guide is for project teams who find themselves in the messy middle-ground between predictive and Agile approaches, who are trying to address rapid innovation and complexity, and who are dedicated to the team’s improvement.

The Agile Practice Guide contains the following sections:

  • An Introduction to Agile describes the Agile Manifesto mindset, values and principles. It also covers the concepts of definable and high-uncertainty work, and the correlation between the Lean, Kanban Method and Agile approaches.
  • Life Cycle Selection introduces the various life cycles discussed in the practice guide and covers suitability filters, tailoring guidelines, and common combinations of approaches.
  • Implementing Agile: Creating an Agile Environment talks about critical factors to consider when creating an Agile environment such as servant leadership and team composition.
  • Implementing Agile: Delivering in an Agile Environment discusses how to organize a team and common practices the team can use for delivering value on a regular basis. It provides examples of empirical measurements for the team and for reporting status.
  • Organizational Considerations for Project Agility explores organizational factors that impact the use of Agile practices, such as culture, readiness, business practices and the role of a project management office (PMO).

The PMI maintains three sets of standards and a unifying lexicon document:

  • Foundational Standards such as the PMBOK® Guide which define the foundation of a profession and undergo a rigorous development process
  • Practice Standards, such as the “Practice Standard for Project Estimating” and describe the use of a tool, technique or process identified in a foundational standard.
  • Practice Guides, such as the Agile Practice Guide, that provide supporting information and instruction.

For more information about where the Agile Practice Guide fits in with PMI’s broader set of documents see Alignment of the Agile Practice Guide and the PMI Standards

Who Created the Agile Practice Guide

The Agile Practice Guide was developed as a collaborative effort by Agile Alliance and the Project Management Institute (PMI). A team of practitioners with a variety of backgrounds, experiences, beliefs, and cultures formed the core writing team that developed this practice guide.

Those team members are: Becky Hartman, Mike Griffiths, Johanna Rothman, Jesse Fewell, Betsy Kauffman, Stephen Matola, and Horia Slusanschi.

Why an Agile Practice Guide

Environmental forces such as disruptive technology, smaller more nimble competitors, an increased emphasis on the customer experience, and the increasing speed of change continue to drive large organizations to adopt an Agile mindset in order to stay competitive and keep their existing market share. The Agile Practice Guide provides guidance for those organizations on how to adapt the agile mindset.

Agile Alliance and PMI collaborated on the effort to write the Agile Practice Guide in order to build a bridge between the communities of the two organizations and learn how to support each other. The Agile Practice Guide is a collaborative effort to facilitate a more holistic and inclusive view for both communities.

For more on why see: Bridging Mindsets: Creating the Agile Practice Guide

How Did the Team Craft the Agile Practice Guide

The core writing team used an Agile mindset to collaborate and manage the development of the Agile Practice Guide and they adopted a more informal, relaxed writing style for the guide.

The core writing team also contributed to relevant parts of the PMBOK® Guide – Sixth Edition, which was release simultaneously with the Agile Practice Guide.

For an indepth look at the how the core writing team developed the Agile Practice Guide, take a look at their experience report.

When is the Agile Practice Guide Available?

The Agile Practice Guide was released in September 2017.

Where is the Agile Practices Guide Available?

You must be logged in as an Agile Alliance Member to obtain your copy.

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