Author/Interviewer: Elena Milusheva, PMPElena Milusheva

 

Scrum and Agile - from theory to practice

Agile might not be the end of the journey, as the new global PMI CEO Sunil 

Prashara has stated, yet not every company reaps the full benefits of agile. Many haven’t even jumped on the agile bandwagon yet. The 2-day PMI Master Class organized by the Swiss chapter in May in Zurich showcased how different industries leverage agile and scrum.  

As we have learned from our trainer - the first PMI-ACP certification holder in Switzerland Silvana Wasitowa - failing (fast) is encouraged, multitasking is not optimal and line managers step back giving space to self-organized teams. And it is not about the daily stand-up meetings, it is not about the frequent delivery. It is all about the agile mindset. 

In order to obtain insights from the field, I am approaching 3 PMI Swiss Chapter members of the leadership team who are also PMI-ACP certification holders with the following questions:

How different is Agile from the traditional Project Management? 

Larisa Aragon: Agile can easily be integrated in a highly flexible Project Management Methodology. I have experienced and being trained in the Hermes 5.1 Project Management Methodology developed by the Swiss government. Agile is another important tool and skillsets (incl mindset)  to approach the rolling planning in a different way. 

Loic Hascher: The whole philosophy behind Agile is the implementation of short iteration cycle. Instead of trying to deliver the full scope in once through a planning stage, followed by an implementation stage and finally a closing phase, Agile cuts the overall scope to deliver it small piece after small piece. 

David Fowler: There is no such thing as “traditional” Project Management. Projects are, by definition, unique. There are many ways to approach the management of a project and many techniques and frameworks available to support the project manager. Agile should be an integral part of that project management toolkit, which can be utilised when and where appropriate.

How do you practice Agile mindset?

Larisa Aragon: I like to think about the role of the project manager as a sports (agile) coach, empowering the players to take the best decisions according to their knowledge and experience, trust their abilities, ask the right questions and have fun together.

Loic Hascher: For me, being Agile means being open to change. We use to be trained to control changes. That changes can kill your project and that they need to be planned, assessed, evaluated, etc… But we also know that changes are inevitable in the fast paced world we are living in. Agile is all about welcoming changes and integrating them as part of the project while still being able to deliver value to the end customer.

David Fowler: Keep an open mind. Reflect on how you are delivering your project and if you are using the right approach to achieve the end goal:  smarter, more flexible project management, embracing change and delivering business benefits earlier to your customer.

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Depending on where you stand in your career, you might want to deep dive into the topic by acquiring some of the following certifications. Please do not hesitate to share your experience with scrum, agile and with the certifications below via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.