Author: Christopher Michael Ziemba, PMP
Traditional Gantt chart or Agile sprints to plan your project - Why not both?
On January 21, 2021, PMI Switzerland received a special treat. Our own Martin Härri (PMI PMP®, PMI-SP®, PMI-ACP®) condensed for us important lessons from his 30 years of project experience into an 80-minute web event. As a founding member of PMI Switzerland, former chapter president and ever-present volunteer, Martin is hardly a new face for our membership. He is currently serving as the Coordinator of our Chapter’s Corporate Network and Co-Lead for Swiss PM Conference 2021.
Martin’s presentation describes in detail the hybrid project management strategy he has developed and implemented for a particularly complex project at SIX, in his role as a Senior Project Officer. The 20+ million Swiss Franc New Clearing Platform Project began with an Agile approach (backlog of features to be developed in sprints), but this was quickly determined not to be suitable, as the project needed much more detailed planning in advance. The ultimate solution was a bespoke approach utilizing favorable and appropriate elements of both Traditional and Agile approaches. At the core of this approach is a detailed plan, as in any traditional project. However, the management cycle follows more an Agile approach and has 5 steps, i) Set up schedule, ii) Start Sprint, iii) Execute work, iv) Close Sprint and Demo, and v) Retrospective. Martin described how his implementation of each step suits the needs of his project and notes which elements are drawn from Traditional, and which are drawn from Agile practices.
Particularly noteworthy points from the presentation include using the Gantt chart for planning the schedule but generally relying on the scrum board to manage the work, the concept that you can demo anything, not just software releases, and the importance of tracking the execution of actions that arise from the retrospective. Martin also described the tools that he employs through the project cycle and ultimately conducted a live retrospective with the audience.
The feedback from the audience (of up to 140 participants) was overwhelmingly positive both during the retrospective and in the survey collected after the event. I would like to thank Martin once again for providing PMI Switzerland with an incredibly constructive, specific and insightful presentation, delivered in an engaging and professional manner.
Organizational support for this event was provided by Pia Henzelmann, Isatu Barrie, Prasanth K. Nair and Christopher M. Ziemba. A recording of Martin’s presentation, with questions from the audience, is available at https://youtu.be/5dvgHTbrPVw.