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1. Learn to See Agile and Waterfall in a fresh new perspecttve as complementary to each other rather than competitive
Many businesses and project managers are faced with a choice of choosing a traditional plan-driven approach (or what is sometimes called “Waterfall") or a more Agile approach for critical projects which can be a very important decision with significant business impact. However, there are many stereotypes and misconceptions that exist about both “Agile" and “Waterfall" that can be very confusing and misleading. As an example, many people see this as a binary and mutually-exclusive choice between two extremes and attempt to force-fit projects to one of these two approaches when the right solution is to go in the other direction and fit the approach to the project.
Since this is such a critical decision that has such a big impact, it's very important to get past these stereotypes and misconceptions and:
Develop a clear objective understanding of what it means (or doesn't mean) when people talk about "Agile versus Waterfall".
See these two approaches in a fresh new perspective as complementary to each other rather than competitive
2. Learn how to blend the two approaches in the right proportions to fit any given situation to get the best of both worlds
Rather than force-fitting a project to one of these extremes, a much better approach is to fit the methodology to the nature of the project. Sometimes that requires blending the two approaches together in the right proportions to fit the situation to get the best of both worlds. It takes more skill to do that but it definitely can be done.
Overall Agile Business Management Curriculum:
This course is part of an overall curriculum designed for business people to effectively participate and lead in an Agile environment. Agile significantly changes the role of business people in leading and managing projects and requires a much more active business leadership role to guide the direction of projects that are in progress. The overall curriculum consists of three primary courses:
1. Agile BM 101 - Introduction to Agile Business Management (this course)
This course povides a solid foundation for the other courses in this overall curriculum and helps all business personnel develop a solid understanding of how to implement a hybrid approach that blends the two approaches in the right proportions to fit any given situation
2. Agile BM 201 - Mastering Agile Business Management
This course is designed to provide a much deeper understanding of how to effectively lead Agile/Scrum projects for anyone in a Product Owner role or in an equivalent level of business responsibility. The Product Owner role in Agile is not well understood and many business managers who are assigned to perform that role are not well-prepared for it.
3. Agile BM 301 - Enterprise-level Agile Business Management
The final course in this series is focused on advanced topics related to applying Agile to a business at an enterprise level including
Alignment and Value Disciplines
Enterprise-level frameworks (SAFe and DAD)
Enterprise-level Agile Transformations
Organizational Culture and Change Management
Why Is This Curriculum Important?
In a traditional, plan-driven project management environment,
A large part of the management of a project can be delegated to a project manager, and
Once the business requirements for the project are documented and approved by the business, the business role in providing leadership and management of the project can be limited.
In an Agile environment,
The requirements and the design of the solution evolve and are further refined as the project progresses
For that reason, it is essential that the business is much more directly involved in providing leadership and direction to the project as it progresses
In order to provide effective leadership and direction to projects, the business people who are either directly or indirectly involved in Agile projects need to fully understand how the process works in order to participate collaboratively in the process with the project teams who are responsible for developing the solution.
Many existing courses for business people in an Agile environment such as Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO) are limited to the "mechanics" of how to do Agile and are limited to a pure Agile approach. This course goes into much more depth to give business people a very solid and deeper understanding of both Agile/Scrum as well as traditional plan-driven project management and how to successfully apply it in a business environment.
Important Note: This course is a condensed version of some of the material in our 7-course curriculum for Agile Project Managers and there is no need for anyone to take both sets of courses.