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What Is Agile Project Management?

There seems to be some confusion about “What Is Agile Project Management?”. To some people, it seems to be nothing more than the level of project management that is already integrated into Scrum and consists of simply managing the implementation of a standard Scrum project. I think it is more than that.

What Is Agile Project Management?

I think it is a much broader project management approach that involves selecting the right approach for a project from among:

  1. A pure Agile approach based on Scrum,
  2. A traditional plan-driven project management approach, or
  3. A hybrid of the above two approaches

In other words, “Agile Project Management” is not limited to simply implementing a pure Agile approach based on Scrum; it is based on selecting an appropriate project management methodology from a range of approaches to fit a given situation. I call that “Value-driven Project Management“. The idea is to select an appropriate approach to provide the necessary value to the customer and not to simply force-fit all projects to a pure Agile approach based on Scrum. Jim Highsmith who was one of the original signers of the Agile Manifesto has published an excellent book on this subject that also emphasizes the importance of “value over constraints”. In other words, providing value to the customer is a very important consideration in addition to simply complying with constraints on cost and schedule.

The need to adopt a broader interpretation of Agile Project Management is a natural evolution at this point in time. For a number of years, Agile and traditional plan-driven project management (what many people loosely call “Waterfall”) have been treated as separate and independent domains of knowledge with little or no integration between the two. This has led to popular thinking that there is a binary and mutually exclusive choice between Agile and Waterfall and you have to force-fit a project to one of those approaches. That kind of thinking is beginning to dissipate as people begin to see Agile and traditional plan-driven project management approaches as complementary to each other rather than competitive.

I’ve published four books on this subject and my most recent book is used as a graduate-level textbook on Agile Project Management in several universities, but I felt a need for a much more concise book to answer the questions about what Agile Project Management is. This new book is now available on Amazon.com in either paperback or Kindle eBook format here:

It is a very small, easily readable book that is designed to answer these basic questions as succinctly as possible. Anyone who wants to get into more detail, should consider reading my full book entitled “The Project Manager’s Guide to Mastering Agile”. That book is also available on Amazon.com at the following location:

I have also written over 100 articles on this blog site that you will probably also find helpful to explore various topics related to Agile Project Management. Those blog posts are organized into categories on the home page of this site for easier access. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions on this.

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