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The Project Manager's Guide to Mastering Agile: Principles and Practices for an Adaptive Approach by Charles G. Cobb

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5 Agile Development, Quality, and Testing Practices

YOU MIGHT ASK: “Why does a project manager need to know something about development practices?” In the past, the role of a project manager might have been somewhat limited to a coordination function to integrate the efforts of different functional organizations that played a role in the project. In many cases, the actual direction for the different functions involved (development, test, etc.) came from the managers who were responsible for those functions themselves, and the role of the project manager in providing direction may have been limited. An agile environment is different:

  • Instead of a relatively loosely knit team of people from a variety of functional departments who might only work on a particular project on a part-time basis, an agile team is typically dedicated to a project and should be much more tightly integrated.
  • The methodology for an agile project is much more of one well-integrated project methodology with all the functions (development, test, etc.) working more collaboratively and concurrently. Any decisions about how development and testing is done need to be integrated with the overall project management approach.

Those factors require a much higher level of cross-functional leadership. Agile project managers can help provide that leadership if they have the cross-functional knowledge that is required, but it is more than a simple coordination function.

AGILE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT PRACTICES

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