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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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8 Agile Project Management Role

AGILE IS CAUSING US TO broaden our vision of what project management is, and that will have a dramatic impact on the potential roles that a project manager can play in an agile project. The image of a project manager is typically very heavily focused on a plan-driven development approach. If you read many books on project management, you will find a lot of discussion on how to use:

  • Project plans
  • Work breakdown structures
  • Pert charts and Gantt charts
  • Microsoft Project to plan a project

All of those things are good things for a traditional project manager to know, but many of them become irrelevant in an agile environment, which calls for a very different approach. In an agile environment, you may not have enough information upfront to develop detailed project plans and work breakdown structures, and it may be very difficult, if not impossible, to predict how all of the project activities will be organized in advance in terms of Pert charts and Gantt charts. Agile calls for a much more fluid and dynamic approach that is optimized around dealing with a much more unpredictable and uncertain environment.

That doesn't mean that the typical plan-driven approach to project management is obsolete and no longer useful, but it certainly should not be the only way to run a project. The challenge for project managers is going beyond a traditional, plan-driven project management approach and learning a much broader range of project management practices in a ...

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