The 5 “Why ?” of PMP applied to Agile practice 

Why this article?

I recently wrote a post on online resources to practice for a PMP certification examination. When my wife read this article, she commented that she didn’t understand why I promote PMP everything in my daily practices and services that I sell to my customers is turning around Agile. 

Why introducing PMP in the context of Agile practice?

My company, PeopleBlendIT, promotes the idea that pure Agile organizations don’t exist. Even in the leanest organization, you will find a management board, one of the services like the finance or customer service which is organized in a traditional way.

When dealing with these parts of an organization working in a traditional way, it is useful to know how to structure the project assets. PMBOK remains the best source of inspiration of best practices when it comes to managing a project in the traditional way. And even without dealing with external a non-Agile team, you need to inject Project management best practices in your Agile project.

But why do you need these best practices applied in in an Agile project?

Because when it comes to lead an Agile implementation you still need configuration management to version documents; you still need to manage expectation of stakeholders; you still need to manage the end of life of a product. For these management topics, PMBOK best practices is a reference.

But why talking about PMP certification?

Reading PMP certification examination preparation is a good way to challenge yourself and review your knowledge. Going back to the basics is the occasion to find back the less common best practices that you don’t apply often enough. For instance, you most certainly often go to meetings or even organize meetings. But when was the last time you reviewed the best practices on how to organize a meeting, to be a good host for a meeting.

Doing so is a reminder for me that I need to practice my Agile mash-up skills in which I transform Agile into something more elaborated merging best practices from different project management methodologies.

But why do you need something better than Agile?

You think that Agile is the definitive model, that there is nothing after it? Think about SCRUM of SCRUM, tribes, Spotify, think about SAFe, scaling Agile for large organizations. All these approaches came to solve the limitation of Agile. Release trains in SAFe and story mapping are spin-offs of PMP road-map management. Weighted Shortest Job First, WSJF, is somehow an evolution of metrics like Earned Value optimization technics used in PMP.

If you listen to Lean and Agile Adoption with the Laloux Culture 

Model, you might become as convinced that I am that we need to look at the past to continue to re-invent our future project management methods. For me, looking at the past is digging into my PMP best practices. Looking at the future is finding ways to infuse participative decision making into the organizations I am working with.