Thursday, April 04, 2013

Agile PMP: PMBOK Vs Agile - Comparison and Convergence (Part - 2)

Did you read Part - 1 of this series? Would suggest that you do.

Now, let us proceed on this part. PMBOK has set the defining standard for Project Management and will continue to do so. There is no second opinion about. In this post, we will the check, comparison and convergence between PMBOK and Agile, at the process group level.

Comparison: PMBOK Vs Agile

5 Process Groups (Source - PMBOK, PMI)

PMBOK comes with 5 process groups (PG) - Initiating, Planning, Executing Monitoring and Controlling and Closing. Briefly - Initiating and Closing happens once, whereas Planning, Executing are repeatedly looked upon by Monitoring and Controlling.

Agile also has a framework with its is defined items - let us say phases! What are they? Jim Highsmith, in his book (Agile Project Management - Creating Innovative Products) puts it lucidly. There are 5 phases - Envision, Speculate, Explore, Adapt and Close. To keep it simple - Envision and Close happens once. 

5 Phases - Agile Project Mgmt. Framework (Src - Jim Highsmith Book)
However, Speculate, Explore and Adapt happen repeatedly or in an iterative fashion, along with incremental delivery. This is known as Agile Project Management Framework or APM in short.

PMBOK has not only 5 process groups, it has 10 knowledge areas as well 47 process areas in its latest addition. PMI has added Stakeholder Management knowledge area in 5th edition. However, in Agile it is not detailed like that of PMBOK, rather they have kept it open to much process tailoring internally. 

Convergence: PMBOK And Agile

So, where do they converge?

In both Agile's APM and PMBOK PG, The fundamentals are inline with Demming's cycle - Plan,Do,Check and Act (or P-D-C-A) cycle. That binds both the concepts - 5 process groups for a project management plan (PMP) or 5 phases for APM. 
  • Plan - Planning in PMBOK; Envision in APM 
  • Do - Execution in PMBOK; Explore in APM 
  • Check & Act - Monitoring and Controlling in PMBOK; Adapt in APM
Execution, M&C and Closing happens repeatedly in PMBOK and in similar lines Speculate, Explore and Adapt happens frequently Initiating and Closing happens only once during the life cycle (considering one phase of a product life cycle). Similarly, Envision and Close happens once. . 

However, it must be noted that the process group in PMBOK and phases in APM are not direct matches. There is a lot of subtlety involved!

Also, there are questions on how you progress in groups, knowledge areas, process areas in PMBOK and corresponding in respective phases in APM - like say building user stories, preparing your plan, checking on progress and so on? It will be beyond the scope of this post. It needs in depth explanation and understanding - happens in my workshops and speaking engagements. 

In conclusion, as noted before PMBOK is very detailed where as Agile keeps it quite light. Nevertheless, someone who understands PMBOK transition to Agile is not that really difficult!

Next, we will cover on User Stories. Stay tuned.

This Series: Part -1

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