Share and Enjoy !

So, with the title The Agile Consultant Project Manager, you’re probably thinking this blog is about a Project Manager managing Agile projects.  Well, yes.  And no.  It is really about how a Project Manager within the consulting world needs to have the agility to manage projects based on whatever methodology or process that is necessary to successfully deliver for each client.

ThreeWill’s Agile Methodology

In general, ThreeWill is an Agile shop.  We employ both Scrum and Kanban techniques where we traditionally deliver projects in two-week increments or Sprints (Scrum).  We use a visual board that shows prioritized stories’ (requirements) progression based on columns such as Not Started, Committed, Development, Acceptance Testing, Ready for Acceptance, and Accepted (Kanban).  We also employ other related techniques such as Sprint Planning, Sprint Reviews, Daily Stand-Ups, and Retrospectives.


Adapting to Different Project Delivery Methods

However, because ThreeWill operates in the consulting world, projects are not always best delivered with a pure Agile approach.  Many of our clients follow Agile processes, so they appreciate what Agile delivery brings – the flexibility to handle changing priorities during the delivery process. But some of our clients do not follow Agile, and instead, follow the more traditional Waterfall delivery method, where all the requirements are defined in detail up front before development even begins.


The Versatile Project Manager

Sometimes, we work with clients who have a mixed approach to their organization – usually IT – where they use Agile principles, while the rest of the organization uses Waterfall. This is a “hybrid” model.

Such variations in delivery approaches, therefore, requires that a Project Manager be well versed in all these techniques as well as how to build the bridges and collaborations across these parts of the client organization.  We need to ensure that our clients feel comfortable and confident we can successfully deliver projects within their own unique environments.

As an example, even if a client follows Agile methods, there are still the more traditional Waterfall components that are involved.  Specifically, managing to scope, schedule (time), and budget (cost).


Managing Scope, Schedule, and Budget in Agile and Traditional Projects

In a pure agile development world – like within an organization that develops and sells a product) – development scope may never have a final end state.  Even so, when developing and delivering products, scope does need to be prioritized and put into Sprints.  And these Sprints need to be managed to a schedule and budget. And in the consulting project delivery world, the traditional definition of a project still applies: a project is a temporary endeavor with a beginning and an end with defined scope and resources.  As such, it is important that the consultant Project Manger be well versed in managing to scope, schedule, and budget, even in Agile projects.  We must be able to communicate that the project is being delivered to the approved plan.

ThreeWill does this through several techniques including through a couple fundamental charts:  scope burn-up charts and budget burn-down charts.  Although more traditionally associated with Agile projects, these charts can work within Waterfall and hybrid projects as well.


The Agile Consultant Project Manager

To sum up, the purpose of this blog wasn’t to get into the nitty gritty details of all the delivery techniques that a consultant Project Manager can employ in their client projects.  It was merely to highlight that such a Project Manager can better support their various clients and their projects by being versed not just in one project delivery method, but in several methods, or combination of methods that best fits their clients’ needs.  Such a project manager needs to be “agile” in their project delivery.

ThreeWill’s core focus is “Helping Employees Thrive Using Microsoft Technologies”. Our Intelligent Intranet and Teams Enablement service offerings are great ways to improve collaboration and communication at your organization. This leads to a better employee experience and puts you on the road to helping your employees thrive.


Share and Enjoy !

Related Content: