3 days


Employees of federal, state and local governments; and businesses working with the government.

Course Description

In this course, you will learn to improve your professional skills-a key ingredient to Agile success.
Today’s teams require vastly different leadership and management skills from Project Managers to truly achieve success. You can’t simply tell everyone what to do. Instead, you need to be a strong coach, a change agent, and a very effective communicator. Agile is no longer a grassroots movement to change software development. PMI® is embracing Agile, recognizing the significant positive impact it has had on delivering better results for customers.
This class is a stimulating combination of class interaction, active learning exercises, and group collaboration. Each is designed to allow you to learn through practice so you can readily apply what you have learned in your own workplace right away. Every instructor has been in the trenches as a project manager with Agile teams and will bring that experience to class.

What You’ll Learn

  • Embrace a model of continuous planning over simply following a plan
  • Transform your project management style from “command and control” to “empower and inspire”
  • Create a cadence for the team and eliminate process distractions for a dramatic boost in efficiency
  • Establish credible and achievable estimates using agile estimating techniques
  • Communicate more transparently and reduce interruptions to your team
  • Rapidly build trust with your customers through frequent and effective collaboration

Who Needs to Attend

  • Project managers
  • Analysts, developers, programmers, testers
  • IT managers/directors
  • Software engineers, architects, and managers
  • Testing managers and leaders


Basic understanding of and experience with basic project management skills

Course Outline

1. Understanding Agile

  • What is Agile?
  • Why Agile?
  • Agile Manifesto
  • Agile Principles
  • Agile Methodologies
  • Agile Benefits

2. Forming the Agile Team

  • Team Roles and Responsibilities
  • Expectations
  • Self Organization
  • Communication

3. The Agile Coach

  • Role of the Agile PM or Coach
  • Agile Project Management
  • Tips for Working with Agile Teams
  • Communication

4. Agile Planning

  • Project Planning
  • 5 Levels of Planning
  • Product Vision

5. Focus on the Customer

  • Customer Involvement
  • User Roles
  • Creating and Using Personas
  • Constraints

6. Creating the Product Backlog

  • The Product Backlog
  • User Stories
  • INVEST Model (Bill Wake, 2003)
  • Acceptance Criteria
  • Foundational Stories

7. Prioritizing the Product Backlog

  • Prioritization Themes
  • Decision Matrix
  • Kano Analysis
  • Preventing Fire Alarms
  • Continuous Prioritization

8. Estimating

  • Relative vs. Actual Estimating
  • Introduction to Story Points
  • Using Story Points
  • Planning Poker (Grenning 2002)

9. Release Planning

  • Velocity
  • What is a Release?
  • Schedule Based vs. Feature Based Planning
  • Building the Release Plan
  • Communication

10. Building Cadence

  • Getting to the Details
  • Building Trust
  • Best Practices

11. Iteration Planning and Execution

  • Capacity
  • Engaging the Team
  • Planning the Iteration
  • Executing the Iteration
    • Daily Scrum/Stand-Up
    • Scrum of Scrums
    • Iteration Review
    • Demonstrating Working Software

12. Measuring and Communicating Progress

  • Taskboards
  • Story/Task cards
  • Metrics
  • Burndown Charts
  • Agile Tools

13. Retrospectives.

  • Elements of the Retrospective
  • Facilitating Retrospectives
  • Tips for effective Retrospectives

14. Adopting Agile Project Management

  • Agile Process Overview
  • Overcoming Resistance and Getting Started
  • Agile Calendar of Events
  • Challenges to Adoption
  • Team Roadmap Exercise

Class Exercises:

Exercise 1: Working in small teams, you will “design the box” in order to establish a vision for a sample project. You may choose to utilize a project from your work as well. You will participate in identifying key selling points, features, operating requirements, etc.
Exercise 2: Within your teams you will brainstorm some customer roles for your project. From the brainstorming, you will consolidate the larger list of roles into key roles that will be the focus of your sample project.
Exercise 3: In small teams identified previously, you will engage in a story-writing workshop as a means of building a product backlog for your project.
Exercise 4: Utilizing the prioritization techniques discussed, you will prioritize the Product Backlog for your sample project taking into account the dependencies, risk, and impact of your user stories.
Exercise 5: Using the estimating techniques of story points, enjoy a few rounds of Planning Poker, a fun and very effective method of relative estimating to establish estimates for your highest priority stories.
Exercise 6: Each team will establish a release plan for their sample project incorporating priority, estimates, and velocity as appropriate. We’ll discuss how real experiences of fixed time and fixed feature projects can work with an Agile release plan.
Exercise 7: The instructor will facilitate a Retrospective for the class allowing you to provide feedback for the course in addition to demonstrating how a Retrospective should be run.