P2A. What is Agile? The overall idea (Free Preview)

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Based on AXELOS PRINCE2 Agile® material. Reproduced under licence from AXELOS. All rights reserved.


  • Managing Successful Projects with PRINCE2 – You probably have the manual already, and if you don’t, many of the content is repeated in the PRINCE2 Agile manual (those with colored backgrounds). However, it’s helpful to have the manual anyway.
  • Managing Successful Programs – MSP is an adaptive program management system from the same family as PRINCE2. It’s possible to easily and effectively combine it with any Agile delivery systems; one works in the project layer, and the other in the program layer.
  • Management of Portfolios – You MUST have a portfolio management system in your company. MoP is a great option for forming this layer.

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  1. Which of the following are projects, and which are programs, based on AXELOS definition?
    • Let’s create a mobile app for our service.
    • Some people abandon their carts in our ecommerce website. Let’s see if we can create a system to recover some of the abandoned carts.
    • The way we manage documents in our company is terrible. Let’s implement Alfresco and fix this problem.
    • The way we manage documents in our company is terrible. Let’s fix this problem.
  2. Both Agile and Waterfall have plans. The difference is only in the amount of planning. (True/False)
  3. Why do we need to have self-organizing teams in Agile?
  4. Is it possible to have self-organizing teams in predictive systems?
  5. “We’re using an Agile methodology. We create increments of product and demonstrate it. We follow everything in our system, and to make it even better, create all the iteration plans in the beginning. Doing that, we’re sure what we’re going to do in our project and everything is disciplined.” Is this system OK?

Show the answers

  1. When the initiative is about creating a product (output), it’s a project. When it’s about creating a result (outcome), it’s a program. If the concept is directly about benefits, it would be a portfolio.
    • Project
    • Program
    • Project
    • Program
  2. It’s not precise to say that the difference is only about the amount of planning, while the amount of planning is surely different. One plans the product upfront, while the other aims for the outcome by letting the product evolve.
  3. Because we’re making product-related decisions all the time, and if we want to wait for the higher managers to decide, there will be many pauses in the development.
  4. Why not! It might be a good or a bad idea to have self-organization in predictive systems, based on the project environment. However, even if you don’t want to have the extreme option of self-organization, you still need to have a proper level of delegation based on the Manage by Exception principle.
  5. When the product is fully planned upfront, the adaptation will be blocked. It’s not Agile.

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