PMBOK and Agile

When I was a project manager using more traditional project management methods, I found the PMBOK (Project Management Body Of Knowledge) really useful.  Unfortunately the PMI (Project Management Institute) charge for it now, but it was useful to me at that time, pulling together all of the most common project management practices in one place.

The PMBOK is focused on project management generally rather than any specific methodology or methods particularly geared up for software development projects.  Therefore it majors on more traditional project management techniques.  It does acknowledge agile methods – although I believe not by name – by describing iterative development as a valid approach to the project lifecycle.

It’s probably about time the PMI included a whole section on agile project management.  Maybe even to talk about agile techniques in each section of the PMBOK, for instance it would be great if their estimating section covered the practice of estimating in points, tracking velocity in fixed iterations, and using that to plan future iterations.

Back in 2007, Michele Sliger wrote a set of slides that map the traditional methods in PMBOK to common agile practices.  Although it’s a few years old already, I personally think it’s a superb piece of work and I think would help a lot of people understand the relationship between agile project management methods and more traditional project management methods.

You can find the slides here – PMBOK Agile Mapping

Kelly.

2 Responses to “PMBOK and Agile”

  1. Any sort of defects or hitches can be addressed during several iterations. You can find out any bottlenecks and still solve them without pressing panic button at the eve of product delivery.
    Amazing blog post with lot of valuable information.
    Thanks a lot for sharing it.

  2. Ian says:

    Nice article – I face this too! Beware of people of who “map” but fail to get the radical differences. With this in mind … I came across a very nice mapping here also courtesy of those nice folks at VersionOne, check it out:
    http://www.versionone.com/pdf/Translating_PMBOK_Concepts.pdf

    It’s probably also worth mentioning PMI recently introduced the Agile certified practitioner: http://www.pmi.org/Certification/New-PMI-Agile-Certification.aspx

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