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University System of Maryland

Agile Process, Project, and Program Controls

University System of Maryland and University of Maryland, College Park via edX

Overview

Agile provides greater opportunities for control and risk management and offers unique benefits that traditional methods miss. As a project manager or program manager the emphasis should always be on delivering value and benefits. With complex projects these demand increase and knowing you've delivered value can be difficult for even those with years of project management experience.

However, in this course we'll cover the agile practices and management skills necessary to delivery value with certainty, such as:

  • Transparency with daily standup meetings discussing work status, risk, and pace.

  • How a clear definition of done drives acceptance by all key stakeholders.

  • Measuring performance and benefits of working solutions during project delivery.

  • Iteratively testing to gain authentic feedback on solution requirements and stability.

  • Regular retrospectives that drive continuous improvement into the team.

  • How agile project management ensures success and uniquely tackles business risk

  • Quality management principles to reduce project risk and technical debt

  • Manage and reduce interdependencies between project teams to scale programs at speed

  • Making the business case for agile contracts and how they ensure deliverables achieve business outcomes and objectives

In this course, you will learn how these levers of control far exceed traditional management methods of earned value management (EVM), which relies on estimates and no changes in scope. We'll discuss how the key to unlocking the control potential is to learn what to manage, and how to measure it. It's no longer just ensure the deliverables are delivered on-time and under-budget.

This shift to benefits management is in-line with how the PMBOK is changing to integrate program management concerns into project management with an emphasis on value and not just delivery of scope specifications. The Agile revolution requires program managers to embrace this type of continuing education to advance and grow in your project management career.

So how do programs ensure smooth project delivery?

This answer is bottoms-up with different controls at each level of management, separating the concerns between the program, the individual projects, and the team processes. For teams, it’s a focus on team velocity and how to ensure its measurement is useful for diagnosing internal and external productivity constraints. For the project, the focus is on how to integrate teams of teams on related projects and ensure stead delivery of product roadmaps. For the program, the focus is on what capabilities are delivered and how to measure return on investment (ROI) capabilities provide. This also requires understanding your portfolio and contracting processes.

While this course will not make you an agile certified practitioner (PMI-ACP), or certified scrum master (CSM), it offers a more fundamental agile certification based on agile principles and how agile leadership is applied in industry today. You'll finish this course more than ready to continue your agile journey, which we hope either completes your certificate with us or takes you to one of our most popular courses in the series, "Agile Leadership Principles and Practices."

Upon successful completion of this course, learners can earn 10 Professional Development Unit (PDU) credits, which are recognized by the Project Management Institute (PMI). PDU credits are essential to those looking to maintain certification as a Project Management Professional (PMP).

Syllabus

  • Week 1: The first week of the control course examines the reason for controlling projects, why traditional controls such as Earned Value Management fail so often, and the three key components to any controlling process: value, constraints, and verification. Systems Engineering models are considered for their effectiveness in controlling, with an emphasis on the predominant controlling approach, the V-Model, and how it equivocates testing with development.

  • Week 2: The second week examines how control is managed across the project lifecycle, with the three Ps of management: people, process, and product. Real-world approaches and tools are discussed for all three levers across varying staffing approaches, release and sprint processes for quality assurance, and the use of product-level tools for quality control.

  • Week 3: The third week drives home the need to “begin with the end in mind” by closing User Stories incrementally using a Definition of Done that links the three Ps together across each sprint cycle (planning, execution, and control).

  • Week 4: The final fourth week addresses controlling Agile processes at scale, from sampling and building intuition across Agile team ceremonies, to managing team decisions and performance, and even portfolios of projects using simplified metrics. The fourth week will also look at how to align portfolio and project management metrics to an organization’s strategy as a means of managing up the risks of being defunded or constrained by corporate policy.

Taught by

John Johnson

Reviews

4.5 rating, based on 239 Class Central reviews

4.4 rating at edX based on 12 ratings

Start your review of Agile Process, Project, and Program Controls

  • I recently completed the Agile Process, Project, and Program Controls course offered by the University System of Maryland via edX, and I am delighted to share my positive experience. The course content was not only comprehensive but also presented…
  • This was a wonderful and very informative course. I really enjoyed the real world examples and the professor is excellent at breaking down complex ideas. However, I enjoyed this course less than the others of the series. There were multiple videos and much of the course was a review of the past courses. This was good in a way because it allowed you to review what you'd learned in past courses - everything was brought together. However, when new information was introduced it felt like it wasn't given as much space as it deserved. Having said that, I still really enjoyed it and think it would be a perfect "general info" course for anyone who just wants a taste of Agile.
  • Dimitar Pavlov Ganchev
    I really enjoyed the course, I felt really inspired by it. Everything was great, however I would have liked if there were more examples from the private sector, the ones given in the lectures were great, one or two more would have been more helpful, at least for me. I'd find it very difficult to say which one of the topics or lectures I learned the most from or found to the most beneficial for me, because everything is vital to know if you seek success.
    Thank you
  • Anonymous
    Finished the course. Good video lectures, the summary notes are excellent for revision, and the course uses real life examples you can relate to. Overall the course was great.

    However i did have an issue with the final "feedback Quiz (Points!)" component, it asks for all the tags associated with this course on Class-Central. On the site it only says "Agile" however when answering that i seem to get the answer wrong.
  • Profile image for Gurumahesh G
    Gurumahesh G
    The UMD's "Sprint Planning" course on edX was exceptional. High-quality content and engaging instructors made it a goldmine for Agile learners. Clear explanations with real-world examples fostered a deep understanding of sprint planning in Agile delivery. The course's interactivity and resources solidified the knowledge. I highly recommend it for anyone looking to boost their Agile skills.
  • Joe Bingham
    The overall course was really good. The material, slides, and references were very professional. I was happy to see that I could download the slide decks.

    Cons, I wish that there were exercises with each module to give the learner the experience to build Agile tools in Excel or word or other along the way. The biggest question that I kept asking, is "What tools are there, how can I build them, what would they look like". The last class, seam a little rushed.

    All in all, a great overall Agile class. Especially for the novice.
  • Anonymous
    Gives lots of useful methods to manage Agile Process, Project, and Program Controls across different environments, including good case studies such as Spotify amongst others. It has information on leadership, teams, agile team management, procurement, and what types of procurement process to employ depending upon your project.
  • Clare Allen
    Gives lots of useful methods to manage Agile Process, Project, and Program Controls across different environments, including good case studies such as Spotify amongst others. It has information on leadership, teams, agile team management, procurement, and the type of procurement process to employ depending upon your project.
  • Anonymous
    Hi, I really enjoyed the course!
    Please note that some of the links in the 'additional resources part' do not work correctly. You may want to check and replace them with correct ones.

    Thank you!

    Best,
    Bonka
  • Anonymous
    A really good course but a little bit complex, the structure was a little bit odd at the end but I guess is because you'll get a lot of information from this topics. I would recommend it!
  • Anonymous
    Finished the course. Good video lectures, the summary notes are excellent for revision, and the course uses real life examples you can relate to. Overall the course was great.
  • Anonymous
    There is definitely something wrong about tags and I could not answer Class-Central Feedback Quiz. Because here at course page just one tag - agile.
  • Anonymous
    This was a wonderful and very informative course. I really enjoyed the real world examples and the professor is excellent at breaking down complex ideas. However, I enjoyed this course less than the others of the series. There were multiple videos and much of the course was a review of the past courses. This was good in a way because it allowed you to review what you'd learned in past courses - everything was brought together. However, when new information was introduced it felt like it wasn't given as much space as it deserved. Having said that, I still really enjoyed it and think it would be a perfect "general info" course for anyone who just wants a taste of Agile.
  • Anonymous
    The material was insightful, and I especially liked the lessons on anti-fragility. I also liked the concepts on protecting teams: People, Process, Product. My only issue with the course is that I felt that quiz and test questions were not geared tow…
  • Anonymous
    its really osam course i really enjoy this course and i really grateful to all sir and mam for this course its really very useful to me in my future goal i really appreciate to do my work and i really tankful all members of this course
  • Anonymous
    The "Agile Process, Project, and Program Controls" course provides a comprehensive overview of how Agile principles can be applied to project and program management. It covers essential topics, such as managing Agile controls, controlling projects at scale, and the importance of benefits management. The course's focus on value and benefits over traditional scope specifications aligns with the evolving landscape of project management.
  • Profile image for Mateo Ostojić
    Mateo Ostojić
    Great course, very helpful
    I really enjoyed the real-world examples and the professor is excellent at breaking down complex ideas.
  • Anonymous
    This course tried to cram a ton of new material and also serve as a sort of capstone for the other four (and the overall certificate program.) I would recommend that either (a) some of the material be spread into the other courses, or (b) this be s…
  • Anonymous
    These five courses are a great detailed view of Agile principles and agile behavior.
    It would interesting to add an example of effective teamwork during sprint planning (estimation of US, selection, sprint goal, ...)
    Merci
  • Anonymous
    In my viewpoint the class is well organized and interesting that made me continue learning about Agile project management.
    The Professor: John Johnson does an excellent job explaining the different chapters of the course.
    Thanks

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