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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


Version 2 of this course series delivers beyond the original agile certification. It includes updated content, better audit and verified learner experiences, and bonus videos on key topics.

The follow-on to this course series on “Advanced Scrum” is expected by the end of Summer 2020.

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).


  • 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

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4.4 rating, based on 196 reviews

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

  • 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

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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.
  • Ramesh Bharamade
    Agile process , project and program controls is a good training program and must for all fields of peoples. It emphasis on trust , buffer and avoids multi tasking. From last 5 years we are trying to reduce development cycle time of products and we have achieved in 80% of areas. Agile in small teams gives better results. Thanks for giving this opportunity.
  • Anonymous
    Interesting course and supporting materials are good.

    However, it would have been nice to be able to see the right answer when when the wrong options are selected, for the Course Final.

    The option for the "right answer" does not appear when a wrong answer is given; it can be seen only when you give the right answer, which is not helpful at all. If the right answer cannot be provided after 3 attempts, then something is not right - have the question and/or response options have been misunderstood?, the explanation/information provided during the course was not understood or was not enough? ...
  • Muhammad Salman Khan
    It was a great course which introduced myself with a handsome new Control & Agile Philosophies. The script & speaking teacher provides a real classroom feel. However I also found this course a little more focused for Computer/Systems/Software Engineers and Project Managers, so You may would like to make it a little more broader and synchronized with other fields of professions. For Example, Which Tool would replace a 'Sprint' in a 'Machines Manufacturing Industry' or at a 'Food Production Plant". It was a good experience overall.


  • Anonymous
    Well, It is a good course, but if you are not a native English speaker it will be difficult to understand videos. The author uses many idioms. Sometimes verbal context very complicated connecting with a presentation slide. You always can check texts but it takes double time for you.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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 toward...
  • Anonymous
    The course was extremely beneficial. I currently work for a large NPO Org who is attempting to become more Agile...we all NEED THIS COURSE! Only rec is that the slides dont appear to have been proofread? I have seen several typos and grammatical errors throughout all of the courses taken in this series. Thank you John for your expertise and hard work, this is such an incredible project.
  • Anonymous
    I enjoyed the course as there were many more new things could learn even known things learn in a new different way.

    Subtitles next to the video really helped me to clearly understand the lecture.

    Some parts of the material were really difficult to understand as too many technical terms been used.

    Overall everything was great and I enjoyed the course.

  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    This course has a lot of information , what was good for me was the part that is related to contract types and when to use it and I would like if the course dive deeper in this part, vast majority of other lectures can be considered as kind of refreshement if you have already checked the four previous courses. it would better too to change the examples and business cases used to feel that you are always getting more info and perception that just refreshing same info with same examples.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Agile provides greater opportunities for control and risk management and offers unique benefits that traditional methods miss, such as: Transparency with daily standup meetings discussing workstatus, risk, and pace. How a clear definition of done drives...
  • Anonymous
    I found this course very useful! It provided us with powerfull information, definitions and tips for defining the better scaling agile strategy in programs and portfolio. The course structure is well defined and the tools (videos and written material) are clear. I would recommend this course to a friend, indeed!
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    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 split...
  • Anonymous
    Having just completed the Agile Process, Project, and Program Controls course, I can tell without hesitation that it contains an enormous amount of Agile Content poised to maximize anyone's knowledge in Agile PM. Managing Processes, Projects, and Controls...
  • Carlos Fernandez
    I learned how to Agile compares to Traditional and Lean project management and its advantages. I also learned how to scale and adapt Agile to different types of organizations. Great course to wrap-up the Agile Program Management certificate program!
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Completes the entire program, all 5 courses.
    I must say that I am very disappointed by the program. There is valuable theoretical information in there yes - but then again I could also just buy a book for 50euros and know the same.
    There is 0 interaction and no practical assignments such as case studies, it really is sole theoretical which I thought is a pity...
  • Anonymous
    This course offers a good recap on the previous 4 courses (which could be seen as unnecessary) and good general insights and theories on keeping your project under-control from different perspectives.
  • Jesus Toledo Romero
    Great course about Agile Process, Project and Program Controls. I particularly liked the part that covered procurement also the real examples that the instructor was using to connect to the lesson were great.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Elements of this course are excellent and provide a good understanding of anti-fragility and agile. It's useful to have worked examples from the presenter's own experience which illustrate particular points. Negatives for me can be summarised as follows: -...

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