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Online Course

Agile Process, Project, and Program Controls

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

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Overview

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).

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

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Reviews for edX's Agile Process, Project, and Program Controls Based on 115 reviews

  • 5 stars 55%
  • 4 stars 34%
  • 3 stars 10%
  • 2 star 1%
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  • 1
Gregg F
Gregg completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
Enjoyed the thought processes which challenged some of my more traditional thinking and previous applications on various projects and helped provide insight on some maths on how to work out if something is working.
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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.
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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 testing/reviewing my knowledge of course materials, but rather at seeing how confusing the questions could be constructed. I know it's important to make the tests challenging, but I felt like I was watching more for tricky-worded questions that I was at looking for answers.

Also, I kind of wish the final exam would be an all-or-nothing event like it was with the first two courses. While it's nice to get unlimited tries at the questions, I feel it lessens the overall value of the certificate, knowing that anyone could pay the money and force their way through to a passing grade, simply by guessing enough times. I sort of feel like I paid for a participation trophy.
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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 into two courses. For example: Linear Programming should be more than 1/3 of a slide and mentioned in passing. Likewise, some of the case studies for FFP, CPIX, and T&M would be much better if there were covered in more depth (and honestly, made more generic and abstracted: there was some first-person perspective there that may not be ideal in an academic environment.)

Of the five courses, this was my favorite. I purchased ALL of the books that were referenced which I didn't already own. Please keep a watch out for grammar errors and typos. There were two in the final.
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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:

- Transcripts of the videos are available but have a number of errors, including one which is completely the wrong transcript for the video being shown.

- Some of the descriptions of principles are not the clearest, and the course could be made better if there were more attention paid to really making it as simple to understand as possible.

- A number of the review questions focused on whether you understood the specifics of an anecdote rather than the principle being described.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
Thank you so much for this amazing 4 weeks. I learned a lot. I really enjoyed classes they were too fruitful and were covering a lot of examples which I really like.

I enjoyed how the subtitles were right next to the video. It was helpful for a learner whose English is not the native one.

I would like the final exam one be with no changing answers options, so you could really quiz yourself. But overall everything was great I enjoyed and can't wait to experiment and use new skills at the job.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
The course is a continuation of the material in the first four courses. It includes a lot of the same examples but related to control in this course. The tests and quizzes were confusing because a lot of the questions were about finding what does not apply. The wording was sometimes difficult to follow and I found myself reading them several times before attempting an answer. I also found two mathematical mistakes in the material and quizzes. Otherwise, the subject matter is interesting and the course is easy to complete.
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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.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
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 acceptance by all key stakeholders. Measuring...
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
I really enjoyed this course. I liked the videos and summary points to help to understand project control. I took all 5 chapter courses and I found this one really useful. Just the amount of information covered on the course and length of videos was, in my opinion, much more than on the past courses, making it longer to finish than others.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
I really enjoyed this course. I liked the videos and summary points to help to understand project control. I took all 5 courses programme and I found this one really useful. Just the amount of information covered on the course and length of videos was, in my opinion, much more than on the past courses, making it longer to finish than others.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
I really enjoyed this course. I liked the videos to help to understand and remember the study material. John is a great lecturer, he tries to make the material as interesting as possible. The exam of this course is challenging, but fair. Thank you.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Kingsley A
Kingsley completed this course, spending 4 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
The course is quite informative and have given me a deeper understanding of the traditional project management.Discussions on antifagility and importance of use it or lose it, error eliminates weakness have opened my mind to what is possible and how and why enterprises and governments in Africa have continually failed.
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Pablo G
Pablo completed this course, spending 8 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
I Found it a very useful course, with practical examples of projects and techniques, backed up with data and numbers.

I would suggest more of this practical aproaches to the entire Agile Program Certification, on the other courses as well.

Thank you guys and continue the good work!!!, as we become more agile everyday!.

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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
A great ending to an excellent series of courses.

I'd just like to add the following points to improve. The amount of information covered on the course was, in my opinion, much more than on the past courses, making the course longer than one might be comfortable with, especially after being used to the "old" workflow.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
Completed all 5 courses, some of the material you'll see repeated from course to course (primarily the case studies). But it's nice to see how earlier topics feed into later discussions. Overall I enjoyed the course and did manage to learn a good bit and confirmed a few things for myself on how projects can better managed.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
One of the best courses on Agile Pm I've enrolled in. It should be mandatory for every company. Lessons are very well explained, and there are a lot of external resources for detailed deep-dive. The given examples are complete and show the real application of the methods.
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Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
Great course to take and well worth the time to take it. Great real world examples of applying the theories and seeing results. Looking forward to more courses in the future.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
The course very impressive for me and I’ve learned lot it’s helped me to understand how agile works and what I need to be leadership of my team in more innovative way and develop myself to be an effective agile leader.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
Great class! Always surprised on how many management / leadership best practices are included in these courses. It's a gift to see sow much covered all while learning about agile!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Anonymous
Anonymous completed this course.
Materials were OK, but the quiz at the end made me visit this dumb site in order to access my certificate. The quiz question does not match the information on this site. BULLSHIT!
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
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