How to Sell AgilePM to Your Organization

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When planning any significant changes to a company, or even to the management style used within a single team, it is important to consider how to clear it with your higher-ups. Whether your audience consists of stakeholders, executives, or managers, you should have a clear idea of your business case before presenting your proposals. What are the benefits of your proposed changes in terms of efficiency, clarity, productivity, cohesiveness, and overall ROIs, not just generally but in the context of your organization specifically?

This is certainly important when it comes to AgilePM (Agile Project Management). This APMG International framework offers a set methodology with fluid and demonstrably effective best practices for Agile. Still, while AgilePM happens to be the world’s most popular Agile framework, this does not translate immediately into business value. Nor is Agile itself a new concept that higher-tier decision-makers will be unfamiliar with – so how can you wow them?

In short, if you are interested in upskilling a company or team in AgilePM, it will very much be a case of demonstrating precisely what it can do for your organization. How can you convey whether or not it is the right choice? What are AgilePM’s biggest benefits? Here are the most important points of focus when it comes to selling AgilePM to your business.

While it may not be the Only Approach to Agile…

As we mentioned earlier, Agile is not a new concept. In fact, it’s several decades old! Assuming executives and stakeholders are not at least tangentially aware of its potential benefits, if not the practices involved, would be like stepping into a board meeting assuming you’ll need to explain the concept of the Internet. Many of your listeners may be familiar with an alternative form of Agile, or they may assume, like many, that Agile practices can be incorporated into projects without having to invest in an entire framework.

So, what is it that makes AgilePM special? It emerged from the Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM Atern), which is itself an Agile project delivery framework. This gives AgilePM a greater level of structure and control than many alternatives. AgilePM is also a set methodology that provides a formula for prioritizing iterative releases, delegating autonomy to team members, ensuring a high level of visibility, and so on. While it is hardly as strict as traditional project management frameworks, phrasing AgilePM in this light will certainly help to allay the worries of stakeholders who prefer old school ways of working.

The tools and best practices of AgilePM are not only clearly defined, but they also provide a high level of control, overcoming one of the primary criticisms against Agile in favor of traditional frameworks. As AgilePM’s increasing popularity demonstrates, they are also demonstrably effective.

Working well with Traditional Methodologies

When we talk about ‘traditional’ project management, we are generally referring to projects that have a high degree of control, where set processes are followed with very little variation. This concept has evolved in recent years, largely out of necessity. Fixed budgets and timelines offer little in terms of flexibility, after all. At the same time, traditional methods do not tend to offer much in terms of client representation, and have a greater focus on the processes involved than the end-results. Finally, in a traditional project management setting, managers will typically be referred to for the majority of decisions, rather than having qualified lower-tier team members pick up the slack.

That is not to say that traditional project management is outdated. The largely-traditional PRINCE2 is still the world’s most popular project management methodology, after all. However, the value of Agile is becoming increasingly well known, with AXELOS even having released ‘PRINCE2 Agile‘ to allow PRINCE2 practitioners to incorporate Agile best practices into their work.

For companies that want to adopt Agile methods, tools, and processes within an existing management structure, AgilePM is a perfect choice. It is specifically designed to work with traditional frameworks, allowing managers to adopt it without having to overhaul the norm. This makes it easier to enjoy benefits such as increased autonomy, automation, visibility, client interaction, and adaptability, as well as iterative planning and a willingness to evolve targets.

Essentially, AgilePM allows companies to enjoy the benefits of both traditional and Agile project management. This is a crucial perk to convey to stakeholders who are more set in their ways.

Ease of Adoption

At the same time, AgilePM is also quite friendly to newcomers, whether they are prospective practitioners or organizations which do not typically utilize project management frameworks. This is certainly true compared to more comprehensive alternatives, such as PRINCE2 Agile, which requires users to have a pre-existing knowledge of PRINCE2.

AgilePM can also be a good choice for organizations which do utilize such frameworks. Given AgilePM’s relative simplicity, it can be an excellent entry point for new managers and project team members who need to become familiar with Agile ways of working.

Value and Quality

One of the most intriguing aspects of AgilePM is the general direction in which it takes projects. ROIs and metrics are established early on, as is the case in traditional project management. However, with AgilePM, these are often subject to change.

For example, a product’s initial release may invite constructive criticism or insight regarding changing client needs. Alternatively, the emergence of competitors could alter the threshold for project results to be considered ‘successful’. In either case, an AgilePM practitioner would be able to reassess what exactly would constitute ‘quality’ and ‘value’, as well as how best to achieve them. If necessary, they could also make a firm and educated judgment on whether the project should be shut down.

In following AgilePM, managers may not have as much clarity regarding project success as they would with alternatives. However, the definition of the project’s success would be capable of more fluid evolution, with the end results meeting contemporary requirements, rather than those established weeks, months, or even years previously.

Popular for a Reason

Competitiveness has always been an integral and essential part of business. However, technology, communication, expectations, and best practices seem to be evolving faster than ever before, and companies are having to optimize their enterprise agility to stay ahead.

With this in mind, it is important to emphasize to your organization just how widely used AgilePM actually is. In December 2018, APMG International revealed that AgilePM exams sat worldwide had exceeded 100,000, with a pass rate of 98.5% for AgilePM Foundation and 94.7% for AgilePM Practitioner. Agile itself has also become so popular that AXELOS, the organization behind PRINCE2, had to take notice, resulting in the release of PRINCE2 Agile.

It is more than likely that many of your competitors are utilizing Agile project management in some form. While this does not necessarily warrant the immediate adoption of a framework like AgilePM, especially without considering its relative benefits to your company, it is certainly worth investigating. It may even be worth considering a controlled initial investment in Agile online training for a single project or team.

Ease of Online Agile Certification

This is one of the biggest selling points of AgilePM: not only is it fairly simple to adapt within an organization, but it is also relatively convenient to help personnel become qualified practitioners.

By following the e-Learning route, employees can pursue AgilePM certification without having to disrupt daily tasks. Providers like Good e-Learning offer long term access to digital resources created by AgilePM experts. Not only are they highly engaging, but they also offer a far more efficient route than having to cover the basics of the framework in a classroom environment.

Online access also offers a greater level of flexibility, with no set timetables and even mobile accessibility for learning on the go. This option is also cheaper, with participants not having to cover the costs of transport, teachers, classrooms, or even physical training assets.

The benefits of online training also extend to real-world projects. AgilePM Practitioner courses are designed to demonstrate how to apply the framework to real-world organizations. By studying this whilst also participating in a professional AgilePM project environment, students will be far more capable of retaining their new knowledge.

Perhaps most importantly, online training is also far easier to manage. A Learning Management System (LMS) like the Learning Ecosystem makes it simple for managers to track the progress of students in terms of testing scores, course access, overall performance, and so on. They can also offer simple tools for communication, collaboration, and even bespoke features like monetization.

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