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See attached.  Agile (B): Project Management Mind-set Case Study For use by University of Phoenix only. Copyright 2021 © John Wiley & Sons,

See attached. 

Agile (B): Project Management Mind-set Case Study

For use by University of Phoenix only. Copyright 2021 © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Agile (B): Project Management Mind-set
Jane had been a project manager for more than 15 years. All of her projects were executed using
traditional project management practices. But now she was expected to manage projects using an agile
approach rather than the traditional project management approach she was accustomed to. She was
beginning to have reservations as to whether she could change how she worked as a project manager.
This could have a serious impact on her career.

THE TRIPLE CONSTRAINTS
Jane believed that clear scope definition, sometimes on a microscopic level, had to be fully understood
before a project could officially kick off. Sometimes as much as 30–35 percent of the project’s labor
dollars would be spent in scope definition and planning the project. Jane deemed the exorbitant amount
of money spent planning the project a necessity to minimize downstream scope changes that could alter
the cost and schedule baselines.

Senior management was adamant that all of the scope had to be completed. This meant that, even
though senior management had established a target budget and scheduled end date, the project
manager could change the time and cost targets based on the detailed scope definition. Time and cost
had flexibility in order to meet the scope requirements.

With agile project management, Jane would have to work differently. Senior management was now
establishing a budget and a scheduled completion date, neither of which were allowed to change, and
management was now asking Jane how much scope she could deliver within the fixed budget and date.

PLANNING AND SCOPE CHANGES
Jane was accustomed to planning the entire project in detail. When scope changes were deemed
necessary, senior management would more often than not allow the schedule to be extended and let the
budget increase. This would now change.

Planning was now just high-level planning at the beginning of the project. The detailed planning was
iterative and incremental on a stage-by- stage basis. At the end of each stage, detailed planning just for
the next stage would begin. This made it quite clear to Jane that the expected outcome of the project
would be an evolving solution.

COMMAND AND CONTROL
Over Jane’s 15-year career, as she became more knowledgeable in project management, she became
more of a doer than a pure manager. She would actively participate in the planning process and provide
constant direction to her team. On some projects, she would perform all of the planning by herself.

With agile project management, Jane would participate in just the high-level planning, and the details
would be provided by the team. This meant that Jane no longer had complete command and control and
had to work with teams that were empowered to make day-to-day decisions to find the solution needed at
the end of each stage. This also impacted project staffing; Jane needed to staff her projects with
employees whose functional managers felt they could work well in an empowered environment.

Jane’s primary role now would be working closely with the business manager and the client to validate
that the solution was evolving. As project manager, Jane would get actively involved with the team only
when exceptions happened that could require scope changes resulting in changes to the constraints.

RISK MANAGEMENT
With traditional project management that was reasonably predictable, risk management focused heavily
on meeting the triple constraints of time, cost, and scope. But with agile project management, where the
budget and schedule were fixed, the most critical risk was the creation of business value. However, since

Agile (B): Project Management Mind-set Case Study
Page 2 of 3

For use by University of Phoenix only. Copyright 2021 © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

the work was being done iteratively and incrementally, business value was also measured iteratively and
incrementally, thus lowering some of the risk on business value.

QUESTIONS
1. How easy would it be for Jane to use an agile project management approach from this point

forth?
2. If Jane could change, how long would it take?
3. Are there some projects where Jane would still be required to use traditional project

management?
4. Empowerment of teams is always an issue. How does Jane know whether the team can be

trusted with empowerment?

Agile (B): Project Management Mind-set Case Study
Page 3 of 3

For use by University of Phoenix only. Copyright 2021 © John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

References

Kerzner. H. (2017). Project Management Case Studies, 5th ed. Wiley and Sons.

  • THE TRIPLE CONSTRAINTS
  • PLANNING AND SCOPE CHANGES
  • COMMAND AND CONTROL
  • RISK MANAGEMENT

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