In this article I am going to talk about how we could map agile concept in a traditional project management phases. This is highly useful when moving from traditional methods to agile. So first of all what are the phases of traditional project management.
Initiation: During the initiation phase even before getting the team and infrastructure, you need to get the business case ready. You need to convince the project board about the ROI. i.e. whether this project worth of investing money and knowledge. Once the project board is presented with what the project is going to do to the business and when they approves it, you can look into identifying the budget, the team, the infrastructure, etc.
Planning: In this phase we prepare the schedule, resource planning, preparation of the firm budget and a cash flow plan, resource plan, risk management plan, etc. Also we can finalize the team and the infrastructure required. You may want to plan for change control management, issue management, etc. as well.
Execution: So after all the planning is done we are ready to roll out with the execution. During this phase you need to monitor and control various activities such as development, testing, change control, release management, etc. and ensure that the team is on track and delivering the requirements according to the plan.
Closing: At the end of the project you need to package up everything and ship the product to the user. You also can allocate time for end user training, preparation of user manuals, UAT, etc.
I am sure that all the audience are aware of the activities in detail which are executed during these phases. Here I have given a brief description. What my goal here is to discuss how agility can be implemented on top of these phases.
This is what I do. For me we have to do initiation and planning up to some extent before beginning. Remember doing agile is not just starting with it. You need to do some preliminary planning first. This will totally depends on the nature of the project. If your company is focusing on software products you may have to have product road map with several releases during the year. So if you want to get some new features done and some long hanging bugs fixed then initiate an internal project. You may want to get the involvement of the product managers and convince them about the priorities that you have set. You can use the planning phase to carry out traditional PM work as mentioned above.