Implementing an Agile PMO in a Very Agile Way


Implementing an Agile PMO in a Very Agile Way

July 10, 2012
Photo of an Agile PMO

Have you implemented an Agile PMO? Or have you been a part of a team that implemented an Agile PMO? I’m not sure how you did it, but as an experienced Agile coach, I can share with you a very agile way to implement an Agile PMO. The same process can be applied to transition a conventional PMO to an Agile PMO.

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Consider implementing an Agile PMO to be an Agile project.Let us say we are going to use SCRUM methodology for this project. The vision is to have a fully functional Agile PMO for the company. The product backlog would consist of:

(a) Agile methodologies/processes that need to be customized or tailored for the company’s PMO

(b) Tools that are going to be used for information gathering and distribution such as information radiators, and

(c) Templates that are going to be used such as Kanban, burndown and/or burnup charts, etc.

All SCRUM ceremonies would be performed for each Sprint as per the SCRUM guidelines. The senior management or PMO director needs to assign following roles before the project can begin:

  1. The Product Owner – Determine who is going to be the voice of the customer and will manage the product backlog.
  2. An Agile coach – Determine who will coach the project team on Agile methodologies so the team can run the project and deliver working product at the end of the each iteration.
  3. The team – Determine the individuals who are going to be the part of the team that will implement the Agile PMO.

The following would be how the sprints might go:

Sprint 1 – Clarify vision & develop project charter for implementing the Agile PMO. Plan rest of the sprints for the project, identifying high-level scope and deliverables for each sprint.

Sprint 2 – Design & develop first set of processes, tools and templates that can be deployed in a real project successfully.

Sprint 3 – Deploy the methodology developed in sprint2 on a real project. This real project will have its own vision, product backlog, Product Owner, SCRUM Master and the team to execute the project.

Sprint 4 – Add more processes, tools and templates. Retrofit any improvements to the first set

Sprint 5 – Implement the enhanced methodology from sprint4 to a couple of new projects that PMO is responsible for. The individual projects will follow the agile methodology developed in Sprint4 with its own vision, product backlog, product owner, scrum master and the teams.

Sprint 6 – Final refinements to the methodology. Based on the experience of first few deployments make final adjustments to the methodology. If no more major process, tools and templates remain the product backlog then this could be the last Sprint. Otherwise, new sprints will keep getting added until we are “done”.

This method worked successfully for me. Have you implemented an Agile PMO before? Are you considering implementing an Agile PMO? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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