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Opus College of Business

Agile Project Management (UST-CAP)

Agile Project Management
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“Organizations that are highly agile and responsive to market dynamics complete more of their projects successfully than their slower-moving counterparts — 75 percent versus 56 percent.” 2015 PMI Pulse of the Profession® report.

Are you:

  • looking to move into a project management role?
  • a current project management professionals with a background in traditional waterfall methodology but wanting to round out your skillset with another approach?
  • a professional preparing for the Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® exam through the Project Management Institute (PMI®)?

If you answered yes to any of the questions above, this program may be for you. Learn the ins and outs of the agile process to help your projects and your organization move forward quickly and easily.


Add this in-demand approach to your project management toolkit

Information and exercises in this program will help you to more easily apply agile concepts at work and also give you the background if you choose to work towards the PMI-ACP® certification. This program has been designed to be in alignment with the seven domains PMI® has identified for the PMI-ACP® exam.

Module 1: Agile Principles and Mindset

Understand the key concepts foundational to the agile approach to project management. This module will set the stage for understanding agile and the PMI-ACP® exam, and provide a high-level overview of the broad agile framework, including:

  • The agile mindset
  • Values and principles of agile
  • Primary agile methodologies including Scrum, Lean, Kanban and XP
  • The difference between agile leadership and traditional management

Module 2: Value-Driven Delivery

Delivering business value is a core component of agile methods, and is emphasized in both the Agile Manifesto values and Agile Manifesto principles. In this module, we’ll discuss agile practices involved in delivering value, including the following topics:

  • Recognize methods to assess value on agile projects
  • Understand how to prioritize features and backlog items based on customer value
  • Recognize how incremental delivery generates customer value
  • Distinguish methods of validating value including integration, testing and verification.

Module 3: Stakeholder Engagement

Getting stakeholders (customers, sponsors, business representatives, etc) involved and engaged in the project is critical for project success. This module covers a variety of practices that agile teams use to successfully work with these stakeholders, including:

  • Creating a shared vision for the project
  • Identifying effective methods of communication on agile projects
  • Working collaboratively on agile projects (workshops, collaboration games)
  • Identifying interpersonal skills which can promote stakeholder engagement

Module 4: Team Performance

For the PMI-ACP® exam – and real-world agile projects – you will need to recognize how to develop and support a self-organizing and self-empowered team. This module will focus on several topics that are relevant to teams leaders, ScrumMasters, and agile coaches – and will help you build and maintain a high-performing team, including:

  • The roles, responsibilities and characteristics of participants commonly found in agile environments (Product Owner, ScumMaster, Coach, Development Team)
  • Models of agile team development (Cockburn, Dreyfus, Tuckman) and their perspectives
  • The importance of collaborative team environments and work spaces
  • Methods of tracking and measuring agile team performance, such as burndown charts, burnup charts, velocity and cumulative flow diagrams.

Module 5: Adaptive Planning

Agile projects are appropriate for complex, fast-moving environments which in-turn requires adaptive planning. Adaptive planning recognizes that planning is an ongoing, flexible process and is vastly different from predictive, static approaches used in traditional project management. We’ll discuss methods that agile teams use to offer increased adaptability and you’ll come away with an understanding of how to:

  • Apply agile planning concepts such as timeboxing and ranges
  • Recognize several tools for sizing and estimation including user stories, relative sizing, story points, ideal time, affinity estimating, wideband Delphi and planning poker
  • Identify and use the primary elements of release and iteration planning including the use of velocity to plan a release and architectural and risk-based spikes

Module 6: Problem Detection and Resolution

All project teams need to be proficient at managing problems and threats. Effectively preventing, detecting and resolving problems can play a significant role in whether your project is deemed a success or a failure. Agile teams have some preferred methods of managing problems which reflect the values and principles laid out in the Manifesto. During this module, we will discuss:

  • Categories of problems such as technical debt and failure modes
  • Detecting problems by monitoring performance diagnostics such as lead/cycle time, throughput, WIP and defect counts
  • Managing threats and risks through EMV, the risk adjusted backlog and risk burndown charts
  • Problem solving approaches

Module 7: Continuous Improvement

Build on the discussion of problem-solving by exploring the work that takes place during the iteration retrospectives. In an agile environment, we need to apply the benefits of learning as we go – and apply them as soon as possible. Different than traditional project management, the immediate application of “lessons learned” is especially critical for projects in a complex, rapidly-changing environment. The agile approach to “lessons learned’ is deliberate and frequent so that adaptation and improvement become part of the standard work process. In this module, we’ll discuss:

  • Continuous improvement on processes including process tailoring, hybrid models, methodology anti-patterns and pre-mortems
  • Continuous improvement on the product including reviews, verification and validation (feedback loops) and feedback methods
  • Continuous improvement on the people involved including retrospectives (and associated tools and facilitation techniques)
  • The PMI® code of ethics and conduct expected throughout all projects

Module 8: Demonstrate your Knowledge

Our goal for this program is to give you tools that can be applied to your work immediately. We also want to help in your current and future career trajectory by awarding a certification that demonstrates your ability in this area. To do that, the program will close with:

  • A group exam. Successful completion of this exam will allow you to gain the UST-CAP credential through the University of St. Thomas.
  • Tips and tricks for those considering moving toward the PMI-ACP® designation and testing process through the Project Management Institute (PMI)®.

Who should attend

Whether you are new to project management or are an experienced project manager looking to incorporate the agile methodology into your project management toolbox, this program will help you to:

  • Understand when agile is the right framework for your project
  • Successfully manage a project using the agile approach
  • Add credibility to your work with a certification in agile project management through the University of St. Thomas
  • Common program participant titles and job functions may include, but are not limited to:

  • Project & Program Managers

  • Product Owners

  • Scrum Masters

  • Business, and IT Managers

  • Software Developers (all levels)

  • New product developers and managers

  • Process improvement analysts

  • IT Analyst

  • Account Manager

  • Business Consultant

  • Technology Manager

  • Website Developer

  • Marketing Specialist

  • Engineers

  • Entrepreneurs

  • Strategic Planners

…and others interested in learning more about the agile methodologies.


Wayne Kaul is an adjunct faculty member within the Executive Education Department of the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas. He draws on more than 35 years of experience in corporate leadership, systems development, project management, education, and consulting. Kaul's prof...
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