Agile: The Best Thing Since Sliced Bread?

According to Project Managers and Agile experts from the U. S. Census Bureau, “Agile is the best thing since sliced”… literally.

The “Deeper Dive: Project Management Tips and Concepts” session at this year’s NextGenGov Summit kicked off by asking attendees what they would prefer to buy: a loaf of bread where they had to buy the whole thing as-is, or a loaf of sliced bread where they could sample the bread first. The answer was obvious — sliced bread is the better option, and so is Agile.

Next, attendees got to know each other and show off their own Project Management (PM) skills through numerous interactive table exercises which illustrated the concepts of Waterfall PM versus Agile. In essence, the attendees at each table turned into learning teams and taught each other.

The room was bursting with PM buzz words like “requirements,” “scope” and “process improvement,” to name just a few. The highlight of the table exercises included the building of a paper house using only pencils, index cards, and a few sticky tabs. The construction was done in typical PM-style with clearly sequenced steps, just like a project management plan would include. Innovation and imagination abounded! The learning objective of the exercises was to demonstrate that the client gets more interaction with Agile vs. Waterfall. Attendees also learned about the Iron Triangle which is a new way of project planning in the Agile method.

The table exercises facilitated by the Census Bureau presenters brilliantly enabled attendees to teach PM and Agile concepts to one another.  This approach made perfect sense because, after all, PM and Agile is all about people. And bread.

From July 20th – 21st we’ll be blogging from GovLoop and YGL’s Next Generation of Government Training Summit. Follow along @NextGenGov and read more blog posts here.

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