Adaptive Agile Lifecycle Stage in Project Management

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Adaptive Agile Lifecycle Stage in Project Management

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Added by March 25, 2019

This post if from our Project Management Professional (PMP®) Certification Video Training PMBOK® 6th Edition certification course, start training today!

Adaptive Project Lifecycle exists within 5 stages.

  1. Constant Change
  2. Urgency
  3. Need to Learn
  4. Small Team Ability
  5. Deliver in Small Increments

Adaptive / Agile:

When we work in adaptive, there’s a sense of urgency, we’ve got to move quickly. We also recognize before we get underway that there will be constant change. There will always be change on projects. It’s constant change after change, and decision after decision…

You need a different framework for an adaptive project then you do for predictive, incremental or iterative projects.

Adaptive is both urgent and constant change.

Unlike a predictive lifecycle or incremental iterative where you could have one factor suggest that this is a predicted, or this is incremental because we can do phases or stages. In an Adaptive project you need constant change as a definition. There will be a sense of urgency to learn because you don’t know the goal because it’s unclear.

For the Agile methodology, or sometimes referred to as the Agile Manifesto, it is a small team ability. Small teams set out to Scout to figure out where to go.

For example, Israelites trying to find the Promised Land or the frontier wagon trains exploring but unsure which way they’re headed will send a small team of scouts or explorers to try to find the route to get through the mountain pass, to cross the river, to find food, etc.

You’ve got all of these little scouts going out and coming back to the wagon train and going out and coming back until they established stopping points along the way. You might have to backtrack and try again.

It’s all these lessons we’re learned as we’re going. There’s a needing to learn, typically at either delivered in small teams or small increments. We are going to call it incremental. Its small parts as we’re learning.

The ability to deliver in small increments or small deliverables, small components, small parts of the project. The tools tend to be similar when we talk about the difference between adaptive, or agile and predictive, incremental or iterative. They’re similar, but they’re more informal in their approach and they have a much less formal sequence.

In a predictive lifecycle, we work with waterfall or cascades where each output becomes the input of the next step. When we talk about adaptive ‑‑ particularly, we talked about an Agile methodology ‑‑ you may have an output that doesn’t meet or lead to another step, therefore you set it aside or throw it away entirely.

We’re not looking in a sequential approach, we’re actually looking for an adaptive approach that will try something and then try something else etc… Once the trying something has worked, keep it. Or if that didn’t work, let’s not keep it. Maybe we’re not sure whether it will work, let’s set it aside and look at it again later…. And on and on…

That’s what we mean by adaptive, and the Agile methodology helps us do that.

Here’s a clue for you on the PMP Project Management exam. If you see vocabulary associated with the Agile methodologies that are currently in practice, then the answer you pick from the four multiple choice options need to be an option that also incorporates that same Agile kind of terminology.

There’s a clue in the wording of the question that tells you whether they’re talking about the implementation of predictive, iterative, incremental, or adaptive in Agile. Separate the two in your mind in terms of sets of vocabulary, as a clue for the best way to answer the questions on the exam.

In the next lesson, following this, we’ll talk briefly about the Agile Manifesto that started the entire Agile movement, so you can get a sense of it as a different approach. It’s not just this adaptive project life‑cycle. There’s different terms and different focus.

I look forward to seeing you in the classroom or online!

Steven Fullmer
Interface Technical Training Staff Instructor

Steve teaches PMI-PBA: Business Analysis Certification,  PMP: Project Management Fundamentals and Professional CertificationWindows 10, and CompTIA classes in Phoenix, Arizona.

Steve’s Video Certification Training Classes at Interface Technical Training:

Project Management Professional (PMP®) Certification Video Training PMBOK® 6th Edition

PMI-PBA Business Analysis for IT Analysts and Project Managers (PMI-PBA)® Certification

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