Agile Skills & Knowledge

agile skills and knowledge

While studying for the PMI-ACP® exam I kept a list of knowledge and skills associated with Agile project management. I used this list to as a studying resource to help me pass the exam and become efficient in Agile skills and knowledge.

Agile Skills

Active Listening

  • Listening skills are Critical.
  • Agile constant communications
  • Key Steps to Active Listening: Listen, Understand, Validate, Act

Assessing Stakeholder Values

  • Ensuring business objectives are met
  • Priorities
  • Must Haves


  • No idea a bad idea
  • Private Contributions
  • Round Robin

Building Empowered Teams

  • Ability to make decisions
  • Self organizing and self directed

Team Coachnig

  • Individuals (Empowered/Happy)
  • Team (Team is performing) – Team activities, planning, retros etc


  • Essential for Agile
  • Communicate, Communicate, Communicate


  • Iteration Review
  • Spikes
  • Prototypes
  • Demos

Incremental Delivery

  • Delivery Early
  • Deliver Often
  • Deliver Value

Knowledge Sharing

  • Product Owner to Team
  • SME (Subject Matter Expert) to Team
  • Business to Team
  • Team to Business
  • Team to Team

Leadership Tools & Techniques

  • Soft Skills Negotiation
  • PMI® Code of Ethics


  • Business Prioritization
  • Risk Prioritization
  • Team Prioritization
  • Compliance

Problem Solving Strategies, Tools & Techniques

  1. Identify Real Problem
  2. Gather Facts
  3. Investigate Alternatives (Brainstorming)
  4. Determine Solution
  5. Implement Solution

*Remember Spikes

Project Quality Standards for Agile Projects

  • Fit Agile to Project Org Needs
  • Follow Standards & Measure Results (Lights & Nimble)
  • Apply Process Improvements
  • Quality should be automatic (Doing all essentials in processes)

Stakeholder Management

  • Executive Management
  • Business Owner
  • Product Owner
  • SMEs (Subject Matter Expert)
  • Rest of Organization

Team Motivation

  • Training (Coding etc)
  • Support (Coaching, Mentor)
  • Full Participation (Introverts, Extroverts)
  • Information Radiators

Team Budget & Cost Estimation

  • Need to provide information same as traditional project
  • Only difference target time and budget
  • Releases vs Milestones
  • Duration x Team Size x Cost = Budget

Value Based Decomposition Prioritization

Customer Prioritization

  • Must Have
  • Should Have
  • Could Have

Customer Decomposition: Feature -> Epic -> Stories

Building High Performance Teams

  • Shared Vision
  • Realistic Goals
  • Empowered
  • Supported

Business Case Development

  • Same as “Traditional” work!
  • Goals/Visions
  • Benefits
  • Cost Schedule
  • Risks

Co-location (Geographic Proximity)/Distributed Teams

Ideal Situation

  • Team Space
  • Conversations
  • Information Radiators

Distributed Mode

  • Electronic Tools (JIRA, Web Meetings etc)
  • Work Harder

Continuous Process Improvement

  • Daily Stand-ups
  • Iteration Retrospectives
  • Plan/Do/Act/Check – Deming

Elements of a Project Charter for an Agile Project

10-15 Pages Document, Elaboration of the business case!

Project Vision

  • Goals
  • Purpose
  • Approach
  • Approval

Facilitation Methods

Running Meetings & Workshops

  • Agenda – Publish and adhere to it
  • Attendees – Right people and only the right people
  • Timely – Start on time and finish on time
  • Meeting Minutes

Participatory Decision Models

  • Input Based – Shared Collaboration
  • Voting System
  • Fist of 5 (5 fingers yes, 4 maybe, 0 no)

Process Analysis Techniques

  • Process Tailoring
  • Systems Thinking


“To think own self be true” – Shakespeare

  • Introverts can manage
  • Find a way to do the job that is comfortable
  • Map actions to team members style

Value Based Analysis

Benefit vs Cost

Agile Contracting Methods

Per Diem (Time & Materials) – Flexible and Adaptable vs Lack of predictability

Fixed Price could be # number of cycles and fixed number of team size

Agile Project Accounting Principles

  • Burdened (Every expense per employee, office material space etc) vs Un-Burdened
  • Cost = #Iterations x Team Size x Rate
  • Cost/Story Point
  • Iteration burn rate

Applying New Agile Practices

  • Agile is Agile
  • Agile Management
  • Agile Development

Organization Compliance

  • Project Compliance
  • Business Compliance
  • Organizational Compliance

Control Limits for Agile Projects

  • Quality Process
  • Upper/Lower Control Limits
  • Run of 7 defects

Failure Modes and Alternatives

  • Human Mistakes
  • Process Mistakes
  • Too Cautious Approach
  • Inconsistency
  • Adhoc Solutions

Globalization, Culture & Team Diversity

  • Respect Differences
  • Seed Teams (Colocated for small period of time and then distribute again)

Agile Games

  • Estimating Games
  • Backlog Grooming (Tree Pruning) – Go through backlog and check stories to ensure they are ready to be added and organize
  • Story Time – Identify stories that need more work
  • Risk Parties
  • Plan the future

Principles of System Thinking

Complex – Adaptive – Chaos

Regulatory Compliance

  • Must have requirements
  • Complete early to ensure completion

Variations in Agile Methods and Approaches

  • Combine Methods
    • Scrum with Kanban
    • Kanban with Pair Programming/Test Driven Development (TDD)

Vendor Management

  • Contract for Agile Delivery
  • Definition of Done

If there are other Agile skills you would like to see added to this just leave a comment below and we will add them in due course.

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