Agile Project Management Foundation Course: Course Author Blog

ITSM Zone’s new eLearning course Agile PM Foundation has arrived, and we can’t contain our excitement about all the features and benefits it offers. Our course Author Kat Turner shares her inside knowledge to help you make an informed decision about whether this course is right for you.

If you are thinking about taking the Agile PM Foundation course, then you may be a Project Manager newly in the role who needs to get up to speed with the concepts of Agile project delivery and Project Management, or you might be a Project Manager who is experienced in their role, but is moving towards working with Agile approaches. Alternatively, you may be an Agile team member who wants to expand their knowledge of Agile Project Management techniques as part of their skill development. Regardless of the reason for your interest, you will be looking for a learning method that gives you a quality learning experience whilst fitting into your lifestyle and routine.

This blog will help you to find out more about:

  • The benefits of Agile PM Foundation certification
  • Key learning points
  • Course Structure
  • Interesting topics
  • Challenging topics
  • The benefits of studying with ITSM Zone 

What are the benefits of being Agile PM Foundation certified?

It can help us to look at the benefits from both an organizational perspective and a personal one.  The Agile PM Foundation will provide the tools for your organization to embrace a flexible but mature approach that provides agility within the concept of project delivery. This Agile approach can be used alone, or alongside other Project Management and Agile approaches, meaning that it is flexible and easier to adapt to existing approaches. Agile PM can be joined with formal quality processes such as ISO and CMMI, enabling business to get the best aspects of Agile ways of working without taking avoidable risks. Agile PM Foundation will enable your organization to become flexible, efficient and competitive, whilst also retaining existing best practices in relation to Project Management and project delivery. You will benefit from increased productivity and improved transparency; being better equipped to deal with priority changes in the enterprise in a well thought-out and balanced way.

Agile PM certification can be a significant first step in your career growth as an Agile Project Manager as you attain the much sought-after skills in high demand, making you an asset to your business or to potential employers. Being certified is just the start, you can use your qualification as a basis on which to build your Project Management and Agile knowledge and apply these tools in your working environment.  There is no substitute for getting hands-on experience, but a Foundation level qualification can be an important and necessary first step on your career path, and can be used to complement and support the practical application of the role.  Agile PM and DSDM ways of delivering value are already embedded in many successful businesses, so being certified will allow you to stay at the cutting edge of the employment market and not be left behind.

What are the key learning points?

By the end of the course and upon successful completion of the APMG Agile PM Foundation exam you should be able to:

  • Recall the underpinning philosophy and principles of Agile and how they add value to an Agile project
  • Understand the lifecycle of an Agile project, in terms of the key phases, planning, control and testing concepts
  • Understand how the lifecycle can be adapted for alternative configurations, for example in terms of scaling for large or small projects or in terms of formality
  • Identify the products produced during an Agile project and their purpose, such as the Business Case, Prioritized Requirements List, Delivery Plan, Evolving Solution, Benefits Assessment and so on
  • Recall the techniques used and their benefits and limitations, including MoSCoW Prioritization, Iterative Development, Timeboxing, Facilitated Workshops and Modelling
  • Know the roles and responsibilities within an Agile project, including role dimensions and definitions

How is the course structured?

There are 10 modules within the course, broken down into individual lessons so that you can manage your learning at your own pace and to suit your lifestyle. Here is a quick overview:

  • Module 1 – Choosing Your Agile Approach – this includes an overview of Agile approaches, with an introduction to DSDM
  • Module 2 – Philosophy, Principles and Project Variables
  • Module 3 – Preparing for Success – including the instrumental success factors for a project
  • Module 4 – The DSDM Process – including the phases of a project within the project lifecycle
  • Module 5 – DSDM Roles and Responsibilities – an introduction to the DSDM Team Model including role categories, areas of interest and purpose
  • Module 6 – DSDM Products – these are the products that may be considered during a project lifecycle
  • Module 7 – Key Practices – Prioritization and Timeboxing – including the rules of MoSCoW Prioritization, Timeboxing structure options and the Daily Stand-up
  • Module 8 – Planning and Control Through the Lifecycle – this includes project planning, testing, tracking and control concepts
  • Module 9 – Other DSDM Practices – such as Facilitated Workshops, Modelling and Iterative Development
  • Module 10 – Course Recap and Exam Preparation

What will I find interesting?

Where do I begin? You may have already identified areas of interest in our key learning points and course structure sections depending on your personal interests, your organizational culture and the aspects of the Agile PM Foundation that will be most relevant to your career development.

If you are very new to Agile and DSDM, Module 1 will give you a good overview of how an Agile environment works and can bring flexibility, adaptability and structure to your working practice. It also includes an overview of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development and the rationale for choosing DSDM.  Module 2 provides you with the principles that underpin a successful project, supporting the DSDM philosophy that:

        “Best business value emerges when projects are aligned to clear business goals, deliver

                  frequently and involve the collaboration of motivated and empowered people.”

This module explores the fundamental principles that ensure the achievement of the philosophy. If you are keen to learn about how the different roles work in a DSDM team framework, then Module 5 will explain how roles are categorised, how they work at different levels and the responsibilities they entail. The roles are brought to life with a purpose-built case study that is linked to the course, so you can contextualise your learning experience. Links to real world examples also help you to spend more time on personal study, if a particular topic or role interests you.  If you already have some Project Management experience, then you may benefit from seeing how the products that may be used in a project are structured in terms of business, solution or technical interests and how they fit into the project lifecycle. If you are from a development background, and are interested in planning and control concepts, then you will love Module 8 and the sections on planning horizons, techniques to plan and re-plan based on available estimates and types of testing.

The imagery and animation provided to support the text and audio is designed to bring the theory to life, I hope you find it as interesting to study as I did to write! There are lots of relevant case studies and real-world examples included that are bound to spark your interest and may lead to further study. You are given quick fire quiz questions at key learning points, along with exercises that will help you to embed your learning. Perhaps you could tell us what you enjoyed most when you complete your course?

What might I find most challenging?

Agile PM Foundation is an entry level qualification, designed for those new to Project Management or those coming from more traditional Project Management backgrounds. Depending on your starting point, prior learning and experience, you may find some areas of the course more challenging than others. You may have some difficulty working out how the phases of the DSDM process model, or you may need some time to embed your knowledge of the responsibilities of each role, or the purpose and value of different products.

. Regardless of the level of your previous experience, the course aims to support you fully to achieve certification in a variety of ways including internal course links that provide additional information on a process, principle or technique. You have the option to revisit any areas you are unsure of and, throughout the course, you have access to more information and links to external sources whilst studying. If you require further help, we have 24-hour tutor support to meet your training needs.

The exam expects you not only to absorb the information taught on the course but really engage with it and apply it, so the whilst the course provides lots of current and relevant examples, you should carry out your own research and further study on any areas you are unsure of. Take advantage of the additional resources available such as the study guides, case studies, exercises, solutions and sample paper to ensure that you are fully prepared for the exam.

What are the benefits of doing the eLearning version of Agile PM Foundation with ITSM Zone?

ITSM Zone’s eLearning Agile PM Foundation course means that you can study at your own pace and in an environment that suits you. Lessons are short and packed full of tips, examples and case studies, tailored to fit with your lifestyle and schedule.  The course also contains study guides for every module, exercises and a study tracker so you can track your learning and progression. There are many other benefits, including a free Virtual Mentor to help you apply your new knowledge and fast-track results from your training, and 24/7 tutor support.

By now you should feel ready to make that decision and take the plunge! If you do have more questions, then don’t hesitate to contact myself or my support team. Happy studying!

About the author

Kat Turner has thirteen years’ experience in writing and validating courses.

Follow Kat on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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