What’s a Good Measure of an Agile PM’s Success?


Most agree that an Agile  project managers measurement of success is NOT “product adoption” – rather it includes various metrics.  Some metrics are from PMBOK, such as the triple constraints:  Time – Budget – Scope/Features.

….I would argue there are other key metrics to an Agile PM’s success.   Being an Agile PM is an art, so lets talk about some of that artistic magic…

(1)  Enabling your team to own the project – When everyone owns the project – they also own the success of the project or product adoption.   Many PM’s today are contractors that are handed a project from a PMO department with an End-Date, Budget, and Scope already dictated to them.   How does a PM hit these expectations handed to them?    If a team is going to truly “own” the project, then they must buy into these set expectations to have a chance of being successful.  Agile PM’s success will be directly tied to their ability to build that “buy in” by all team members.

(2) Ability to mix Methodology Practices – Knowing where and when it is appropriate to mix methodology practices can enable a project to meet those triple constraints mentioned above more precisely.  Many IT organizations use ITIL or other Waterfall methodology which works for them just fine.  When a PM starts applying Agile practices to projects – I have found that estimating, bugeting, and hitting those milestones becomes much more accurate.

(3) Build Key Relationships – Agile PMs know there are stakeholders, customers, project team members, outside vendors and others typically.  To meet expectations and enable team ownership, an Agile PM must have those relationships in place to get the inside scoop.  Inside scoop on what?   The hidden expectations, hidden agendas, competing priorities your team members are battling with, etc.    Successful Agile PM’s must know and deal with these issues and risks – and relationships are the key way to discover and manage them.

…of course there are more metrics to mention.  But having led 100’s of projects over the last 20 years, incuding product develoment (software & hardware), IT infrastructure, Data Center Migrations — these float to the top of the list.

Q:  What have your experiences been?