Agile and Critical Chain

Welcome to Advanced
Project Management
Advanced Topics in Planning and
Scheduling: Agile and Critical

Topic Learning Outcome
Recap Previous Topic
Methodologies: PRINCE2® and Agile
Activity: Applying Agile methods
Methodologies: Agile project management
Activity: Methodologies in different sectors
Critical path vs critical chain
Review of Apply & Consolidate Activities
Recap, Q&A, Next steps

Today’s Learning Outcomes
Critically evaluate why Agile Project Management was developed
and what are the different types of Agile methodology
Apply Agile methodologies in software and non-software projects
Justify the difference between critical path and critical chain
scheduling techniques
Apply critical chain project management to project portfolios

Recap previous topic
PRINCE2® and Agile

A system of practices, techniques,
procedures and rules for consistent
management of projects

Typical composition
1. Process models based around the
2. Organisation structure with defined
3. Document templates
4. Guidelines for adapting the method
to different types of project

1. Consistent terminology
2. Shared understanding of roles and
3. Consistent documentation
4. Development and progression
5. Greater mobility of staff between
6. Quicker project start-up

Agile vs Waterfall
Agile Scrum
Activity 1: Applying
Agile methods
Collaboration Activity 1: Applying Agile Methods
Conduct some independent research on the concepts you have studied as part of this
webinar preparation and answer one of the following four questions (your tutor will tell you
which one to answer):
1.Why was Agile Scrum chosen for this project? What aspects of Agile in general, and
Scrum in particular, made it suitable for this project?
2.How was the method tailored to fit the project environment?
3.Why might traditional, waterfall project management methods not have been suitable for
this project? Was the previous failure as a result of the method, or could there have been
other reasons?
4.The case study mentions several defined project roles. List and define them.
You have
30 minutes for this exercise
Resources provided: Case Study: Distributed Scrum Project for Dutch Railways

Applying Agile

Agile variants
Blended Agile
Agile techniques
backlog Stories planning Sprint
backlog Sprint review Team estimation -based Incremental design
Task board Daily standup Product
owner Retrospective

Activity 2:
Methodologies in
different sectors
This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC
Collaboration Activity 2: Methodologies in different
The scope of this exercise it to study the FT Article Lessons for business from the public
. Learners should then conduct their own research on the topic before contributing to the
group discussion.
Each group is going to read the case study, then spend some time conducting independent
research, and reply to one of the following questions:
Group 1: How do public sector projects differ from those in the private sector? What implications
does that have for their governance, particularly the methodology they choose?
Group 2: What are the strengths and weaknesses of using PRINCE2® to manage complex IT
Group 3: What are the strengths and weaknesses of using Agile-derived project management
methods to manage
complex IT projects?
Group 4: What are the strengths and weaknesses of using Agile-derived project management
methods in managing
public sector projects?
Your group has
30 minutes for performing your tasks.
Resources provided: FT Article Lessons for business from the public sector

• Many Agile methods exist
• Not as tightly defined as PRINCE2®
• Identify which variant (Scrum, Kanban, XP
and so on) based on the organisation,
location or industry
• research the method to identify what specific
role or level to study
• Investigate whether any standards exist;
Scrum, for example, has certification defined
by the Scrum Alliance
• Many training providers exist around the
• Do your research!
PRINCE2® certification is
managed by Axelos:

Critical path vs
critical chain

Critical path
• Time-based planning
• Focus on
• Shortest time to achieve goals
• Based on most likely schedule
• Activities are completed in logical
• Keeps float within activities

Critical chain
• Time-based planning
• Focus on resources
• Most efficient use of resources to
achieve goals
• Based on optimistic schedule
• Avoids multi-tasking
• Work starts as soon as possible
• Float is aggregated and shared
• Requires collaboration and buy-in from

Rolling-wave planning
• The further into the future we look, the
accurate our forecast will be
• It’s unrealistic to plan every step of a
project in minute detail
• Near-term activities considered in
• Later stages considered at more
general / abstract level

Difference Critical Path vs Critical Chain
Review of Apply &

Recap, Q&A, Next

Key Takeaways
• Methodologies make life easier by creating a consistent
framework for project control and delivery.
• Open-source methods are available but must be tailored to
fit the project environment.
• PRINCE2® is well-suited to projects that require clearly
defined outputs and robust governance.
• Agile-derived methods are good for projects with
ambiguous outcomes or multiple options.
• Hybrid approaches can achieve the best of both worlds.
• Critical path scheduling is easily understood but can be
inaccurate. Critical chain reduces margins for error to use
constrained resources effectively but is complex and
culturally challenging.
Source: Accessed 4 January 2021
Next Steps
• Review the fundamental concept
• Go through the Module Overview and Introduction (if not
done yet)
• Go through the Preparation and Apply part of this week (if
not done yet)
• Go through the Consolidation part of this week
• Go through the Preparation and Apply part of next week
• See you next week same time!
Source: Accessed 4 January 2021