I've been promoted to PM in an agile environment and I would like to know what are the current typical s/w,tools PMs use to do the following:

  1. Reporting risks, impediments, sprint and release progress to POs/management
  2. Defining project tasks and resource requirements
  3. Writing project plans and scheduling project timelines
  4. Tracking deliverables
  5. Reporting project progress, problems and solutions
  6. Evaluating projects and assessing results
  7. Managing Profit & Loss of projects

Linking actual document examples for any of these would be very helpful as well!

closed as not constructive by jmort253 Sep 24 '12 at 22:05

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  • well not to do all that, but Trello.com is just awesome! and free. – Jordan W. May 24 '12 at 2:28
  • This question could probably be edited to be on topic and match the answer. However, as it stands, it's a not constructive question asking for a list of tools, and may be closed. – jmort253 Sep 24 '12 at 22:04

Based on my knowledge, real "agile projects" don't really have exactly that kind of tools you are looking for, unfortunately. Items from 1 to 6 are covered with a backlog, iteration backlog and a psychical whiteboard. In most of the cases the backlog is a spreadsheet, or a collection of issues in JIRA or in redmine, or just a couple of post-its on a wall. Mike Cohn has several blog posts about backlogs. Here is one interesting.

Your list is great, but the agile approach is so different from the usual project management methodologies that it is hard to map the two. For example, "Managing Profit & Loss of projects" is handled a bit lightly in Agile: we continuously talk to the customer, and we don't commit to more than we can deliver. With this approach, the customer won't loose money over development and since we don't commit more we can do, we don't really loose anything.

Anyway, this is how I would do the mapping between your list and my view on Agile:

Reporting risks, impediments, sprint and release progress to POs/management

Possible risks are discussed during the planning meeting and during the daily stand-up meetings. If the PO sees a risk, he should immediately go to the customer and talk about it. Some POs put the risks into the backlog.

Defining project tasks and resource requirements

In Agile, the PO creates user stories based on customer requirements and tells these stories to the team. The user stories are kept in the backlog. After the team understood what needs to be done, it creates tasks and put them into their sprint backlog.

Writing project plans and scheduling project timelines

It is in a backlog. There is a possibility to have a release backlog, but not everybody agrees on this.

Tracking deliverables

The result of a sprint is visible in its sprint backlog as a done item. Unfortunately, the sprint backlog is usually destroyed after a successful sprint, because the customer got what she asked for, why keeping records? Fortunately, there is a change here. Teams started to store their tasks and user stories in an issue tracking system - like JIRA or redmine - and they create versions there, too. So you can see what was delivered and when. (We could have saved some money if we had something similar when I started with Scrum)

Reporting project progress, problems and solutions

There isn't much reporting. These items are discussed during the daily stand-up meeting.

Evaluating projects and assessing results

The product owner "reports" to the customer and provides feedback to the team during the retrospective about the recent sprint.

Managing Profit & Loss of projects

I mentioned this earlier.

  • Based off your answer it seems Agile PM's are not as software/tools oriented than traditional PM's? What about traditional PM's? What do they use? Excel? Word? MS Project? – paul smith May 24 '12 at 5:18
  • Unfortunately, there isn't any traditional PM in an Agile organization. Its role and responsibility is shared between the Product Owner and the Scrum Teams. If an organization is "Agilish" (team only Agile) then the PMs are using the very same tools as the traditional PMs: MS project, excel, ppt, JIRA+greenhopper etc. – Zsolt May 24 '12 at 6:11

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