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University System of Maryland

Agile Process, Project, and Program Controls

University System of Maryland and University of Maryland, College Park via edX


Agile provides greater opportunities for control and risk management and offers unique benefits that traditional methods miss. As a project manager or program manager the emphasis should always be on delivering value and benefits. With complex projects these demand increase and knowing you've delivered value can be difficult for even those with years of project management experience.

However, in this course we'll cover the agile practices and management skills necessary to delivery value with certainty, such as:

  • Transparency with daily standup meetings discussing work status, risk, and pace.

  • How a clear definition of done drives acceptance by all key stakeholders.

  • Measuring performance and benefits of working solutions during project delivery.

  • Iteratively testing to gain authentic feedback on solution requirements and stability.

  • Regular retrospectives that drive continuous improvement into the team.

  • How agile project management ensures success and uniquely tackles business risk

  • Quality management principles to reduce project risk and technical debt

  • Manage and reduce interdependencies between project teams to scale programs at speed

  • Making the business case for agile contracts and how they ensure deliverables achieve business outcomes and objectives

In this course, you will learn how these levers of control far exceed traditional management methods of earned value management (EVM), which relies on estimates and no changes in scope. We'll discuss how the key to unlocking the control potential is to learn what to manage, and how to measure it. It's no longer just ensure the deliverables are delivered on-time and under-budget.

This shift to benefits management is in-line with how the PMBOK is changing to integrate program management concerns into project management with an emphasis on value and not just delivery of scope specifications. The Agile revolution requires program managers to embrace this type of continuing education to advance and grow in your project management career.

So how do programs ensure smooth project delivery?

This answer is bottoms-up with different controls at each level of management, separating the concerns between the program, the individual projects, and the team processes. For teams, it’s a focus on team velocity and how to ensure its measurement is useful for diagnosing internal and external productivity constraints. For the project, the focus is on how to integrate teams of teams on related projects and ensure stead delivery of product roadmaps. For the program, the focus is on what capabilities are delivered and how to measure return on investment (ROI) capabilities provide. This also requires understanding your portfolio and contracting processes.

While this course will not make you an agile certified practitioner (PMI-ACP), or certified scrum master (CSM), it offers a more fundamental agile certification based on agile principles and how agile leadership is applied in industry today. You'll finish this course more than ready to continue your agile journey, which we hope either completes your certificate with us or takes you to one of our most popular courses in the series, "Agile Leadership Principles and Practices."

Upon successful completion of this course, learners can earn 10 Professional Development Unit (PDU) credits, which are recognized by the Project Management Institute (PMI). PDU credits are essential to those looking to maintain certification as a Project Management Professional (PMP).


  • Week 1: The first week of the control course examines the reason for controlling projects, why traditional controls such as Earned Value Management fail so often, and the three key components to any controlling process: value, constraints, and verification. Systems Engineering models are considered for their effectiveness in controlling, with an emphasis on the predominant controlling approach, the V-Model, and how it equivocates testing with development.

  • Week 2: The second week examines how control is managed across the project lifecycle, with the three Ps of management: people, process, and product. Real-world approaches and tools are discussed for all three levers across varying staffing approaches, release and sprint processes for quality assurance, and the use of product-level tools for quality control.

  • Week 3: The third week drives home the need to “begin with the end in mind” by closing User Stories incrementally using a Definition of Done that links the three Ps together across each sprint cycle (planning, execution, and control).

  • Week 4: The final fourth week addresses controlling Agile processes at scale, from sampling and building intuition across Agile team ceremonies, to managing team decisions and performance, and even portfolios of projects using simplified metrics. The fourth week will also look at how to align portfolio and project management metrics to an organization’s strategy as a means of managing up the risks of being defunded or constrained by corporate policy.

Taught by

John Johnson


4.4 rating, based on 215 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Agile Process, Project, and Program Controls

  • This was a wonderful and very informative course. I really enjoyed the real world examples and the professor is excellent at breaking down complex ideas. However, I enjoyed this course less than the others of the series. There were multiple videos and much of the course was a review of the past courses. This was good in a way because it allowed you to review what you'd learned in past courses - everything was brought together. However, when new information was introduced it felt like it wasn't given as much space as it deserved. Having said that, I still really enjoyed it and think it would be a perfect "general info" course for anyone who just wants a taste of Agile.
  • Joe Bingham
    The overall course was really good. The material, slides, and references were very professional. I was happy to see that I could download the slide decks.

    Cons, I wish that there were exercises with each module to give the learner the experience to build Agile tools in Excel or word or other along the way. The biggest question that I kept asking, is "What tools are there, how can I build them, what would they look like". The last class, seam a little rushed.

    All in all, a great overall Agile class. Especially for the novice.
  • Anonymous
    It is such a great course. This course will teach us how to be agile, how to increase success rate. It tells us when to use Traditional, Lean or Agile. It helps us how to deal with team effectively. It also teach us how to develop an effective contract to be agile. Thank you for the course.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Finished the course. Good video lectures, the summary notes are excellent for revision, and the course uses real life examples you can relate to. Overall the course was great.

    However i did have an issue with the final "feedback Quiz (Points!)" component, it asks for all the tags associated with this course on Class-Central. On the site it only says "Agile" however when answering that i seem to get the answer wrong.
  • Anonymous
    its really osam course i really enjoy this course and i really grateful to all sir and mam for this course its really very useful to me in my future goal i really appreciate to do my work and i really tankful all members of this course
  • Profile image for Mateo Ostojić
    Mateo Ostojić
    Great course, very helpful
    I really enjoyed the real-world examples and the professor is excellent at breaking down complex ideas.
  • Ramesh Bharamade
    Agile process , project and program controls is a good training program and must for all fields of peoples. It emphasis on trust , buffer and avoids multi tasking. From last 5 years we are trying to reduce development cycle time of products and we have achieved in 80% of areas. Agile in small teams gives better results. Thanks for giving this opportunity.
  • Anonymous
    The course provide topics for mastering on learning Framework, Methodology, Constraint, Guidance, Business Cases, etc. to perform project delivery in agile methodology and to be happier Project Manager .
  • Anonymous
    Great learning experience with eDX and must acknowledge that the course content is updated with today's Agile practices. If you want to get an Agile certification, this is the one. Thank you!
  • Anonymous
    I would have liked more interaction with the teacher and other students in this course. Some parts of the materials are not clearly explained. Too many technical terms which make difficult to follow the explanations. The course took me more time than expected. Many typos in the written materials.
  • Anonymous
    Great course. I learned a lot, and I'm excited to implement these things in my workplace. The summary points, the videos and references are great and very helpfull. Thanks!
  • Anonymous
    Great course. It provides good frameworks for decision makinga and helps steering the project to succes by providing knownledge about measures to control the project.
  • Anonymous
    The class and the contents are easy to understand. the resources provided are easily accessible and i was able to navigate easily throughout the classes.
  • Anonymous
    Well, It is a good course, but if you are not a native English speaker it will be difficult to understand videos. The author uses many idioms. Sometimes verbal context very complicated connecting with a presentation slide. You always can check texts but it takes double time for you.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    There is definitely something wrong about tags and I could not answer Class-Central Feedback Quiz. Because here at course page just one tag - agile.
  • Anonymous
    Highly recommended for junior PMs
    This was a wonderful course, to build my career & skills as a project manager
  • Anonymous
    Highly informative and illustrative, and visually detailed. Quite an excellent course for aspiring project managers
  • Anonymous
    Great course. I was hoping this would have a more business approach to project maangement. Learnt a lot!
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    Thank you so much for this amazing 4 weeks. I learned a lot. I really enjoyed classes they were too fruitful and were covering a lot of examples which I really like.

    I enjoyed how the subtitles were right next to the video. It was helpful for a learner whose English is not the native one.

    I would like the final exam one be with no changing answers options, so you could really quiz yourself. But overall everything was great I enjoyed and can't wait to experiment and use new skills at the job.
  • Anonymous

    Anonymous completed this course.

    The course is a continuation of the material in the first four courses. It includes a lot of the same examples but related to control in this course. The tests and quizzes were confusing because a lot of the questions were about finding what does not apply. The wording was sometimes difficult to follow and I found myself reading them several times before attempting an answer. I also found two mathematical mistakes in the material and quizzes. Otherwise, the subject matter is interesting and the course is easy to complete.

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