How to create waterfall projects with Agile components in Microsoft Project Microsoft Project: Create waterfall projects with Agile components
4 min read
31 January, 2018

Microsoft Project: Create waterfall projects with Agile components

 

ERIK VAN HURCK, SENIOR PPM CONSULTANT

Last week we kicked off the Projectum webinar year with an introduction to the new Agile functionality in Microsoft Project.

If you missed the webinar don’t worry, we recorded it and you can watch in the end of this post.

In the session, I shared the current version of Agile in the Microsoft Project client. This will surely be improved on by Microsoft in the (near) future. One question I got during the session was what version you need to have to get the Agile feature, this is Version 1710 (Build 8625.2121). You can find the build number by navigating to File à Account à About Project (Thanks Ricardo for asking the question).

As an addition to the webinar, I would like to share one of the charming things with the Agile functionality in Microsoft Project: you are able to create waterfall projects with Agile components! Here’s the scenario you could use in your own environment:

You start your project by creating a simple (or complex) schedule with phases such as in the screenshot below.

Agile schedule

Now, for most organizations, Agile is interesting for the actual work that will be performed. Therefore, the Execution phase is the most interesting to start a SCRUM track with multiple sprints, starting from the third of April (3-4-18).

We’ll add a couple of sprints to the schedule, by clicking on the “Agile” button in the Project ribbon:

Adding sprints to schedule

When we do this, all tasks will be “Agile”, we need to change this by adding the column called agile to the table and change all the values except the manually scheduled task (ID 11). Furthermore, we would like to start the first sprint on the first Monday after the 3rd of April. Lastly, we want to keep an eye out for the finish date of the last sprint, because we are going to use that as the finish date of the manually scheduled task that starts the Agile part of the schedule.

Finish date of last sprint 

Why do we need to add this date to the finish date of the manually scheduled task? Because the current version of the Agile feature in MS Project doesn’t change the dates on tasks on the sprint board, but we do need a “finish date” to continue with our waterfall schedule after execution.

Let’s continue by adding a number of items in the Sprint planning board:

 Sprint planning board

If we move back to the Gantt chart, all the tasks will be placed below ID 11.

We will indent the Sprint tasks underneath the “Agile execution” task. Make sure the manually scheduled dates are retained and let’s remove the dates on the sprint tasks (because they will not be correct anyway):

Gantt chart agile axecution

Finally, we will add more Sprint tasks and manage them within the sprint boards. If there’s a complete list of sprint tasks, we can proceed with scheduling the closure of the project schedule. We might want to retain a skeleton crew/team on the “project” to continue after the closing phase with sprint activities. New sprint tasks will be created after the project closure date.

Sprint boards

Please make sure that:

  • You linked the “Agile part of the 'schedule'" summary task to the closing phase summary task (normal scheduling bad practice but here it is allowed 😊).
  • You have set the Agile column value to No for the final piece of the schedule.

 

 

About Erik:

 

Erik is a Senior PPM Consultant at Projectum ApS.

He creates solutions for Project and Portfolio Management and Planning needs in medium/large businesses. Erik is specialized in providing and developing project, program, resource and portfolio management solutions for organisations using Microsoft Project, Project Server and Project Online. Building great reports and Power BI dashboards.


Check out Erik's blog channel on the subject of Project Online and related applications on www.Theprojectcornerblog.com. 

 

 

Final notes

You can watch the full recording of our our first webinar right here.

 

Don't miss out on our upcoming events. See the full list here.

projectum events

 

If you are interested and would like to have more information about the Agile feature or any other features of Project Online and Microsoft PPM, please reach out to us.

 

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