Five Common Mistakes


that Undermine Agile Project Management



By Bhanu Priya

United States

For many years, agile project management has delivered significant benefits to companies that have taken advantage of it. Even so, other established organizations make mistakes that impede growth and profitability when leaders fail to enforce core agile principles. To prevent such outcomes, it’s important for businesses to be aware of five of the most common errors that undermine agile project management and implement steps to overcome them.

Mistake #1: Not establishing an agile project management office

Many organizations overlook creating an agile project management office (PMO) when transitioning to agile methodologies. The absence of a governing authority guiding adoption leads to fragmented implementations across teams, resulting in the limited alignment of processes and tools and minimal organization-wide coordination.

An agile PMO is critical to organizational well-being. It serves as the hub for orchestrating appropriate agile deployment and ensures readiness for changes. It also enables group collaboration, standardizes reporting, and provides training and consistent communication.

Without an agile PMO, uncertainty takes over. Teams struggle without guidance or reference content for new ceremonies, values, or responsibilities. Further misalignments arise from groups adopting tools and techniques inconsistently, causing inefficiencies from duplicative and incompatible systems. Ultimately, the lack of cross-functional coordination forces departments into isolated silos. They are unable to collaborate on customer initiatives.

In contrast, a proficient agile PMO institutes consistent language, processes, and metrics across units through centralized policies. Benchmarking progress based on standard criteria identifies areas needing help and enables targeted improvements.

An adept PMO also equips teams with practical tools to assist in planning, tracking, and information-sharing. Regular advising, best practice education, and project debriefs disseminate education for continuous betterment. Mature agile PMOs shepherd the cultural transition, which emphasizes individuals over processes and responses to change over rigidly following standards. This stewardship makes PMOs invaluable for elevating organizational agility.

Establishing an impactful agile PMO starts with the following:


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How to cite this article: Priya, B. (2024).  Five Common Mistakes that Undermine Agile Project Management, PM World Journal, Vol. XIII, Issue II, February.  Available online at https://pmworldlibrary.net/wp-content/uploads/2024/02/pmwj138-Feb2024-Priya-Five-Common-Mistakes-that-Undermine-Agile-PM.pdf

About the Author

Bhanu Priya



Bhanu Priya is a project manager with more than 16 years of experience leading and managing projects using both traditional and agile methodologies. She has applied her expertise in project management, product management, and Scrum methodologies to broad-based domains including telecom, insurance, healthcare, and PC support. Priya is a Certified Scrum Master and Certified Product Owner and holds a Bachelor of Technology degree in electronics and communications engineering from Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University in India. For more information, contact bpriya.ba@gmail.com.