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ROI in Agile Project Management

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The last two weeks were filled with excellent training. I spent two days in a good Association of Training Development course on coaching. Then, it was four-and-a-half days in Return on Investment (ROI) training. If you are not familiar with ROI, it started as a way of evaluating the efficiency and effectiveness of training programs. ROI has then been used to measure coaching, leadership development programs, project management, and even innovation.

When I first signed up for the course, I questioned how we could spend 36 hours talking about ROI. ROI seemed straightforward and easy to grasp. It is but, there are a lot of nuances to making ROI work in an organization. As I sat in the course, I begin thinking of how ROI could be used in agile project management. Especially the form of agile project management I am creating to manage training programs.

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Recently, Dr. Kerzner and Mr. Ward from the ILL released a white paper on the future of project management. Kerzner and Ward see project management as “the delivery system for sustainable business value.” In their whitepaper, describe a five-level project management maturity model (PMMM) based on project management metrics. There are several significant parallels between ROI and the Kerzner and Ward PMMM. First, there is an alignment between the project metrics and strategic business needs. Second, the consideration of intangibles in delivering project benefits. And, third, the value from innovations in the project management process.

I have sketched how to apply ROI to agile project management. In a future posting, I will describe how to apply ROI to agile project management and my version of agile learning program management.