Provocative thinking from the field.
The agile movement has a manifesto. Does project management need one? The answer lies in what value it would offer, and whether or not agile, extreme and other approaches are actually all that different from project management as it is practiced today, and in the context of getting things done.
On the project battlefield, our "armor" includes policies, processes, hierarchy and reputation. Some pieces provide protection; others hinder and conceal. What armor are you wearing? And what might you safely shed to gain flexibility and agility? The author looks for answers in an ancient parable and a modern-day confrontation in Conference Room Two.
Sometimes you have to demonstrate a better way of doing things before change becomes possible. But just how unorthodox an approach to managing projects is acceptable? Well, it might depend on how unorthodox the challenges are. And no real change is going to take hold unless there is strong organizational acceptance.
A look at New Orleans’ emergency preparedness plan shows it was quite focused on roles and responsibilities, but had little to say about how such definitions might actually contribute to a meaningful response. Tragically, the results after Hurricane Katrina speak volumes about this incomplete approach to planning.
The best project managers look risk straight in the eyes. After all, no project is worth doing without a potential benefit, and no benefit or reward comes without risk. So, since you can’t control uncertainty, embrace it. And then make it work for you and your project.
Traditional project management tools do not apply when it comes to enterprise project management, which requires the full cooperation and support of senior management. The EPM concept is appealing, but its reality has been far more elusive. So what does it take to make it work?
Many of the tools and techniques we employ to manage our projects are predicated on the faulty assumption that we should be clear about our purpose. Say what? The purpose of this article is to explain -- by way of forced apologies, worthless airplanes and modified authenticity.
If you've been asked to manage a project without so much as an introductory course on risk or a used copy of Project Management for Dummies, take comfort. There are thousands of project managers with advanced degrees and 20 years in the trenches who will tell you a little secret: they're often still winging it, too.
Why do so many in the project management community have difficulty accepting that someone’s less formal, less structured approach is any less valid than a highly visible, extremely formal methodology? There is no universal right way to manage projects.
Two years and two months after President Bush stood in front of a ‘Mission Accomplished’ sign to declare an end to major combat operations in Iraq, the war’s planning continues to be fervently contested. And regardless of ideological sides, it is a debate that reveals both common misconceptions and inescapable truths about the nature of planning. Here’s a project management perspective.