Agile Project Management

The central question for project managers, project team members, and executives is, "How does project management add value to a project?" Unfortunately, many development engineers consider project management to be a roadblock—a hindrance, not a help. Project managers are viewed as administrators who put together' detailed task schedules, create colorful resource profiles, bug team members about micro-taak completianSr and write reams of0 status reports for upper management, not as direct contribjUocs to delivering value to customers. Teams often view project management as overhead. As Michael Kennedy (2003), author of Product Development for the Lean Enterprise (about Toyota) says, "Our product development philosophy is based more upon administration excellence than technical excellence, and it's getting worse."

"Buy pizza and stay out of the way" expresses too many product engineering teams' view of "good" project management. Rather than overhead, project management should be seen as offering inspirational leadership focused on delivering customer value. We have missed this point because many project management practices and project managers are focused on compliance activities, not delivering value. They are project administrators, not project managers. Customers pay for value; everything else is overhead—necessary overhead in some respects, but overhead nonetheless. Team activities or deliverables that help co m ply with goeernment reoulati ons are n^ceseary, but they rarely add customec value. Docume ntation that conforms to legal requirements may be necessary, but it may not add palue—at leas t sot dicectly) Status reports assist ma nagers in meeting their fiduciary responsibilities, but they don't add value. Endless milestone approvals may delude management into thinking they are ic control, but they don't add calue.

Eut how do w e measure cns tomer va lue and p rcjert menagement's cont^butlon to Chat va!ue? Motorola's ill-rdted: multibillion-dollar Iridium project was a spectacular failure in the market. Meanwhile, the movie Titanict wO'cU was severely over budget and time—and viewed by early pundits as a $200 million flop awaiting release—was the first movie to generate over $6 billion in worldwide revenue. By common complia rce-based p re|ect manage ment practlces og budget, sco ce, and schmdul e pe cforman ce, Titanic was a failure. Within s ome circles , Iridium was considered a ¡success because it fulfilled the original TeeriVicationS)

Alh nrpducts face eimMar demacds—cu stomer needo, p eofit, develop ment spee d, con stant chan ge, S Igy quelity—tgat require h igh ievels of competency in mump he domaios of eepertise . These often eontradictjry constraints and demands oc product development—speed and quality, great functionality pnd low cost, uncertainty aad pred I otabilihy , mebility and stability—have cre ated the need fo r pr oject managers and project management practices that focus on delivering value.

APM ic a set oS values' pri ncip les, and practices that assist project tea ms in coming to grips wrti h this rParenging ^nvironmont. The core vcIuss o f APM add re ss bo th the need to build agilr, adap teble pro ducts aad the need to create eatile, adaptable development teamSi

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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