Think, Take the Best, and USE it!

In Project Management One size does not fit all.

Product development and project management can be very complex and complicated with variations and permutations that make a prescriptive approach impossible to produce successful results.  That goes for any brand or type of project management.  What is important is to have an arsenal of skills, tools and techniques and use what is needed based upon the situation.  Couple this with a bit of creative thinking to allow you to adapt and find other ways.  This is the technical or project management version of Situational Management or Situational Leadership. 




For any approach to be successful we should take a system’s view and approach.   We need to know our organization and the operating environment. We should know the objectives and what our organization is willing to do to meet this objective.  The areas of technical concern are also of interest. For example,  I once heard an agile team say they did not need configuration management because they were using agile.  Apparently their interpretation of agile allowed them to dispense with this product management area. However, the product was software, and iterations were planned, and the product interfaced with a number of other components.  All of these things made the idea of eliminating some form of configuration management risky and without merit.   Perhaps a scaled down version, but dispensing of this management area associated with product development for this specific project was not a path to success.  There will be limitations to any prescriptive approach. There will be limitations of an open system as well. We are agile so we do not need other project management areas, that are not…well, project management areas.   That is like saying I do not need tires for my car because I have an engine. 


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Project Management techniques and tools independent of origin

Believing a process or a framework or set of procedures will always be helpful or save your project and your product is perhaps never a long term approach. Only if the project scope, organization and expected results have limited variation can we think that one set of steps and procedures will most of the time.  Consider instead that agile and conventional project management approaches offer an array of tools and techniques that can be employed in a variety of ways.  Perhaps what is required is a mash up of the offerings for each of these approaches. The truth is either approach poorly executed will likely produce poor results, only luck will save you.  Rather than disdain either of the approaches as inferior, look at the benefits that lay in each and decide the approach based upon the situation, available resources, objectives and willingness to accept risk.  Pause, think and be willing to go beyond these artificial boundaries, take the best and use 

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