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October 18, 2010

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While your contention that women can handle the rigors of long distance running are wonderful, and since I am not a runner nor care to be, they can not be applied to the comparison that Agile and traditional project management best practices can co-exist. Since I have yet to be convinced about the value of the Agile discipline (the 4 guiding values and 12 principles) as they might apply to project management, I do grant that project management best practices needs to be updated into the world of the instant message and world-wide SMS sound bite (twitter).

Whether its agile, scrum, tweedle-dee or tweedle-dumb (I have seen them come and go in my 25+ years of project management in the IT world) is really not the question for me; its how can be build better decision making support systems without increasing the already crushing level of complexity that we seem to want to shoulder and bear?

In the end, its all about the ability to make better decisions, no? From gaming platforms to the highest level of BPMN/BPEL articulation diagrams, its all about making better decisions -- no more, no less. Everything we do in life is based on making better decisions. In business, why do we need to make everything so complex that it takes a SME to sort things out. I am for simplification not more process and procedures on top of more! When is enough, enough? Will agile/scrum support better decision making? Do not know. I do know the practitioners feel so, hope so, argue so, demand others think so. Psst: I would not be too quick to tout the USG's ability to manage projects -- case in point, the recent FBI's Virtual Case File debacle. ;-)

Bottom line in anything you add to, expand upon, integrate, or expound -- does this make my decision making better?

Take care,
PNanouk

Hi PNanouk,

Thanks for reading this post since the topic does not interest you. My intent, in case it was lost, was to illustrate how theories change over time. Ideas thought to apply only in one area are found to apply well in others.

It is interesting that you mention simplicity and decision making since I feel this is where agile offers most and yet is discussed least. A core component of DSDM back in 1994 was to “maximize the amount of work not done” i.e. to simplify, reduce complexity and find the smaller, more likely to be successful projects inside the large complex projects. Regardless of methodology, simplification of a problem has in my 25 years of experience proven to be a good thing.

How can methods (agile or otherwise) help you make better decisions, well I think engagement models that promote better communications will help us gather better data to make better decisions. Practices like daily stand up meetings, increased customer feedback, and retrospectives have better decision making at their core.

Best regards
Mike

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