PMI Opening the Doors to Agile
October 31, 2008
“To deal with complex projects there is an increased need for agile and flexible project management… In future, ‘people’ and leadership skills will be viewed as more important than technical skills.”
Statements like these hardly seem surprising to regular readers here. This is what I have been advocating for years. However, these recommendations do not come from me, but instead from this month’s PMI Today magazine. Couple this with the announcement last week at the PMI Global Congress in Denver that the next PMI Virtual Community to be created will be for Agile Methods and we begin to see a promising trend.
I reported previously that the PMBOK v4 Guide due out later this year has more iterative lifecycle coverage. Then today I heard that my Agile Project Management course has been added to the PMI Asia Pacific Congress 2009 conference in Kuala Lumpur, next February. So, while agile methods “crossed the chasm” into mainstream development a couple of years ago, I think we are only just witnessing this shift in project management.
Why has it taken so long for the managers to catch up? Well, as the popular stereotypes go, perhaps we are just a little slow, or have more change inertia, or more practices to change before embracing the new approach. Regardless, I am just glad things seem to be moving at last in the right direction.
I am looking forward to the PMI Agile Virtual Community as a great platform for bringing agile methods to project managers worldwide; (Virtual Community is the new PMI name for a Special Interest Group (SIG)). Congratulations to Jesse Fewell and the rest of the PMI Agile Board for pushing through the red tape and making this new group a reality.
Better late than never ;-)
It's great to finally see PMI make a move toward agile.. now we just need prince2 to go down the same road to sanity.
Posted by: Martin Olesen | November 02, 2008 at 03:53 PM
I think this is great too for what it's worth.
Regarding Prince 2 moving to Agile though, P2 is actually just a management methodology right?
It doesn't have anything to do with whether you iterate or not, whether you place people in front of docs and plans etc...it's just a way of defining broad steps towards business goals if you use it that way
There's no reason you can't use Product Backlogs to list your P2 product descriptions once you've carried out your product based planning...just change your checkpoint reporting and how you plan and audit quality...is it still P2 then? Some might say not...some would say it's the benefits of P2 mixed with agile
Posted by: Russell | November 14, 2008 at 07:27 AM
Hi Martin, Russell,
Thanks for your comments on PRINCE2 and Agile. My take is, as Russell suggests, PRINCE2 being a looser framework for project execution than the PMBOK. You can quite easily fit the iterative development process of agile into the PRINCE2 structure.
Back in 1999 I worked on the “Using DSDM with PRINCE2” White Paper for the DSDM Consortium. It mapped the gaps and overlaps between the methods and outlined an approach for using the two methods together. It was a popular download in 2000 and 2001 and was updated again by volunteers from the DSDM Consortium.
I have uploaded the original White Paper into the “Articles as PDF documents” section on this site in case anyone is interested on our original thoughts.
Thanks for reading, best regards
Posted by: Mike Griffiths | November 14, 2008 at 09:36 AM
I think the project managers just need to keep it in perspective. No one is advocating destruction of PRINCE2, it's more about an evolution of the methodology.
Posted by: David | February 28, 2009 at 04:15 AM