Nov 30, 2006

Being Agile - Are you ready for a change?

Agile Project Management

While there is always being talked about Project management and Product Development I think certain thoughts would be good to put up here on the blog... I am sure that My views wont sound good or correct to many but I am gonna stand by them unless you decide to catch hold me with the balls and squeeze them when I turn out from them , You Bet you would never get a chance to do that...

So when I always go in a discussion about Product Development Methodology (Not long since I was thinking 2 thursday's ago about how CMMi benefits the Project I am being working on). I see a big threat in lack of understanding what th Heck it means when you call an Managing an Agile Project and Project Management in a Agile manner... not much when it comes to the phrase but a lot when it comes to implications..

Last few months I have been trying to derieve the fact that Agile is not only about the adaptability and response to the change it is also about looking at change in a completely different perspective an Opportunity and definately not a Threat or a problem to the development or Management... while I see lot of benefit from this many of the traditional dung drivers ( I really want to honour them for applying non Innovative software development methodologies) dont really agree to it and why not most of these drivers come from a Service Sector where outsourcing is an option and billing resources plays a major role.. no wonder they end up paid High fancy salaries and perks...

So when a Project Manager like me who come from the similar industry where innovation is a sin and a change is definately being looked as a pain its really very difficult in the initial phase to adapt to agility ... but not so as it is really being said.. though sometimes I feel better to keep my MouthShut applying the traditional ways for part of the projects be it planning or execution. I see that the approach is trouble making sometimes... I still see some software majors trying to sell the traditional ceremonial project management methods that are applied in construction and production indistries being implemented in IT projects .. rather being forced on IT projects .. what a Move that is.. when you consider a cobbler and a Software engineer using same methodology to develop something .. Woohooo

So when coming back to the traditional and agile methodologies there is lot of stuff that really need to be poured in the veins and the arteries... ofcourse while somethings need to be bought in something need to be clarified and distributed to the whole system as well.. I heard a lot of Organisational Managers tlking about planning, scheduling, controlling and finally closing to succeed.. well for me they just form one or the other form of myth when it comes out to books or rather practical lives...

Not to talk about this a lot I know that last few years the toothpaste I had being using has never changed.. Now when I last went out for a trip my Wife made sure that I was carrying the same toothpaste that can last for a few months... what kind of Product Management is this??? and see the level of Project Management. When I reached the destination I realised that somehow I misplaced the stock of paste I was carrying .. not long I had to move to another one and adapt to it.. not for a purpose but for a reason (Please dont ask me to define them now). so while I was not prepared to adapt a change I had to do it for circumstances and it did benefit when I saw a crystal constituted toothpaste that was much much better in taste and work... Glad I keep on changin my paste every month now.. ofcourse for a purpose and a reason both.

Another example .. a few weeks ago I heard a developer talking about how change in the requirements hurt them .. and talking to him later on a different issue I realised he had being telling the advantages of being Agile.. all I could derive from him and his talks was that we play a shit when we follow agile.. and why is that so ???? Just think of NO changes in the system .. Our Business Analyst does a RA and frame to develop a CRM and the developers do it accordingly just to realise that when it comes to market the product requirement has changed to a SCM .. not only about change its also about planning and scheduling ... Not long before I realise that scheduling a project is lot more different then planning it I could see the benefits of Project Management coming a long way...
I would say that the hump of ceremonial - high profile and parameterized projects finally go into the depth of failure if the methodolgy applied is not really correct or to that matter the project management is based on derivations from the methodology.. anyways I am not here to talk the crap of the D method project management.

Talking about how we understand Product Development Methodology and Project Management in agile way is quite simple to explain: -
Product Methodology will teach you what to do it and how to practice to get the best.. Project Management in Agile is to adapt to the changing modes of the product development life cycle and ensuring a control on the project and resources.

As a example I can tell that lot of excitement in the Team can help you follow the complete methodology to achieve the project goals... at the same time minimal excitement and acquintance in ProjectManagement can lead to a disaster... like A Project Manager once in excitement kicked off the project and really did everything one has to do with a real high motivational approach.. middle of the project a disaster was caused due to change requirements ... As a Traditional Manager the Project Manager decides to take a change management approach... while the change real translates to a complete switch of the development to another mode.. (Project Manager is not the right candidate as per me to extract the truce behind technology and domain).

Alrite to conclude a Product Methodology might say something where change is not so welcomed its the Project Management that has to decide where and what to change for what and how and ofcourse has to decide what change it can bring with a positive or negative difference.

“Learning to love change is an unnatural act in many institutions. Change is the oxygen of our growth.”

Sameer Shaikh


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