Thursday, August 14, 2014

Reconstructing Project Management (8 of 9)

Is Agile a project management discipline or really just a form of task or workstream management?

Morris, Peter.  Reconstructing Project Management Reprised: A Knowledge Perspective.  Project Management Journal, Vol. 44, No. 5, October 2013, p13.  © 2013 by the Project Management Institute
This is the penultimate entry in my series of posts commenting on nine questions that Peter Morris asked in his October article in Project Management Journal.

Agile is a mindset, not a methodology (or a process).  PMBoK defines a Body of Knowledge for creating a methodology (and processes), but it is not a methodology.  Agile is a way or practice or technique for delivering products or solutions.  So are SEI’s Capability Maturity Model – Integrated (CMMI) and the Microsoft Solution Framework (MSF).  Neither Agile, nor CMMI nor MSF are disciplines for delivering projects.  (For more on the relevance of this, I refer you back to an early series on the P&SD PM, the Consultancy PM,  and the philosophical relevance.)

Agilists are special only because they are so sensitive to anything that hints of management or structure.  Working with agile teams is similar to working with many creative types:  artists, painters, novelists, musicians and designers, for example.

What do we learn from this?  That there is so much market demand for a product delivery solution with PMI’s imprimatur that PMI has responded by offering the PMI-ACP®.  Should PMI also offer specialized domain-specific certifications for pharma research, product design, architecture, prototyping, etc?  Likewise, should they offer project management certifications for CMMI and MSF shops?
So I wandered off the trail and fell off a cliff.  Let’s get back on the main trail and respond to Morris’ question:  What Agile is is really not relevant.  That it’s not a discipline for delivering projects is all that matters.  And PMI is losing focus by responding to these distractions.

I get to drill deeper into that last comment in my next post.
© 2014 Chuck Morton.  All Rights Reserved.

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