Last year I wrote “Project Managers Don’t Get Agile” for the ProjectManagement.com website. As I continue to think about it, I see that part of the challenge comes from the mindset change that is required to understand agile. If you are a great project manager, chances are that your mental models limit your ability to understand and implement Agile.
I recently published the article below on the Project Management.com website (see Project Managers Still Don't Get Agile). The point that I was trying to make is that while some project managers do understand and apply agile approaches, most project managers don't understand it. They don't want to understand it, and they actually undermine Agile adoption in their organizations.
Agile projects are more successful than waterfall projects. There, I said it. And I have the statistics from the Standish Group to back it up.
I’ve been a follower of the Standish Group Chaos Studies for a long time. The Standish Group has conducted surveys of IT project success and failure rates every 2 years since 1994. Initially, the statistics were really bad with IT project success rates measured at less than 20%. Thankfully things have improved, though not much. Project success rates for technology projects are still pretty low.
Over the last few months I have been writing about how to improve team retrospectives. This has been mostly focused on Agile teams. Recently I've been asked to facilitate a "retrospective" for a traditional project. I remembered that a few years back, I wrote about why I felt that traditional lessons learned for projects were a waste of time. My thinking on this topic is still the same - I still feel like those traditional lessons learned activities are a huge waste of time.
As you have probably noticed by now, I am a huge fan of Agile approaches and ways of working. This post is about some of the key aspects of Agile that I really like. These 12 characteristics really highlight the key benefits of Agile methods, and how they relate to some of the areas of concern I had when leading traditional projects. I hope that you will find them useful as well.
A few weekends back I sat down with Tom Cagley of the SPAMCAST for a discussion on Scrum, Agile Coaching, Agile Project Management, and the future of Vitality Chicago. Tom was one of the first Agile Coaches I worked with and I learned a tremendous amount from him about how to be an effective Agile Coach and agile transformation agent. Tom's giftedness as an interviewer (and editor) made this a really great conversation. I hope you enjoy it!