Saturday, April 25, 2009

Project management in tweets ...

  • All business activities are in transition from innovation (rare and poorly understood) to commodity-like (common and well defined).

  • The characteristics of an activity vary during its lifecycle. An innovation is dynamic & requires deviation whilst a commodity does not.

  • How to manage an activity varies with the stage of its lifecycle. Which is why no single project methodology is suitable everywhere.

  • Successful project management is knowing when to use static (six sigma, prince 2) and when to use dynamic methodologies (XP, Scrum).


Dennis Howlett said...

Hold on tiger. Your last comparison 6 sigma v scrum etc is comparing apples and bananas. 6 sigma is about quality, scrum is about development. Agree?

swardley said...

Absolutely and that's the point.

Any activity starts out as an innovation (i.e. novel, uncertain, requiring development and deviation from what has gone on before) and eventually (assuming their are no barriers) becomes more commodity-like (i.e. commonly repeated, certain, requiring repetition and minimal deviation)

The methodology required depends upon the life-cycle stage of an activity. For an innovation you need a methodology designed for dynamic problems (i.e. constant flux) such as Scrum, for a commonly repeated activity (which at the very end of the spectrum are provided as services through volume operations) you need a methodology designed for a static problem (constantly repeated such as 6 sigma.

The point is that as an activity moves through this spectrum from innovation to commodity, the methodologies required to best manage it change.

When someone talks about CRM then the nature of this activity in the 1980s (an innovation) is vastly different from the nature of this activity (i.e. provided by volume operations through utility software services) today even though the activity itself is still CRM.

To coin your phrase, CRM was once an apple but now it's a banana. The methodology needed to manage it has changed.

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