PARADIGM OF AGILE
What does it mean when we say “Agile Project Management?”
Depends on the domain and context of your project.
Glen B. Alleman
You’re doing the
You’re the customer or you personally know the
You can plan the work in any way you
It’s your personal project, your personal work, it’s all
It’s all about you.
You’re a lone wolf, you work for yourself, a
friend, or an imaginary friend.
Sweet Spot For The Self Contained Team
This is where agile project management excels.
Everyone involved in the project can be seen,
touched, spoken to, and engaged at a personal
It’s a small group of like minded individuals.
You still control the direction and outcomes, but now
as a group.
All members have equal or near equal skills,
leadership capabilities, and shared outcomes.
You and 5 other folks
work in the same cube
space, along with the
Individual Freedom Is Still Within Reach
You’ve got some rules defined by the boundaries of
But you can go almost anywhere you’d like
You’ve got to follow some rules, now that you’re on
the edge of the business boundaries (flight path).
You still have control of direction, intent,
experiences, and the tools of your trade.
You’re work within
the bounds of
others but you’ve
got great tools
Now We’re Starting To Get Serious
The outcome of your work impacts
The boundaries of you freedom are defined
There are rules of the road (sky
) at now in place.
You can fly around on your own, but when you
leave and return from the airport there are others
defining what you cab do and what you can’t.
You manage a team that has evolved to
developing products for serious use that has to be
carefully vetted before being released.
You’re On Your Own But Going Faster
You’re approach to the project is much less
The work moves faster, requires enhanced skills, and
is much less forgiving of your mistakes or lack of
You can start to travel in the same path as the “big
boys,” because you can cruise at 187Kts, so you’d
better have done this before or it’s going to turn out
no “on the job training” allowed here.
Your team is a “special” resource for your firm, you’ve
got high powered members, an important role, and
high visibility to the mission critical aspects of our work.
Now We Are Hanging With The Big Boys
You’ve arrived at the point in project management
where they’re asking if you can do the job right the
Tools and processes are more complex and
powerful, so you’d best be fully trained with the
right “certs” to handle the problems that are going
to appear before you during normal operations.
Many people depend on
your work efforts, with
much at risk for the
products you produce.
experience, and a sense
Even If It’s Small It’s Still A “Fast Mover”
Now you’re on a twitchy, unforgiving machine, that
will put you in the grave if you make one mistake.
This project has no room for error, it’s too fast, too
touchy, too hard to handle for all but the “best of
The pay back of the this high risk project is high
reward, standing on the top step of the podium.
You manage an environment where if
anything goes wrong, your project goes
down in flames. No margin for error here.
A “Real” License Is Needed Now
Lots of moving parts.
Serious skills needed to success.
People on board are depending on your skills and
experience to get them home safely on time.
You’re in the middle of the daily grind to keep the system
going, nothing must prevent you from success.
More power, heavier machine
Enterprise class machine, with two pilots, and special
No more driving around in the sky anywhere you
want, you’ve got to start following the rules.
The “governance” processes can’t tell the difference
between you and an actual airliner, other than your
you’re not a “heavy” yet.
You work on a highly visible project, with the eyes of senior
management on your every action. The firm you work for
critically depends on your project.
Still not a “heavy” but closer
Your running the project for a broader purpose, one
that is beyond the individual need or importance.
You’re a member of a larger group of participants,
the “crew” must work together in conjunction with
The project operates within strict guidelines,
both internal and external.
The work you do allows the business to perform on a daily
basis. There is no room for error, without a backup plan.
Now You’ve Arrived
OK, now we’re on the “mega project,” one that sets
the standards for the rest of world.
The “team” is highly trained, experienced, and has
worked together for years, and has the ultimate
trust in each others abilities.
The stakeholders number in the many 100’s (555),
each with critical needs from your project.
There are no mistakes, no missteps, no tolerance for
anything but 100% success.
Your project impacts all aspects of the corporation. Your
products are used by other business units, other businesses and
senior management has direct visibility to your efforts.
Lots Of Moving Parts Means Danger
Back to the light weight and agile processes.
Freedom to go where you want.
But you’ve got a mission critical assignment, people’s
lives depend on you not making any mistakes.
Command and control is the starting point, you can
make decisions in the field, but you’d better have a
good reason for not following the plan.
I have a personal connection here, 101
Air Born Division, C/159 Assault Support Helicopter Battalion, Republic of South Vietnam, 1970
on the project you
manage, no matter the
machine your managing.
Now we’re in the Big Time
1000’s of moving parts, billions of
dollars are a
Unconventional behavior of the project, fly by wire,
supersonic cruise, stealth operations, 100’s of on
$156M for each
You’re entrusted with the nations defense or a
similar level of critical importance.
You’ve got the corporate life blood in your project.
The security of the nation depends
on the project you manage.