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Agile is not a another project management practice « Ocean Web

Agile is not a another project management practice

Monday, January 18, 2016
posted by daveb

Agile should not be thought of as another project management practice, like an alternative to Prince II. Its a fundamental rethink of 20th century management thinking (mass production / economies of scale, efficiency, scientific management (Taylorism), planning, control, hierarchy and fixed roles) for the 21st century, where application of creativity + knowledge and empiricism (feedback from actual experimentation) are coming forward as the keys to success in a complex and chaotic environment of constant change.

The very idea that there needs to be a fixed scope “Project” in order to create value is under threat. If we can produce value in excess of costs (including opportunity costs), then why would we stop at some predetermined future point (project delivery date)? You’d surely keep going, unless of course you are not producing value in excess of costs, in which case why would you start?

In this sense Agile (+Lean) is about building the “manufacturing” lines of the future where it is not physical products that we are producing, but this ephemeral thing called customer value. A manufacturing line is nothing like a “Project” – it produces value as long as customers are buying, and this is what Agile/Lean is really about.

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