Hawaiʻi's Technology Community

We have seen a number of PMs sign up for TechHui recently. I am curious what methodologies are being used - Agile (XP, Scrum, DSDM), RUP, etc. I realize that often the organization dictates the methodology, so perhaps it would be useful to describe the methodology you are using and the methodology you would like to be using ;-)

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Thank you for sharing Waileia. In my experience it is painful to introduce any new project management methodology, especially if your organization has been around for a while and people have set ideas about how things should be done. A few things that seem to help:
  • Get buy-in from the top. Find a receptive person in upper management and explain how the new process will benefit them and the company.
  • Don't make too many changes at once. Roll out the new methodology in stages. With Scrum you can always start with scrum meetings.
  • Integrate compliance into performance reviews. I have found this to be very effective in large organizations.
I've participated in rolling out XP and Scrum at a number of organizations ranging from a dozen or so people to a few hundred. In almost all these cases there was still a need for at least a high level roadmap. As soon as you have a roadmap, you need some form of rolling wave planning*. I'm not a purist when it comes to development methodologies. I think you can put together a strategy customized to your organization in an ala carte fashion (scrum style meetings, RWP roadmap management, etc.) The best way to sell RWP on management is often to point out specific past cases where it would have saved the company time and money. As you know, RWP and the newer agile processes help companies build products that customers want by incorporating their feedback in small iterative loops. They also help you avoid the radically inaccurate estimates that are common when pursuing long term monolithic releases. If your company has been around for a while you can probably find many past cases where small iterative loops and better feedback would have saved the day :-)

* For those not familiar with the concept, RWP is a process by which each roadmap milestone is planned at a more granular level as it approaches.
I would like to say everything that you said Daniel is great in moving the Project Management Methodology to the forefront. I've been with a number of clients over the years that its either a unnecessary evil (hence increase contract cost) or a side thing that they have to do. Following a process is better than nothing at all.

For those that are looking for a process to follow, I recommend that you first adopt PMBOK (Project Management Book of Knowledge). Why?

The Project Management Methodology is the framework. Inside of the framework are 5 process areas and 9 Knowledge areas. Why is this important? You know what to do first, second, third, and so on. Then, you'll have what in each phase of the project what to concentrate on. (my simplistic view). A very good introduction or cliff note version - click here.

In my experience and knowledge, the PMBOK doesn't really tell you the "When" question and the detail how-to. This is where Agile Project Management XP, scrum, rolling wave planning, and others techniques comes in. Its a subset of the entire PBMOK. You still use the 5 process groups but you modify the Planning, Executing and Controlling groups.

Sum total, these techniques are real world ways of managing a project. I've used Agile Project Management XP (by definition) without knowing that I had. Real world project management is a balance between your companies methodology, losing control over the project, teams need for information and keeping the client (both internally & externally) happy. Happy = paying the invoice.

Closing is the most important process in the real world. Customer pays for the project and you end the project or move onto Phase 2. Ahhhh, yes....Phase 2.


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