Thursday, August 31, 2006

Some people hate PMPs :-)

Today I came up with some write-ups /blogs about Agile vs Plan Driven Methodologies in Project Management.. I didn’t know that people have so much negative feelings about PMPs who are in to Plan driven methodologies till I read this particular blog

“particularly the PMP crowd, are often oblivious to the incredible amount of waste inherent in their approaches.”

“In sum, you are describing exactly the battles I fight with PMBoK slaves when trying to help them see that Agile appoaches do everything they're expecting to see, only they do it *a lot more* often and keep doing it from "big picture" down to "tiny details"... “

Ok Im a PMP.. But I use agile methods as well., Being a PMP doesn’t mean that you have to believe PMBOK method as a religion and reject all the other methods. What I have seen in my whole career as a PM and Head of PMO is that, you cannot be inflexible and stick in to one method. I find many projects which really need agile methods.. But there are projects you need a fixed plan and a strictly plan driven method. When I have to release a product to my marketing department and when the scope is well defined, I have to commit on a exact deadline and plan everything in advanced. When we should start the contract of the marketer, when to arrange a product launch, when to hire specific software professionals to my project., everything should be well planned and should execute according to the plan., In the same time we have projects which we can convince the customer on our agile approaches ( Very difficult in offshore projects I should say) A PMO should strike a balance.

Recently I met an IT director in a Multinational Software Company who thought Project Management is MS project. I told him I have never used MS project. He asked me.. in that case how you track the project? I just said MS Project is just another tool. But I don’t think I have convinced him at all.. So imagine a PM practicing scrum under a superior like him. It will be a disaster.

No matter whether you are a PMP or certified scrum master or Prince 2 certified PM , you should be open up to new ways of managing projects, and should be able to switch as and when needed.


Mark on 11:33 AM said...

Since project management is such a big umbrella term, there are a ton of communication challenges.

They seem to be particularly acute between pmp's, process improvement minded operations people and overall business managers.

I'd refer you to my post at and Glen "Herding Cats" Alleman's comment.

Also his post at Herding Cats at

Anonymous said...

I think Thushara has a very good point here. Its an eye-opener for most of “Well Experienced” Project Managers who are reluctant to manage projects out of “their way””. It is sad that some people believe “Agile” is the only way to manage projects while some people believe “PMI process” is the only way.

The harsh truth is, every sponsor and customer is concerned only about the final deliverables. the method you practice is up to you as far as the objectives are met with final deliverables.

If you have a well defined scope, don’t mess with it and you don’t need agile methods for that. Most important is don’t use agile just because you don’t have good planning skills. Keep in mind that agile is not a solution for every problem in project management. Most of the time customers don’t have time to spend with your development team so closely. The customers might not have luxuries to give you a project by not knowing your final deadline.
End of the day the bottom line is Numbers.. Nothing else..

I can understand why IT project managers love agile. The most software project managers are not real Project Managers., they come from engineering background, and they are technocrats. They have taken project management responsibilities either because higher management has forced them to do so or because they find better perks in that caliber. They use agile as “easy way out.

Rahal Jahed
Management Consultant


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