Making Sense of Agile with Chuck Cobb
There is a significant perceived gap between the principles and practices of the Agile Community and the PMI Project Management Community. On the surface, it may appear that these two approaches are competitive with each other rather than complementary. However, if we look beyond the way these ideologies have been commonly implemented in actual practice and look past many of the stereotypes and misconceptions that have helped to amplify the differences between them; there's a lot that can be learned from gaining a deeper understanding of how these two approaches can be blended together.
To better understand how these two approaches can be integrated, we need to breakdown the language barriers and polarizing terms that exist between these two communities and better understand the reasoning and logic behind these two different approaches. The key point of perceived conflict is over the need for agility versus control - the key thing to understand is the decision to be agile or not is not an" all or nothing" decision there are many ways to blend an appropriate level of control and agility to find the "requisite agility" that is appropriate for that project and environment. The most common mistake many people make is to try to force-fit a project to a pre-defined methodology (either agile or non-agile) - the right approach is the other way around to fit the methodology (or combination of methodologies, principles, and practices) to the project and business environment. In some cases, this may require creating a customized approach rather than using a canned, "text book" approach (either agile or non-agile).
The April Agile Boston Group meeting is based on a new book called "Making Sense of Agile Project Management" by Chuck Cobb that is designed to help people see these two ideologies in a very different light as complementary to each other rather than competitive. Chuck will do a presentation on his book that is intended to stimulate some very positive dialog between the agile community and the PMI project management community to develop the mutual understanding that is needed to close this perceived gap.
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