Putting first things first…ideas for project managers

I already blogged about the relevance  of ‘being proactive’ and ‘begin with the end in mind’, the first two of the  seven habits of highly effective people in project management. The next is putting first things first. A peep into cyclomatic complexity is of value here. A bug, when detected and corrected within the phase of it’s injection is cheaper to correct. As the lag increases between the phase of injection and the phase of correction, the cost increases exponentially. Another concept which connects well here is the cost of quality. When we invest in certain prevention activities also known as price of conformance, then we save a lot of rework also known as price of non conformance. Most of the prevention activities are important but not urgent, hence gets postponed, inviting lot of extras which could have been avoided.

Proper project planning is one activity which takes a back seat very often. It is generally considered as a formality, hence done without proper attention. Every project is unique hence every project plan must be unique, hence cut and paste plans will not work out well. The project manager must have the inclination to sit down and think through the whole project and develop the plan according to the project strategy that is evolving out of the thought process. This is the beginning of pitting the first things first. Then comes execution of the plan which will ensure that you are doing the right things in the right sequence.

Good luck. Put the first things first.  If you have not read Stephen coveys the seven habits of highly effective people, please do so, which will provide you with greater insights about the whole idea of the seven habits. A must read.

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Which project management certification?

Which certification to pursue?..that is a million dollar question which every professional face, at some point in time of their career. This discussion is based on which certifications one should pursue, after making a concrete decision to tread the project management route. Within project management, we have two major schools;

  • The agile project management
  • Traditional project management

Both are valuable, and complementary.  Which one will give you the fastest return on investment depends on;

  • The industry to which you belong to
  • The industry where you want to spend your future
  • The country where you will be working

The globally well known certifications for project managers

If you are from the information technology domain, it is better to with any one of the agile certifications straightaway. The certified Scrum Master (CSM) by Scrumalliance is expensive and has the early starter advantage, where as PSM is not that expensive, and at the same time it is very authentic, because it is coming from Ken Schwaber’s Scrum.org. For those of you who do not know Ken Schwaber, he founded scrum along with Jeff Sutherland, and both of them together developed the scrum guide, which is the most authentic documentation on scrum, becuase it is coming from the founders. The syllabus for these two certifications (CSM and PSM) are the ScrumGuide, and upon completion of the certification process, one will have the proficiency to play the role of a scrum master (project manager, in the traditional forms).

Then we have the PMI-ACP certification. The syllabus for this certification is a cocktail of all the frameworks available out there and calls for;

  • Complete understanding of  SCRUM
  • A very good understanding of Extreme Programming
  • Some key concepts like earned value management, risk management, communications management from the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK)
  • Complete understanding of Agile body of knowledge

After getting anyone of the agile certifications, then try for PMP credential. Without a proper understanding of the nine knowledge areas of PMBOK;

  • Integration management
  • Scope management
  • Time management
  • Cost management
  • Quality management
  • Communications management
  • Human resource management
  • Risk management
  • Procurement management

one will fail, when it comes to real life project management. More than that, while the future holds good for the Agile, many customers insist on PMP’s to manage their projects. If you are from the I.T background, these two certifications are mandatory. Start with agile, and then graduate into PMBOK. Both complements.

If you are from any other domain, other than I.T, then the options are either PMP or PRINCE2. Since the origins of PRINCE2 are from U.K, it is appreciated there, and the rest of the world is with PMP. So, based on where you are, and where your customers are, you have to decide.

Please post all your additional queries as comments to this page, and I will reply.

Transitioning from pmbok to agile/scrum scope management

Scope management is about the why, who, what, how and   defining and managing scope throughout the project. How is it performed in agile project management. At the macro level high level scope is defined in the form of a product backlog by the product owner. This product backlog is allowed to grow indefinitely. This may raise many eye brows as scope management among pmbokists is generally considered

Continue reading

An attempt to develop a global project management learning framework, by building extensions to Pmdistilled to cover all leading project management models.

At last, I completed the design of the PMdistilled PMP preparatory program  – Online version. The PMdistilled classroom training is doing well, and at the same time we are unable to reach out globally, without an online delivery mechanism. Lot of thinking have gone into the all new PMdistilled Online program. It is highly modular, so easy to upgrade with version changes. When fully extended, it will help the learner to master other prominent project management models very easily. The current configuration covers only PMBOK. After the launch I will be working on Agile extension of PMdistilled followed by PRINCE2 extension. Its going to be lot of work, and at the same time, it is meaningful work.

Irrespective of the model, all model rests on the pillars of Plan-do-check-act  or plan-do-study-act cycles. The jargons are different but the core remains the same. Either one can learn all models to arrive at this universal truth, or one can start from this fact and try to understand the models. I am taking the second route. A module for explaining the basic project management quickly, and then allow the learner to choose the extensions he/she wants. Now I am working on the PMBOK extension and plan to extend it to PMBOK and Agile soon.

Are there anyone out there (preferably from outside India, so that we can bring in global perspectives into it) interested in this project?. Please email me at  abrachan@pmriworld.com.

The course structure of the PMdistilled online can be downloaded from;

https://sites.google.com/a/pmriworld.com/pmdistilled123/course-materials

Project management thought for 2008!

It is a confused world out there. People want to make money, by working in non-profit making initiatives. We have the PMBOK by the project management institute, which is a non profit making organization, which offers nothing free of cost. The PMI claims that PMBOK is the de facto standard for project management. Then the Britishers say PRINCE2 is the defacto standard for project management. Now I see P2M by the Project management association of Japan and there is another one from the Australians.

As a project manager and as a project management trainer from India, we have to cater to the needs of the customers from USA,UK,Australia and Japan…and many other countries, who are aligned to one of these methods (rather imposed). If this much complexity is not sufficient, then comes the Agile Gurus, who just plucked out the rolling wave planning and built on it’s foundation. Dont think that Agile Alliance membership is free. They also want to make money.

If this much is not enough, then there are another set of customers, who do not beileve in anything. The mantra is ‘Just Do What I Say – JDWIS’. This category of Customers allocates work whenever they feel like, will change it whenever they like and they also insist on plans and schedules. They need Extreme XP !

When I compare all these models, the similarities are more than the dissimalrities.

Here goes the similarities;

1) Everyone wants to make money

2) Everyone wants to use these methods as a strategic weapon to capture markets

3) It is the same old wine, in different bottles.

4) The Ingredients of the wine are plan – do – check and act

As an Indian project manager, I am sand witched between all these. In one of my project management workshops we were discussing about the need to understand the different cultures to function effectively as a global project manager. Suddenly someone posed this question….”Are we trying please everyone?. Is it becuase we do not have our own style?.  What is our style?. Are we just trying to impress others?. “.

In the past, we had some bad experiences with the flawed implementations of CMM. India is a nation which writes the maximum number of software code and at the same time we have not produced many killing software products coming out of India. Is this the price we are paying for trying to please others (hang over from the colonial India).

I think it is high time to filter the best out of all these and form a NON ALIGNED PROJECT MANAGEMENT !

It is disgusting to see this much ado about nothing. It is  high time to dispell all these and come out with a simpler – just enough one !. A NON aligned one – An all aligned one !.

I can be contacted at   abrachan (at) gmail (.) com

A project management chat without firewalls

 

Abrachan: good afternoon

Otherside: I’ve not yet received any updates from you regarding the class

as we discussed earlier it is supposed to start this 20th

 

Abrachan: I am ready

what about you do you have time to devote

otherside: ofcourse, but now i am in a holiday mood actually :)… Christmas is almost ahead and I’m going to sing for carol programms now a days. So I would be happy if we can start 27

if u don’t mind

 

Abrachan: thats fine

timings?

otherside: I prefer mornings say from 5.30. But it all depends on your availablity

Sent at 12:50 PM on Tuesday

otherside: Sir kindly see our past chats as follows:

abrachan: Pay us 100 dollars – we will put you on a crash course for 1 month, 1 hour / day with weekly scheduled voice chat with the instructor + we give you 35 contact hours + online test simulator and assured success 🙂
4:12 PM examoples will be from IT
me: What I am looking for is a mentor who is having software project management experience and also one who can guide me to my PMP Certification
abrachan: Iam the right person 🙂

 

Abrachan: ok

otherside: so I thought it to be a month long one with 1 hour schedules… is there any difference ?

 

Abrachan: you will complete 48 online modules within a month

will have weekend chats ..for clarification and guidance

that is fine with me. it all depends on how much time you can spend every day

it should be possible to complete the 48 modules in 30 days

with one hour dedication / day

otherside: I can spend arround 1.5 hours of instructor led course as u mentioned (from 5.30 AM to 7.00 AM). Also I can spend arround 2 hours of study time in addition.

 

Abrachan: budget 30 days

otherside: right

 

Abrachan: I will email you the course coverage

otherside: ok sir please do. I am planning to write the exam by the end of Jan or beginning of Feb. So kindly provide me the details

 

Abrachan: dont worry. I assure you success

if you follow the study plan, you will pass

Wish you avery merry Christmas in advance

otherside: Same to you sir…

So when can I expect your mail ?

 

Abrachan: before today evening

Sent at 1:03 PM on Tuesday

otherside: Sir can I ask u a doubt, if u r free ?

 

Abrachan: sure

Sent at 1:19 PM on Tuesday

otherside: As you know at present I am working in the software industry and my wife is also working in the software industry. So,we feel its risky to be in the same industry. If I take Project Management as my profession and take PMP, will it have any relavance for other industry ? For Eg. Is it possible for me to shift to some other Vertical as a PM ?

I mean a midcourse correction

 

Abrachan: PMP certification is not domain specific. IN my last batch, I had people from it, construction , hr and mechanical disciplines

Hence this certification will help you in any field you choose…if you are planning to tread the project manager route

otherside: yes I know that but what if I change the trade now to a different domain with the PMP brand

would like to get your openinon on that

 

Abrachan: which trade?

otherside: I can shift to HR/Finance since I’m an MBA

 

Abrachan: Finance it will defintely help you

otherside: but I have’nt seen any PMP’s in Finance

 

Abrachan: bad luck 🙂

yes, it is rare. I did get a couple of them in my trainings

what is that you want to do with your career?

otherside: I belive the PMP’s are in IT and Construction industry mostly right ?

 

Abrachan: You sound very direction leass and confused 🙂

otherside: Actually I am lil bit confused to be frank

 

Abrachan: am I right? 🙂

otherside: yes

 

Abrachan: are u on voice

otherside: sorry its not allowed here sir

 

Abrachan: ok

You and me work only 8000 days (approx) a life time

some part of it is already over

otherside: ok right

right

 

Abrachan: Whcih skillset of yours is getting you your salary now?

otherside: Business Analysis and Project Management in Software

 

Abrachan: why are you insecure here?

are you technical?

otherside: I am not technical and that makes me insecure

 

Abrachan: are you good in any particular domain…are you as good as a chartered accountant or cost accountant in finance

otherside: also I feel Insecure since my wife is also in the software field and when people talks of another software recession coming up…

 

Abrachan: If you are very good in anything, then there is no need to panic

only generalists need to worry

otherside: I am not as good as a chartered accountant or cost accountant in finance.

 

Abrachan: how old are you

otherside: most of our projects are from various domains

I am 31 now

 

Abrachan: 🙂

otherside: some are from finance, some from food industry, some from travel and tourism etc so no specific indepth knowledge in any domain

 

Abrachan: PMP certification alone will not help…along with it you should make concrete efforts to be a contributing project manager – for that you should be good in technology or domain or in both

if not in IT, what are the other things you can do?

otherside: I understood

hmmm I still have to find the answer for that question

 

Abrachan: the best is yet to come. I am entering a new field – construction and real estate now. and I am 47. I am not loosing my current skills….I am building on it, and at the same time exploring new avenues as well

otherside :  oh that is really nice…

 

Abrachan: a kind of skillset portfolio managtement

 

otherside: hmmm

 

Abrachan: have you heard of BCG matrix

otherside: BCG Group builders ?

 

Abrachan: stars, question marks, cows and dogs

boston consulting group matrix

ajiljose: no sir

 

Abrachan: cows are those skillsets or projects, which are giving you your salary or income now

otherside: ok

 

Abrachan: after some years they will become dogs (end of life)

To sustain your employability, you need to dream about new avenues now itself

those are the stars

otherside: so construction industry is the new star for you ?

 

Abrachan: then you invest in the shortlisted stars….which become question marks (no returns for some time..only expenditure)

then after some time they become cows

always you should have projects in all these four quadrants to sustain yourself

for me PMP training is cow now

otherside: sir do u have url’s to get more reading of this topic ? it sounds really interesting and motivating

 

Abrachan: it is my innovation

actually they apply BCG for organizational portfolio management..I am just extending it to personal skillset portfolio management

go to google and search for BCG matrix

otherside: done !

 

Abrachan: for me e-learning and consulting are the question marks

construction is ????

otherside: star ?

 

Abrachan: my electrical engineering knowledge has become a dog 🙂

construction is star

if you are doing some reaerch on this, then look at ESBI matrix by Robert KAyasaki as well

 

 

Abrachan: PMP you can treat it as an investment. Definitely it will add value…atleast you will become more employable across the globe

otherside: yes I belive that

 

Abrachan: most of the gys who got it, either got a promotion or they switched to a better job

otherside: but now a days some people are saying against PMI too… I noticed it in a yahoo group

 

Abrachan: You get better acceptability as a project manager, and you will be slightly more confident in your professional dealings

some are against agile, some ara aginst PMI, some are against PRINCE2….

Your project is most important for you. KNow all these concepts, and apply if these helps to manage your work better

otherside: not exactly, they are saying that PMP will not last more than one year or so

 

Abrachan: 🙂

I dont know

They should be more knowledgeable than me !

otherside: sir i’m just passing on an information i got… sorry if it hurt

 

Abrachan: The fact is that, you are in better demand with a PMP credential than without it. dont worry, I am beyond all tehse

otherside: ok fine

 

Abrachan: I am trainer and consultant of agile and prince2 as well

I am a certified scrum master, and a princes pratitioner certified

all i can say is ‘ project managet is here to stay’ and those who can manage projects better will be in demand 🙂

otherside: Sir this is the information i got “NONE
of the exam based credentials are worth a hoot, and the fact that you
are seeing “PMP Required” in help wanted advertisements only supports
the argument that at least in India, (and formerly in China) the PMP
has reached the status of a cult, which is far, far beyond any
rational justification. Sooner or later, those who pay (Companies
like Wipro?) are going to wake up and realize that the PMP has little
or no bearing on whether projects are run any better. And when that
realization comes, just like any other “bubble”, when it bursts, some
people are going to be hurt by it.

My reason for contributing so much to this forum is because I see
this bubble approaching the bursting point, and as a lifelong project
manager, I hate to see the practice of project management be hurt
because of unfounded marketing hype setting unrealistic expectations.

How do I know this? Because I am seeing our Fortune 500 clients who
were “early adopters” of the PMP, starting to abandon it and move
towards other certifications. In almost all cases, the
certifications these world class clients are seeking out are
COMPETENCY based credentials.

And more and more, I am seeing them attracted to what GAPPS is
offering- www.globalpmstandar ds.org. This organization has created
competency based standards and have put them on the internet for
FREE, under “open source” or “copyleft” licensing. Why? Because some
of us don’t believe it appropriate for legitimate not-for-profit
professional organizations to be making millions of dollars from IP
which was voluntarily provided by those of us who practice the art
and science of project management.

So look beyond the “sizzle” and start to look for some of the steak!!”

 

Abrachan: It is just waste of time

otherside: 🙂

 

Abrachan: You do, what you want to do. There can be always multiple views 🙂

otherside: ofcourse you are right

I do belive PMP can make my profession better anyway

 

Abrachan: I have highly experienced project managers attending my courses One guy was 55 years old, and has managed projects worth millions of dollars at stake. He comes for PMP becuase without it he was not getting a job in USA or Canada (he wanted to migrate)

And after PMP he got it

otherside: PMP is sought in Canada too ?

 

Abrachan: I can cite several cases like these

every where?.

otherside: I thought Prince to be popular in Americas anc Canada

 

Abrachan: MAy be in UK, prince2 is more promoted, because it is coined by them

otherside: oh i see

 

Abrachan: PMP is from USA, hence that is for the rest of the world

otherside: ya I got it…

Last day I received my PMI membership certificate from PMI

and I joined Cochin Chapter for last chapter meetings

 

Abrachan: If I am doing an IT project, I will follow only agile methodologies, and at the same time will try to plug in whatever is useful from other methods as well

what is the URL for cochin chapter

PMI covers rolling wave plan, which is the backbone of all agile methods

otherside: Cochin chapter is not yet formed officialy. Only some unofficial meeting to form one is going on in Infopark

 

Abrachan: ok

otherside: ok should I go thru the PMBOK once before I sit for morning classes so that I can ask doubts ?

 

Abrachan: No need…it is very dry

read it along with the class

complete the PM essentials program before the class

that will help

otherside: do u mind asking you doubts each day ? Will it distrub others who are listening ?

ok I shall complete it sit

 

otherside oh so that means I can ask doubts while I take up class… right sir ?

 

Abrachan: thats encouraged

otherside: Shall i tell about this to my friends ?

 

Abrachan: sure

otherside: I mean how many can you accomodate ?

 

Abrachan: I dont want to enroll more than five per batch

 

 

ng of Cochin chapter this 21 i suppose (not sure). I shall inform about your class to PMP aspirants. Is it okay ?

 

Abrachan: If you have friends who are interested, they are welcome

thats perfectly allright

you can tell them about the PM essentials module on classtube, which is free

 

otherside: is there any broachure or something which I can show them ?

okay I shall do that

 

Abrachan: you can tell them that I have already delivered 95 workshops in ASia during the last two years…so they need not worry about the credibility factor

 

 

Abrachan: there is one site www.pmdistilled.com which is getting updated now

 

 

Abrachan: then there is abrachan.org

then there is www.pmrinstitute.com

 

Abrachan: this also getting updated now

I will email you the course outline by today evening

otherside: okay sir… thankyou for your time

it was really helpful for me

 

Abrachan: thank you too

nice to hear that

bye for now

you have a wonderful cute little daughter

 

Abrachan: enjoy time with her too…they grow up fast

bye

Otherside : Do you want to see her snap ?

 

Abrachan: i can see one in the chat

 

Sent at 2:19 PM on Tuesday

1,2,3 of project management certifications

Sometimes my project management workshop participants ask me this question in my workshops. What is the next certification I should pursue after my PMP certification.  The answer is “some people learn things with one certification, where as others take multiple certifications to understand the subject” :-). It is not the certifications that matter. What really matters is the passion and the enthusiasm to demonstrate what they already learned. Most of the great project managers I have seen during my career spanning over 20 years are non PMP certified, non SCRM certified and non PRINCE certified.  A certification just ensures that you have the basic understanding of the subject. Thats it. Nothing more and nothing else. Excellence in the profession depends on the enthusiasm and the energy levels to demonstrate what you earned by working hard. After all knowledge and health cannot be neither purchased nor delegated. It has to be earned. So be proud of it, and start levergaing the knowledge in the day to day work. Dont consider certifications as a goal, rather consider them as faster vehicles to reach your goal faster. It is definitely faster than learning from mistakes!.

To be honest I wish I had atleast one certification on project management, when I started my career as a project manager. Unfortunately none existed then, or atleast I was not aware of one then. I am sure that I would have progressed in my career faster with a crash course on project management. Most of the stuff we learned were based on experience, which is time consuming and at times very costly.  Right now I am a PMP, PRINCE2, SCRUM MASTER certied project manager.  As a practising project manager I dont need all these. As a practitioner all I need is just one certification to learn the ropes of project management. I went after other certifications just because I am a trainer of project management!

Understanding PRINCE2 – 3 day workshop (new)

1

Overview of PRINCE2 – Lecture

Ø      Programs, Projects, Stages

Ø      The structure of PRINCE2

Ø      Processes & Controls

Ø      Key definitions, roles and responsibilities

 

Test 

 

Discussion

 

2 hours

2

Understanding the case study

30 minutes

   Starting up a project  (SU) – Lecture  

Ø      Appointing an executive and a project manager

Ø      Designing a project management team

Ø      Appointing a project management team

Ø      Preparing a project brief

Ø      Defining project approach

Ø      Planning an initiation stage

Ø      Authorizing initiation

Ø      Planning an initiation stage 

 Exercise covering  

Ø      Executive job description

Ø      Project manager job description

Ø      Project management team structure

Ø      Team job description

Ø      Project brief

Ø      Daily log

Ø      Risk log

Ø      Project approach

Ø      Initiation stage plan  

 

Test

 

Discussion 

 

2 hours

6

Directing a project  – Lecture

 

Ø      Authorizing initiation

Ø      Authorizing a project

Ø      Authorizing a stage or exception plan

Ø      Giving ad-hoc direction

Ø      Confirming project closure

 

Exercise covering

 

Ø      Project startup notification

Ø      Authorization to proceed / close

Ø      Stage plan or exception plan

Ø      Project board guidance

Ø      Exception plan request

Ø      New project issues

Ø      Follow on action recommendation

Ø      End project report

Ø      Post project review plan

Ø      Lessons learned report

Ø      Project closure notification

 Test  Discussion   

2 hours

7

 

Controlling a stage

 

Ø      Authorizing work package

Ø      Assessing progress

Ø      Capturing project issues

Ø      Examining project issues

Ø      Reviewing stage status

Ø      Reporting highlights

Ø      Taking corrective action

Ø      Escalating project issues

Ø      Receiving completed work package

 

Exercise covering

 

Ø      Work package

Ø      Stage status information

Ø      Product status account

Ø      Plan deviation

Ø      Tolerance threat

Ø      Stage end notification

Ø      Trigger for project end

Ø      Work trigger

Ø      Request for advice

Ø      Highlight report

Ø      Communication to interested parties

Ø      Exception plan request 

  Test  Discussion 

2 hours

8

 

Managing product delivery

 

Ø      Accepting work package

Ø      Executing a work package

Ø      Delivering a work package

 

Exercise

 

Test

 

Discussion

 

2 hours

9

 

Closing a project

 

Ø      Decommissioning a project

Ø      Identifying follow on actions

Ø      Evaluating a project

 Exercise  

Test

 

Discussion

1 hour 

10

Comparing PRINCE, PMBOK and Agile

1 hour

11

Wrapping it up

30 minutes

  

All the participants will receive a copy of the course slides, workbook and the key templates (hard copy).

 

Note

 This program will not lead to PRINCE2 certification and the focus is entirely on understanding and practicing PRINCE2

If all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail

This is a quote I got from Craig Brown. Thank you Craig. This is a great eye opener. ‘If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail”.  This is well evidenet, when;

  • The PMBOK supporters say that that is the defacto global standard for project management.
  • The PRINCE2 supporters say that PRINCE2 is the defacto global standard for project management.
  • When the Agile thinkers say that both PMBOK and PRINCE are useless, without even taking the pain to understand them inside out.
  • When the CMM proponents say that CMM is the answer for all your capability issues.
  • When the consultants propose the same methodology/framework to all companies/teams, without considering their uniqueness.

Keep your eyes and ears open. What works for you the best is the best. Adopt whatever works for you. All these models are great reference material to do so.  

Which one is better? PRINCE or PMBOK

This is a question one of my workshop participants asked me yesterday, and the reply is;

“All models are like parents. They treat you like children. They keep telling you the ‘what,how and when to do s’. We must listen to parents, and at the same time bank on our own learning and experiences. There is a very high degree of intersection among PRINCE2, PMBOK, Agile methods, CMM, ISO, ITIL etc. Understanding the common thread, cutting through these models , will make life easier. As an Asian, I am previleged to look at these methods, models, frameworks with the same degree of attachment or detachment, becuase I dont adore any of these models completely. Everything has their own merits and demerits. What works for my project’s sucess is the best for me, because my professional life is dependent on the success of the project. Then my personal life is also tightly dependent on my professional life. For me, my project is more important than following just one framework or method from the purist’s view.”

Knowledge of all models helps one to choose the most appropriate for the project under consideration.

Parent,Adult,Child and professional evolution

Do you remember your earlier bosses?. May be the first one?.

When all of us entered the corporate life (first job), professionally we all started as a ‘child’, carrying IAM NOT OK – YOU are OK life position. The first boss was acting as a corporate PARENT, and telling us what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in corporate life, and we believed whatever he said and did, and we we were totally dependent on him. Our position was of a ‘CHILD’, totally dependent on the ‘PARENT’. During this phase od career development, our life position was ‘Iam NOT OK, and YOU are OK’.

Then, our own experiences in the corporate world taught us lot of things and we slowly started filtering out what is right and wrong, some of these in conflict with our earlier PARENT (first boss) teachings. As a corporate adult, we develop the capability to compare the reality with the teachings of the ‘PARENT’ and merge it with our own learnings and experience as adults to arrive at our own decisions. Here slowly we move from ‘Iam not OK and You are OK’ to I am OK, and you are OK or not OK’ positions, based on situations.

Very often people ask me, whether PMBOK is better or PRINCE2 is better?. As far as Iam concerned, these are just bodies of knowledge, which in turn is nothing but a group of ‘parents’ telling me, what should be done, and what should not be done, in project management. If our corporate position is of a ‘CHILD’, we follow these blindly, as we dont have our own experiences and learnings to validate these ‘PARENT’ view. May be, that is the smartest thing to do, till we develop a life position of ‘Iam OK and You are OK’.  Once we gain enough expeience and insight, we take the position of an ‘ADULT’ and will learn to arrive at our own decisions after synthesising the teachings of the parents and our own experiences and learnings.

Which one suits software development the most?

Recently at one company I was doing the SCRUMdistilled workshop. It was a medium sized organization with a team size of just 100 engineers developing mobile applications. At the end of the SCRUMdistilled workshop, I took them through the conventional project management (predictive) key points like the project charter, critical path, earned value management etc. The idea was just to introduce them to the key aspects of conventional (predictive) project management so that in case their customers uses these jargons, they should be able to relate with it. To my surprise, none of them could digest it, when given after SCRUM, which is truly an adaptive style.  Definitely while developing applications for the mobile devices, onlt adaptive styles of project management can work, and this is proof to it. If one is operating in a familiar technology with clear, frozen requirements sets, then it is  a case for predictive styles. So it is not adaptive Vs predictive – it is adaptive and predictive. The challenge is in deciding the right style, which suits the specific project.