Monday, August 11, 2008

Red-flags in Project Management

Now that I am again gainfully employed I can make my (unrequested) suggestions to Seattle area employers without caring if I piss them off.

A trend I have noticed, as have other true Agile & Scrum PMs I've talked to, is a lack of real Agile or Scrum positions. It seems that a lot of companies have caught on that Agile & Scrum are the future, and advertise for these positions but when push comes to shove are running Waterfall projects. Here's a tip for these companies: if you require a PMP or use MS Project, you are running a Waterfall project.

Waterfall and Agile don't play nice together. You cannot run a Agile or Scrum project in MS Project. It is designed specifically for Waterfall and the core methodology is completely different.

Further, you are discouraging real Agile and SCRUM professionals from applying because they generally want to work on *Agile* and *Scrum* projects.

Just saying.


At Monday, August 11, 2008 8:29:00 AM, Blogger andrew said...

Agile requires a certain level of tooling that most companies just are not will to cough up for. Most of them are even free, but the infrastructure and resources it takes to make them viable is too high since most companies are in a permenant reactionary mode for the business owners.

We do a modified Agile model and to some extent it works. Lots of kinks to workout to make Offshore work smoothly within the framework, but the core principles work well.

As Martin Fowler said: "Friends don't let friends use Microsoft Project".

At Monday, August 11, 2008 1:34:00 PM, Blogger P-Dog said...

I actually had a lengthy conversation with a hiring manager about this. Basically there environment sounds similar to yours.

His response is that it's semantics. PMP isn't waterfall, because you don't have to use the techniques described in PMBOK in exactly the way they tell you to. In otherwards, they view it as an ala carte menu to chose from based on what works best.

I actually agree with that approach. For a lot of reasons even if Agile is a perfect fit it's rarely practical to adopt it whole hog (for many reasons including the costs you identified).

But the point is, PMP and PMBOK *are* waterfall. You are tested not just on specific skills and techniques but the sequences you use them in.

And this is important because you can't expect people who are reading your job description to know what you are thinking.


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