I am just back from the PMI Global Congress 2009--EMEA in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
PMI seemed focused on the environment--with a keynote emphasizing the need to be more green--and on the value of project management, with the Research Working Session and a few tracks by PMI personnel on the subject.
The majority of tracks, however, seemed to hit on different topics, including:
1. People issues, like decision-making, leadership, communication, culture, politics and stakeholder management
2. The strategic link of projects, like organizational project management, project selection, portfolio and program management and the PMO
I think this last one is a growing trend in project management.
Many of the concepts of Agile can be traced back to fast-track construction projects, where basic principles like co-location, fast prototyping, iterative development, daily orientation meetings and other concepts were developed.
In IT, the Agile methods evolved in the mid-1990s in reaction to what is called the "waterfall model," a sequential approach to programming.
In 2001, 17 prominent thinkers of what were then called "lightweight methods" issued the Agile Manifesto, which states four basic principles:
â€¢ Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
â€¢ Working software over comprehensive documentation
â€¢ Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
â€¢ Responding to change over following a plan
Although, in a way, Agile seems to be the antithesis of project management, as explained in A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), it can be very advantageous to use it in turbulent and strategic settings.
As project management is used more and more to manage strategic change and projects become more complex, Agile principles will influence more and more the management of projects, and more specifically, program management.
More in my next post ...