Doug is the author of the landmark book, Extreme Project Management®: Using Leadership, Principles and Tools to Deliver Value in the Face of Volatility. He works with clients who undertake projects in very demanding environments: those settings that feature high speed, high change, high unpredictability and high stress. Doug has lived in the trenches—from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to Beijing, China—with over 275 project teams with budgets that ranged from $25,000 to over $25 million. He is one of the founders of the Agile Leadership Network, an organization dedicated to connecting, developing and supporting great project leaders. He is known for his hard-hitting and humorous keynote speeches that address vital issues facing today’s project-based organizations. You can visit Doug at www.dougdecarlo.com.
Note: This article contains major excerpts for the author’s book, eXtreme Project Management: Using Leadership, Principles and Tools to Deliver Value in the Face of Volatility.
To succeed on extreme projects, requires that we think and act in a change tolerant way. We need to adopt a quantum mind-set. Adopting a quantum mind-set is step number one. For a discussion of the quantum mind-set, refer to the Chaos, Complexity and the Quantum Mindset channel.
In this document, I will summarize the key components of my own model for succeeding on extreme projects; that is for putting the quantum mind-set into practice. There are other practitioners of agile project management who have their own models and these will be documented as time goes one. So, here I am speaking for my own brand of extreme project management.
Two Success Factors
Adopting a quantum worldview—one compatible with complexity and chaos—is the first success factor. As we’ll see, this worldview tips the project manager’s focus in favor of people and interactions more so than on process and tools.
The second success factor is to be able to gain and sustain commitment to the project mission throughout the venture. This is no small task given that people are already spread thin and that extreme projects are high-stress endeavors, and in many cases are also marinated in corporate politics.