Do We Need Brand Name Methods?

Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., a Roatan, Honduras-based management consulting firm with a comprehensive project management practice. Andy always appreciates feedback and discussion on the issues raised in his articles and can be reached at andy.jordan@roffensian.com. Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

Fashion is a funny thing. When you see red carpet interviews for the Golden Globes or the Oscars, the interviewer always seems to ask the cliché: “Who are you wearing?” At a more mundane level, I am currently sitting on a commuter train looking at my fellow travelers and the designer logos on their jackets and sweaters. As humans we put a lot of stock in the name that is on a product--and by extension the image that is associated with that name. I’m not suggesting that is necessarily a bad thing, but it is interesting--the perception of quality and coolness (whatever that means) that comes simply from the brand.

Where life gets really interesting for me is where we start to extrapolate that brand identity concept into our project methodologies. I’ve spent some time talking to different organizations about the different approaches that they use, and I want to spend some time in this article looking at what drives the decisions--and considering whether there is any tangible benefit to choosing a “brand label” project execution approach.

Agile vs. waterfall
Before we go too far, I think that we need to make a distinction between traditional waterfall-based project execution and agile approaches. This issue of using a formally recognized approach really seemed to come to the fore a lot more with the growth of agile, and that …

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