Project Management

Are You Choosing Your Way of Working?

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 [email protected] Andy's new book Risk Management for Project Driven Organizations is now available.

I recently worked with PMI’s Disciplined Agile (DA) team on a survey of a number of agile topics. One of the key findings was that organizations that used more than one agile approach were more likely to be successful than those that were tied to a single agile methodology. That’s probably not too surprising to most of you, and it ties into one of the basic elements of DA—the concept of the freedom to choose the best approach. That’s not some generic methodology that’s ranked number one against some arbitrary scorecard, rather it’s the right approach, or combination of approaches for each organization, department and team.

But there’s a problem with that. Many organizations are reluctant to provide that freedom because it eliminates the concept of standards, making governance and oversight harder and adding layers of complexity for centralized reporting and performance measurement. To change that attitude takes more than simply pointing at survey data that shows better performance among businesses that have variety in their agile approach. It requires that data to be ‘made real’ for each organization—it takes a belief that easing up on the standards will drive greater performance in the unique environment each business exists within. And that takes time and effort.

The impact of multiple approaches on standards

Let’s start by acknowledging that a standard approach to …

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