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Topics: Agile, Change Management, Leadership
What is coming after agile?
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In an agile conference a speaker explained his view about what is coming after "agile"....and he said "Resilience, as a strategy to absorb disruptive changes in the industry"

Changes are going to be so fast than even with an adaptative approach you´re not going to be able to react to them.

Your insights would be much appreciated.
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It's pretty obvious: Lean. DevOps, Kanban... although initially Agile was a replacement for Lean. It didn't work :)
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2 replies by Mario Coquillat and Stelian ROMAN
Dec 19, 2018 6:04 AM
Mario Coquillat
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Thanks for your insight. I´m not sure that Devops or Kanban are not a subset of Agile.

Lean is different, it is the origin and Agile is a subset of it.
Dec 20, 2018 3:34 PM
Stelian ROMAN
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@Mario, Lean is about eliminating waste by standardisation. Agile is promoting change, about prototyping and adaptation. The two concepts are fundamentally opposed although both are seeking the delivery of better products. Lean by cutting costs and ensuring quality and Agile by responding fast to changes in requirements.
Agile can't be a subset of Lean.
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Anti-fragility. See https://www.antifragileenterprise.org/antifragile-enterprise for more info...
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The digital age will off a lot of opportunities for new and disruptive technology insertion. What we manage today with a lot of different federated documents and files, are starting to become more integrated. This changes the way information is managed.

Once you build the intelligent integrated network of information there are really fascinating opportunities for how to use the data. 3 examples that immediately come to mind relevant to PM are:

- The ability for algorithms to detect patterns and thus enable reusing components of prior project plans rather than building them from scratch.

- The ability to use genetic algorithms to optimize organizations, schedules, architectures, and other things to rapidly converge on solutions that would have been impossible if not impractical in prior times.

- The ability to use real time information to understand current performance, and predict future outcomes.
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1 reply by Mario Coquillat
Dec 19, 2018 6:12 AM
Mario Coquillat
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Thanks for your insight. I see you´re talking about AI and machine learning.

In Los Angeles PMI Global Congress there was a speech about it and it was interesting.

People will focus more in strategy and stakeholder management and machines would manage the rest. We´ll see impact in 20-30 years.
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Keith, I read something similar in an article from 1994 (Technology ... the enabler of the Agile Enterprise). It is not as easy as it looks.

Remember that IT means Information Technology :). The whole idea of bringing computers in the workplace was to better manage information.

Do you really believe that the Digital Age is what will replace Agile?
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Stelian, I think it will drastically change a lot of things related to PM due to the rapid advances in IT. Things that were purely theoretical due to computing limitations back in the 90's when I was an engineering undergrad are now commonplace.

Agile approaches involve incremental changes and testing them before moving on rather than big-bang deployment. If I can replicate a system (not just IT but physical systems and organizations as well) where I can test how they will perform under a variety of different situations, I can drastically reduce the trial-and-error time and costs compared to having to physically implement each iteration prior to testing.

There is a great deal of development in this area. Some companies are making it work while a lot are failing. I've noted a number of reasons I've personally witnessed that inhibit success, but I think that is much like the perspective switch from waterfall to agile, and will be overcome.
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1 reply by Stelian ROMAN
Dec 18, 2018 5:33 PM
Stelian ROMAN
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I started my IT career replacing manual processes with computerised ones. It was a drastically change, significantly bigger that computer performance limitations. BTW I have the same laptop for since 2012 because I can't use his power (yet). Incremental delivery was first used in 1958 on mainframes, it has not much to do with Agile. Most of the technological advances are invisible to the end user: cloud, speed, storage. That's one reason that many companies are still using legacy systems. There is no benefit for the end user in moving it to a newer platform.
On a side note Agile should be compared with plan driven not with 'waterfall'. Waterfall is something else and the process is as older than iterative and incremental delivery (70s vs 50s). It is still good to do analysis before coding rather than after :). The original Scrum paper was advocating to reduce waterfall's' cycle time and doing parallel 'waterfalls' rather than deploying before testing or starting the cycle with coding.
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Dec 18, 2018 5:21 PM
Replying to Keith Novak
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Stelian, I think it will drastically change a lot of things related to PM due to the rapid advances in IT. Things that were purely theoretical due to computing limitations back in the 90's when I was an engineering undergrad are now commonplace.

Agile approaches involve incremental changes and testing them before moving on rather than big-bang deployment. If I can replicate a system (not just IT but physical systems and organizations as well) where I can test how they will perform under a variety of different situations, I can drastically reduce the trial-and-error time and costs compared to having to physically implement each iteration prior to testing.

There is a great deal of development in this area. Some companies are making it work while a lot are failing. I've noted a number of reasons I've personally witnessed that inhibit success, but I think that is much like the perspective switch from waterfall to agile, and will be overcome.
I started my IT career replacing manual processes with computerised ones. It was a drastically change, significantly bigger that computer performance limitations. BTW I have the same laptop for since 2012 because I can't use his power (yet). Incremental delivery was first used in 1958 on mainframes, it has not much to do with Agile. Most of the technological advances are invisible to the end user: cloud, speed, storage. That's one reason that many companies are still using legacy systems. There is no benefit for the end user in moving it to a newer platform.
On a side note Agile should be compared with plan driven not with 'waterfall'. Waterfall is something else and the process is as older than iterative and incremental delivery (70s vs 50s). It is still good to do analysis before coding rather than after :). The original Scrum paper was advocating to reduce waterfall's' cycle time and doing parallel 'waterfalls' rather than deploying before testing or starting the cycle with coding.
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I recently had the opportunity to go back to school after 20 years as an engineer/project manager and get my masters in Systems Engineering (SE is not the same as IT systems BTW). It was an interesting perspective going from years of practical application back to theoretical. In doing so, I also read about the equivalent of War and Peace every few months of research papers on the state of the art in SE and MBSE. Where I see a lot of users have no use for more powerful computational ability is they lack the understanding of how it can be used. For example, I hear people talk about using data-analytics, and it quickly becomes apparent they have no idea what they wish to achieve with it. I hear people talk about using MBSE, but they don't know what they would get out of linking models.

SE, where systems are described in requirements documents, functions, flow diagrams, indentured parts lists, and other contextual views are evolving into digital models which describe the same thing, but are able to share information between models. When you couple that with increased computing power, and developments in distributed systems architectures, you can open up entirely new capabilities that are not obvious.

Large high tech companies are leading in this field, but I think just as powerful computing was once limited to those with the deepest pockets, we will see the technology become far more widely available and useful as it develops. It's much like how some companies would employ "rolling wave" at the top level on large projects, and now everyone is using agile throughout organizations.
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What some people do not understand is things like Agile are outside there from long time ago and it has nothing to be with predictive or adaptive. In fact, Agile can be used with predictive. Problem is the misunderstanding about Agile outside there. More problem is when people create new buzzwords for things that exists from long time ago as resilence. In fact, i wrote an article that was published by the PMI and the IIBA relating change and Newton´s Laws. My recommendation is not buying this type of things. My recommendation is going to the basement, search about physic and philosophy because the foundation is there.
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2 replies by Mario Coquillat and Stelian ROMAN
Dec 19, 2018 5:29 AM
Stelian ROMAN
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Segio, finally I found some papers published by that group in 90s, including a thesis,It's a pity that the Agile group was dismantled although I am sure that the research was used later in the development of the 'new' Agile frameworks.
Agile started in manufacturing, for the simple reason that at that scale any minor improvement pays off big.
As you said many Agile practices are not new, iterative and incremental software development was used in 1957 (B Dimsdale, G Weinberg) and kanban was used in manufacturing for decades before it was 'invented' by someone working at Motorola. I remember one of your posts where you said that Agile started as a response/replacement to Lean. It looks like the future of Agile is Lean. Kanban and DevOps are just few of the arguments. DevOps, listed as an Agile practice, fails all the Agile values: doesn't promote collaboration, relies on tools, targets standardisation rather than embracing change etc.After the fist wave of early adopters in software companies I've seen Agile/Scrum tolerated by PMOs. In the last 2-5 years it become trendy to be Agile but most of the implementations are very planned and formal frameworks. Technical teams are moving towardds DevOp, Kanban, automation etc. that's why I believe that the future Agile is a Lean Waterfall,
Dec 19, 2018 6:27 AM
Mario Coquillat
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Totally agree. I´m using a hybrid approach to manage projects in aeronautic sector.

"Resilience" is a term you can find from 2009 in ISO 31000 "Risk management - Principles and guides" so it´s not new for me. Somebody is looking for next business....
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Sergio - I completely agree that answers lie in the physics and philosophy, and that is the root of why I think the role of PM will be impacted more as companies undergo digital transformations.

In both PM and engineering we break the problem down into the smallest unit we want to deal with, like a task. Computational ability has grown at an incredible rate allowing things never before possible describing the interaction of many finite parts. While PMs aren't going to be all data scientists, I think the data scientists will build tools which allow PMs to more accurately describe the physics of how our tasks interact with each other, and PMs will find different ways to use those tools efficiently.

We will still care about the same basic physics qualities of the solution like time vs. energy or schedule vs. cost, but just like going from paper to electronic forms, highly integrated information sources will require different organizational methods.
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1 reply by Sergio Luis Conte
Dec 19, 2018 4:56 AM
Sergio Luis Conte
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Good to read your comments @Keith. By the way, relating what you stated about computational capabilities, I am working from 1986 (where I presented a paper that was taken as part of today called blockchain) with AI and today with quantum computing where I am researching how to simulate consciousness with computers using AI plus quantum relating to establish organizational consciousness and making prospective analysis. Relating to data, what today is called "big data" is just a layer between a knowledge management system (system is not software system) where the basement is data warehousing environments. Nothing new for ancient people like me (hehehehe) due to it came from 1990. There lot of works outside there about what you stated related to data. I worked on that trying to not "reinvent the wheel" into each project. All these stuff is simple to understand, nobody need to be a scientists. The problem, in my personal opinion, is when people and organizations (sometimes the PMI take this path) are tying to sell things that contributes to general confusion (for example, two topics I have the opportunity to work from the genesis: Agile and business analsysis). It is amazing to see things like people including those that have certifications say things like "PMI Methodology" or the answers getting from them when you ask "what is project management?" / "what is a project manager?".
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Agree with Sergio
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