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Topics: Agile, Organizational Project Management
What comes after Agile?

We lived enough in waterfall and moved to Agile , What is Next.... ? what is coming up...?

Some people says lean...etc
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Lean SW development - I had the incredible chance to attend a workshop by Mary and Tom Poppendieck and it was just incredible. Their books are also worth reading.

Principles of Lean Startup - I specially like the idea of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) applied to SW development

Waterfall is not dead. PMI is still relevant and continues to adapt with best practices. Most companies would do well if they had a functioning PMO and good project managers.

Iterative projects have been around for decades (if not longer). I no longer view iterative vs predictive ("Agile vs Waterfall") as competitive. They each have their place, depending on the circumstances of the project.

"Lean" is actually older than "Agile." Lean continues to be repackaged, but the principles are not new.

If you're asking what the next hot fad will be, that's a different question. But fads come and go, and we should focus on practices with lasting value.

For what it's worth, I think PMI has done a very poor job understanding and explaining iterative project management, and we've damaged our reputation with our stubborn misunderstanding of Agile. I can't decide if PMI should fix the way they explain iterative projects, or if they should just walk away and leave it to the Agile practitioners. I'm eager (and nervous) to see how the 6th edition of the PMBOK addresses Agile.

When you look at underlings principle of Lean, Agile, Waterfall. They can easily be complementary.

When you look at the past there is cycles.

Next change need to come from Sponsor and stakeholders

I think the ongoing movement is the hybrid scheme. that is to say:
Agile / Waterfall / Lean, taking the best of each one.

Here I am again (hehehe). We need to understand that Agile and Lean are in the same level BUT waterfall is not a matter of comparision. In fact, you can apply Agile and Lean with waterfall life cycle process. There are a lot of examples outside there software and non software (and I could add several ones to from my personal experience). Based on approaches (most people named it quality approches) like Lean and Agile (both are not the same) you have life cycle models (only two: adaptative and predictive). Based on life cycle models you have life cycle process (waterfall, iterative, sequential, incremental, etc). Based on life cycle process you have methods (SDLC, SCRUM, Spiral, V, etc). And at the top you have tools (any type of tools not software tools only) to support the methods. When you understand that you can create your own future as you want. Take into account that: Lean started in 1917 in Ford but was refined in 1934 for Toyota (the name Lean was create into MIT time before). Agile started (formally) in 1990 as a research inside the USA DoD NSF/Agility Forum. And nothing to be with software in both cases while as you know you can use it for software.

My personal opinion is that it is time to stop, take a deep breath, and refocus. With the growing push for digitization, innovation, agility, and delivering faster, some businesses are going to stumble because they are trying to move faster than they are able.

I think the most significant project-related changes, in the near future, are not going to be in Project Management, but will be in how the business participates in projects, if the difference makes sense. Companies that realize that an Agile transformation involves more than just IT, and change accordingly, will be more successful and struggle less than those that keep Agile in IT or treat it as just a way to manage projects.

I think a Hybrid Model is evolving which takes the best of both sides tailoring to the project needs. So you need to be proficient in both.

What's next?

Truly adaptive PM - in other words, picking the right delivery approach and practices to fit the needs of a given project.


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