Where can we use “Agile” on projects or development life cycles?

Today, there is a great deal of debate online on project management and many posts are offering misleading information.

We read posts debating waterfall versus Agile not recognizing that these things are not comparable.

We read about Agile Project Management and there is no such thing.

We hear about hybrid models and again, these are confusing and clearly not understood even by the people posting them.

We have been reading about common confusions between project life cycle and process groups, for years, and now we have another confusion between project life cycles and development lifecycle.

Now Agile is everywhere but the problem it is misunderstood. Agile is not about a method and it is not a method. Agile cannot be used on most projects most of the time yet PMI felt it was important to include it in the PMBOK Guide and even including an Agile Practice Guide as part of the PMBOK Guide Package; for a higher price.

Agile is NOT agility

Agility can be applied in strategic planning or in managing projects but Agile, as in the Agile related methods, such as Scrum and sisters/brothers are for development — the development phase of an IT-Software Project and not an end-to-end project lifecycle method for managing projects. Sure, Scrum, Kanban, and others can be used on projects but we must distinguish between using these concepts on projects versus considering them as project management methods (end-to-end).

Tailoring: on projects on in the system?

Now that the PMBOK Guide includes tailoring, now everyone (that follows PMI religiously) is accepting tailoring. However, here again, the intent of the PMBOK Guide about tailoring is good but the way it is presented, it emphasizes the wrong thing. It emphasizes tailoring by the project manager (the king of all activities) instead of focusing that tailoring must be at the organizational level. Organizations must tailor their organizational project management system and methods for the types of projects they typically handle. Then, using those methods on every project to deliver consistent results.

There are more topics to cover but enough for today. If you like what you read, refer to past articles, or subscribe to get all new posts. Subscribing takes less than ONE minute – top right side of this page.

You can also refer to our latest book:

Project Management beyond Waterfall and Agile.