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Surviving the Project Age

An «Agile Framework»!

I have been asked lately to explain the main principles to follow to ensure that Agility is achieved in projects. The requests came from two different sources:

  • a French Engineering school ( that is designing a simulation game using Agile project management principles and tools; and
  • the director of the PMO of a large banking institution, who invited me to give a conference to 130+ IT project managers on the prerequisites necessary to successfully apply Agile techniques (namely, Timeboxing and Scrum) to their projects.

I have already written many entries in this blog about Lean and Agile (which I consider as pursuing the same intent), namely a series on the rules of Lean Project Management. I mixed many things in those entries, talking indiscriminately about principles, values, beliefs, techniques and tools. I had to do better to address what was requested from me. I ended up with material discussing:

  • a set of Agile principles; then
  • the impact of those principles on tools and techniques mainly associated with the Agile/Lean approach; and finally,
  • those principles as originating from a set of values and beliefs that I called the «Agile Philosophy»

I did that by mixing and integrating concepts, principles, techniques and tools that were coming from many types of projects, namely Lean Construction, Agile Software Development and New Product Development projects. Based on the comments and reactions I got from people I met while answering to the two requests, it seems that what I presented was quite a new contribution. It is only then that I understood that what I was talking about was not written as such anywhere. I also understood that it seemed to answer satisfactorily to many questions that people had about Lean/Agile. I was told it offered a very simple «Agile Framework» to understand and successfully achieve agility not only in projects, but in most organizational activities. So, I decided that it was time for me to document more formally what I had presented and to share this with a larger audience; and I wish to first do that in Project Times.

I will start, with my next blog entry, a new mini-series presenting this «Agile Framework». It will include 5 parts:

  • Part 1-The Project Age and the case for Agility. This will discuss the context of realising projects in today’s turbulent environment and why Agility has become a must for most projects.
  • Part 2- 8 principles of successful Agile projects. This will present 8 elements that have to be put in place to succeed at agile project management.
  • Part 3- 4 Agile project management techniques. This will present 4 techniques generally included in Agile methodologies, and which of the 8 principles are implemented through them
  • Part 4- 4 values and 6 beliefs of Agile. This will present and revisit the set of values and beliefs found in the Agile Manifesto and the Declaration of Interdependence, the cornerstones of the «Agile Philosophy», and what such a philosophy, if adopted, means for project management, organisations and Society as a whole.
  • Part 5- The Agile Organisation: A case study. This will present the characteristics of the Agile Organisation using a real life example: one of my client organisations that adopted the «Agile Philosophy».

Stay tuned!      

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