I just walked out of an Agile presentation. Not for the first time. This is getting tedious

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I just walked out of an Agile presentation. Not for the first time. This is getting tedious.

Dont get me wrong, I am enthusiastic about Agile as a potential technique for project managers to use. Sometimes only an Agile approach will do so I am certainly not against it.

But why do people always feel they have to justify Agile by misrepresenting traditional (waterfall) approaches?

The logic seems to be; Some projects go badly therefore all projects using established approaches must go badlytherefore traditional project management must be broken.

Do you want to buy some Agile?

The way these events go the presenters seem to be evangelising for a completely new approach across the profession (reinventing all aspects of project management to fit in with their new belief system).

It would be refreshing if they accepted the strengths of traditional methods, and the limitations of their own approach, and presented themselves as members of the project management profession, rather than as people who appear to want to overthrow it.

In fact many projects using traditional project management methods go remarkably well and in many areas performance is improving. Indeed many projects may not fare so well if Agile were used.

So surely the message must be: Project management is good but we need to continue to get better at it. One way to get better is to understand when an Agile (or other) approach may be appropriate, and know how to use it.

We may then start to look like one profession, and not a collection of competing methods with each new brand seeking to undermine the rest.

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Posted by John Rowley on 25th Sep 2014

About the Author
John Rowley, PMP APMP, is a director at TPM. TPM specialises in providing project management consultancy and training, primarily to professional services organisations.

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