There is a buzz word that is being thrown into conversations... 'agile'

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There is a new trend beginning to emerge among some of our clients who are running multiple business change programmes. There is a buzz word that is being thrown into conversations… ‘agile’ eg. “We take an agile approach to our projects.” 

This immediately fills me with concern when client starts using the word ‘agile’. Not that I have any concerns with the agile project management methodology. But there is a definite gap between those who are using the word agile and those who actually understand the agile project management methodology. Agile is often used as an excuse to not write any project documentation, to work chaotically, to be unorganised!

Hiring managers are in some cases even less sure, asking for formal project management qualifications such as APMP on the candidate’s CV, yet looking for project managers to adopt an agile way of working. Of course, we all should work in an agile way, who doesn’t want to be agile? But this is not the agile software development methodology that some organisations are looking to adopt for non-software related projects.

What does this mean for candidates? Become an expert. You need to understand and be able to explain the real agile methodology as opposed to working in an agile way. There is a definite need for this expertise particularly as IT projects are more and more being seen as a portion of a wider business change project. Can you manage a whole business change project if a portion of that project uses the agile method and the rest doesn’t? 


Vince Hines is managing director at Wellingtone Project Management, an APM career development partner and a judge for this year’s APM Awards.

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Vince Hines

Posted by Vince Hines on 11th Nov 2014

About the Author

Vince is the Managing Director of Wellingtone PPM; the project management consulting company based in Windsor, Berkshire. We retain a particular focus not just in the UK but Ireland and Spain.  Wellingtone is the only organisation that is both a Microsoft Gold Partner with the PPM Specialisation as well as an APM Accredited training provider.  Wellingtone is also the exclusive UK partner of the PMO Global Alliance and PMO Value Ring as well as PMOtto; the AI Bot for MS Project Online.

Wellingtone works closely with the APM and sponsors the Annual Salary Survey as well as the PMO of the Year Award.  We also run our PMO focused annual conference; FuturePMO.  We have developed courses in Legal Project Management and the PMO, both of which have been Accreditred by the APM as part of the APM Professional Courses route.

Our "PPM Intelligence" is also demonstrated by publishing The State of Project Management; the largest piece of annual reseearch of its kind in conjunction with UCL, the APM PMO SIG and the APM Systems Thinking SIG.

Vince is an expert Project Management Consultant, having worked with clients across the UK, US and Europe. He retains a number of professional qualifications including MAPM and has extensive real world experience of developing client project management maturity. As an active member of the APM community Vince is also a judge for the Annual APM Awards.

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