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, the project management recruitment, training and consulting company based in Windsor, Berkshire. The Association for Project Management and Wellingtone have formed a unique alliance to provide a career development service to the project management profession. Wellingtone is also an APM accredited training company and a Microsoft Gold Partner for Project and Portfolio Management. 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 Managing Director of Wellingtone Vince has a particular insight into career development and recruitment of project management professionals and is a judge for the Annual APM Awards.

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