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Project mythologies and fuzzy thinking.

OK, one more rant before I stop for the day. mythologies and superstition seem to be rampant in the project management world both in terms of consumption and creation. And a lot of the PM blogs use big or marketing type words - primarily the ones with books to sell. I'm gonna have to think up something catchy to match up with things like "lean", "agile", "TOC" and the like. Either that or learn enough about them to write a boatload of nasty comments. I think I'll tackle TOC first...


Comments (4)

Lately, I'm finding that the terms "lean" and "agile" are so politically charged that any use of the terms becomes immediately unproductive. I've been using "responsive" as a synonym, which seems to be more politically acceptable.

Are you saying "lean" is hype?


I am not saying that "lean" is actually hype. A cursory look at the blogs out there that discuss it certainly smell of hype. I have not studied it enough to pronounce judgement. Project Management "concepts" are often just a repackaging of best practices anyway so it might indeed be a great thing. Perhaps it is unwise to dismiss hype. Tom Peters thrives on it.

Sometimes it can get people to do something (presumably something good for them) they don't want to do. But for me, I'm sensitive to being tricked into doing anything just because it is the thing to do so my natural reaction is to assume the worst. Now TOC for project management, THAT is hype.

Well, project management is no different from any other business sector. People will market products in any way they can. If writing a book about agile project maanagement is going to earn someone some money then they will do it. Now that's not to say that agile methods are bad - far from it. I think that more traditional project management bodies of thought could sometimes do with a dose of 'agile' thinking. If I believe that agile methods might be useful on my project then I will use them. The danger in using agile methods (and any methods for that matter) occurs when they are seen as the be all and end all of everything. Most project management is about being pragmatic - making the right decisions based upon an understanding of the particular circumstances of the project. A rigid adoption of one particular method in all situations is not just dogmatic but is also likely to fail in situations where it is not the appropriate method.
that's my view.

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