The traditional world of project management belongs to yesterday. There will continue to be applications for which the traditional linear models we grew up with are appropriate, but as our profession matures we have discovered a whole new set of applications for which traditional project management (TPM) models are totally inappropriate. The majority of contemporary projects do not meet the conditions needed for using TPM models. The primary reason is the difficulty in specifying complete requirements at the beginning of the project. That difficulty arises from constant change, unclear business objectives, actions of competitors, and other factors.
While the article is targeted at project managers, anyone who is involved with designing training for a product that is being developed in tandem will understand the challenges such a scenario poses. Trying to pin down the overall scope at the initial stage is like trying to hold on to a handful of sand...You cannot prevent the grains from trickling out no matter how tightly you close your fist. And waiting for clarity on scope and all other "changeable" aspects of a project at the outset will be akin to Waiting for Godot...
The only constant will be the change and change can no longer be perceived as a challenge...
Change will now be a constant parameter in all projects and how we deliver the end solution while embracing change is what will distinguish today's project management from yesteryear's TPM.
What this also means is being comfortable with less-than-perfect information, being able to envision the end without knowing each and every step in-between, being able to ADAPT as the project moves without going off-track, having a finger on the pulse and thinking innovatively...
"From its very beginning to its very end, APF is designed to continuously adapt to the changing situation of a project. A change in the understanding of the solution might prompt a change in the way the project is managed, or in the very approach being used. Learning and discovery in the early cycles may lead to a change in the approach taken...Nothing in APF is fixed. Every part of it is variable, and it constantly adjusts to the characteristics of the project."
I think such dynamic projects have three key requirements for successful delivery:
I urge all concerned with project management or designing training solutions that the client can use to read this report...Personally, I look forward to such dynamic projects. I will share my recent experience on one such project in my next post.