Another Knowledge Area in the PMBOK is Human Resource Management. The very name of the knowledge area already gives away the values behind it. It should not say “resource management”, it should say People Management!
The old-skool project management is very much based on the values of Scientific Management and Hierarchical organizations that have permeated our society for hundreds of years. Surely there is a lot of useful things to learn from this, useful things for sure, but not enough.
In order to be able to better handle the unpredictable situations we will regularly face, we need to be able to self-organize to better respond to the challenges presented.
What is self-organization? A technique to enable a faster way for a team to answer any problems that cross their path. Before, when following the command-and-control values a team would have to stop and wait for the boss to leave a meeting and finally ask the boss what to do next. Today, teams are required to self-organize, find a solution or several solutions, experiment and come-up with the final result. When the development iteration ends, the customer will tell the team whether the solution is good enough or not.
Not allowing a team to self-organize turns the old-skool decision makers into bottlenecks that delay the team and potentially the whole project.
Self-organization, however is not easy, you cannot order or wish it into reality. You have to work hard to enable that to happen. Scrum is a process framework that already has some of the needed ingredients for self-organization to happen.
Through the setting of clear goals and it’s governance framework, Scrum allows the team to be left alone during an iteration (after having agreed to a set of clear goals). In the Sprint Review, the customer/Product Owner will come together with the team and evaluate what was delivered. This evaluation, in turn, is input to the planning of the next Sprint
So, the message of this series of posts is embrace change.
However, even changing some aspects of the project management body of knowledge (PMBOK) is useful, it is not enough!
A mind shift is needed;. So many new concepts are in play that we must start thinking about Software project management in a completely different way.
We need to change the culture in our companies/organizations. Companies as a whole need to change.
The challenge that is presented to the Agile community (and to the PMI Agile community by extension) is: “how do we benefit from the breakthroughs that have enabled Agile SW development to emerge”?
As a person that has tried the “change PMBOK” approach, my answer is that we need to forget about PMBOK and start afresh from a different set of principles to those that were at the origin of PMBOK.
The recent field of Product Development with authors such as James Morgan, Donald G. Reinertsen and others, together with the people writing about software development present a sufficiently convincing and engaging view to the software development system. Those views demand a serious inspection of PMI/PMBOK approaches. The Agile community must take up that task and come up with something credible. Just embracing PMI’s Agile community is not enough. The world has changed enough to warrant a different approach.