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Disciplined Agile - The Future of Project Management

Humans have been working on figuring out how to better manage projects since the beginning of time. Globalization and increasing competition forces us to always be on the lookout for methods to get to market faster while simultaneously increasing employee engagement, reducing costs, and delighting our customers.

Fifty years ago, the Project Management Institute (PMI)® established the first-ever Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), giving us a standard for successfully managing projects which, the first time, established a comprehensive, logical flow of processes that Project Managers would generally have to complete in a project and provided recommendations on how to complete them using all the leading leadership and management theories of the time; giving us a common language to manage projects at scale across the enterprise and a globally-recognized certification to indicate our demonstrated knowledge and expertise in the application of this standard.

Over time, we have developed frustration with this standard and developed and learned new ways of working, like "Agile" and "Lean" mindsets. And over time, we have developed tens of methodologies that compete for attention as THE Agile or Lean approach that is best to use in any situation, such as Lean Six Sigma, SCRUM, Kanban, and SAFe, to name a few.

All of these methodologies, frameworks, and best practices are great! But, because we need a single language with which to work within individual teams and across organizations, we have found ourselves chasing "management fad" after new "management fad". And in the process, we have reached a certain amount of change fatigue that has created camps and tribes that swear the one method they have perfected and seen as effective is the single best way to do things, and that all other methods are terrible for one reason or another. As a result, organizations have spent tens of millions of dollars training their workforces in a single, chosen method only to find that their success rates have not improved very much if at all. And the question then becomes, "Is this all for nothing? Is there no one good way to do this?" My answer is, "YES! There is a good way to do this! It doesn't have to be this way!" You see, there is a significant amount of value in every methodology that has ever been created. Each one of them works beautifully - for the context for which they were built. The problem then is NOT that there are too many "management fads", but that every project, every team, and every organization operates within unique contexts. And we don't have a common language that allows business leaders to govern and manage value streams while allowing each project team to customize project management strategies, pulling from the best parts of every methodology (for example, we should be able to utilize a Value Stream Map to improve processes even though we are not necessarily running a full Kaizen or Lean Six Sigma process), while also integrating and collaborating with other teams across the organization, maximizing work flow, and increasing business agility.

So what if we were able to do that? What if we had the ability for each team within an organization to choose their own project lifecycle and strategies to manage their assigned projects and evolve those strategies as the contexts evolve, but in a way that we can still provide enterprise-wide governance despite each team working in its own cadence?

Enter Disciplined Agile®. PMI's Disciplined Agile framework is a comprehensive, methodology-agnostic, and goal-driven process and decision-making tookit. It gives us a common language to manage a environment where each project team can choose their own WOW, or "Way of Working", and evolve their WOW over time, while also integrating tightly with all other teams and functions across the enterprise.

Everyone wants to succeed, but we tend to let our rigid management processes and bureaucracy impede progress. Now, with Disciplined Agile, we can break those chains. We can be free to do what we know on the front lines to be the best ways to execute our tasks, picking and choosing tools and techniques from all of the leading methodologies and project management theories available at any given time. And our leaders can provide "just in time" training to our project teams instead of wasting valuable cash resources by forcing all project teams to operate in the same way, regardless of the project need or team and organizational capabilities and culture.

Simply put, the flexibility Disciplined Agile provides will profoundly change the project management field forever, giving us the ability to absorb new methodologies without requiring massive organizational change each time one is created.

Do you want to improve your project success rates to improve your competitive advantages in the market place? Do you want a speaker to provide a more thorough overview of Disciplined Agile for your organization?

Contact us at for more information or to book us for training and coaching services today!

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