Thursday, January 11, 2018

The Value of Toolboxes

In another PMIWDC podcast, a panel of experts discussed the impact of Agile on the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).

Jesse Fewell, one of the authors of the Agile supplement in the recent PMBOK update, noted that the smartest thing we could do is to create the environment for innovation.  Mostly because the environment changes so quickly. We need to be able to find and evaluate the information we need quickly vs. being able to memorize and master one field.


Michael Hannan, another panelist adds that the best, most universal thing we can do is to:

Happy New Year!

Looking to get more organized in 2018?

I’d like to share a free PDF containing a useful personal prioritization exercise to help you get started.



I hope you can join me on this journey!

  1. Get a sense of the work at hand.
  2. Break it down into tasks where the people who need to do the work recognize it as work you need to do.
  3. Help them do as much single-task focus as possible. “One task, through to completion, before picking up the next one.”

This is the BEST thing we can do to help our teams, Michael argues. We remove the switching overhead.

The studies are showing 5-6 TIMES improvement in performance.

And they get MORE agility.

It doesn’t require fancy methods or systems. No new terminology or complicated models.  Just those 3 steps.

Towards the end of the podcast (around the 53-minute mark), one of the panelists says:

“You have to be adaptive to the moment. There is a body of methods here that are extremely effective for a particular type of task…but it doesn’t cure everything. (italics mine) …No medicine that cures everything belongs anywhere except on the back of a wagon marked Snake Oil.”

The Project Manager becomes the enabler of innovation and collaboration. The Project Manager creates a safe environment for experimentation and protects the people doing the work from distractions.

It’s frankly that simple.

All 3 panelists said, “Just try something.”  Try something simple in a limited risk field, assess, adjust.

It’s not an Agile or Waterfall binary discussion.

It’s about the toolkit. Choose the tool that best helps you get the job done.

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