There are many methods and capabilities that enable organizations to deliver their projects and programs—predictive, iterative (waterfall), incremental, agile, hybrid and next practices (future approaches). PMI’s brand position advocates the use of the right approach for the right project. That means project characteristics and organization needs should drive decisions about the best approach. Organizations that tailor their approach to each project’s needs are often more successful.
Research Provides Insight into Organizational Agility
We wanted to understand how organizations benefit from an array of approaches across the continuum of project and value delivery. Our 2017 thought leadership research explored both agile and agility, which are not the same thing. The research revealed that just like siblings, each has a singular purpose, but an undeniable relationship. Together, they are often better.
An organization’s overall agility level—more than its project approach—is what determines the success of its outcomes. But, organizations with the highest levels of agility also equip their project professionals with diverse toolkits and skill sets, so they can select the right approach. Successful organizations manage unexpected roadblocks, risks and market changes more easily when “being agile” becomes part of their philosophy.
We launched two new major publications to support project delivery professionals worldwide, regardless of their practice approach.
The latest edition of our flagship publication, A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) – Sixth Edition, represents the first time we included content on agile, both in an appendix and throughout the publication. The addition of agile responds to feedback from our stakeholders, as well as research that links the use of agile approaches with successful project outcomes.
To provide even more content on agile and related approaches, we partnered with The Agile Alliance® to write the new Agile Practice Guide. As a companion piece to the PMBOK® Guide, it serves as a bridge between traditional approaches (like waterfall) and agile. It is especially useful for project managers who work in traditional environments adapt to a more agile approach.
Volunteer Groups Develop Simultaneous Translations
PMI hosted meetings where teams of global volunteers reviewed a professionally translated version of the new Agile Practice Guide to determine if it was a good representation of the English version. This approach allowed us to simultaneously launch the book in 11 different languages. Digital editions of the Agile Practice Guide are available at no cost to PMI members. The Agile Alliance also is providing its members access to a digital edition.
PMI President and CEO Mark A. Langley participated in a Guardian Podcast interview entitled “Is Your Business Working on the Right Things and What to Do about It.” He discussed digital transformation, agile practices and project management leadership. Listen to the full interview.
So, if you want to be in an agile organization or have organizational agility it’s really a shift in mindset from old structures of command and control to new or innovative ways of really getting the work done. And that starts at the top...It’s not enough to just say we want to be agile. I think if you asked any executive in the C-Suite, ‘Would you like to be agile?’ The answer would be ‘yes’...It’s more than just giving top-level direction. It’s really about setting the tone and demonstrating the leadership that is necessary to achieve that agility.