Modern Middle Manager
Primarily my musings on the practical application of technology and management principles at a financial services company.
Our Forays into Project Management

Friday, October 29, 2004  

We have a number of projects in our current portfolio. Most of these are the "usual" methodology whereby people make up steps and milestones on a Gantt chart, stay the course regardless of the obstacles found along the way, occasionally claim success when none in fact occurred and otherwise blunder on towards uncertain completion months after the project end was supposed to have occurred.

As a reaction to the lack of results we've achieved, I've been looking at Agile-type project management. Specifically Scrum. We've modified Scrum a bit because our IT-related projects are typically 6 months or less in timeframe and the people involved are usually part-time on any single project. Of our first two projects done "Scrum-style", one is almost 100% complete as the end of the Sprint approaches and the other will have its first Sprint Review/Retrospective next week. It is likely a 3-4 month project. The good news is that everyone appears to be contributing positively and the work is getting done at a rapid pace. I am still concerned about the overall quality of the second, lengthier project. What I am not as concerned about is reaching the end of a Sprint and having 30 days wasted, because 1) I get weekly updates on the projects from the Project Leader/ScrumMaster/whatever, and 2) I meddle a little. I don't change the requirements but I make sure they're thinking about issues. I don't want a train wreck for the sake of a learning experience. So far it's coming together pretty well.

What about more process-oriented models, like the Project Management Maturity Model that Rayne commented about? I'm still figuring out how to integrate that into our project portfolio without introducing more bureaucracy than necessary.

posted by Henry Jenkins | 10/29/2004 01:57:00 PM

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