I have been working on and in projects for over fifteen years. To be honest, the methodology I had been exposed to was only ever identified as “traditional”. There was a beginning and an end, with planned deliverables falling sequentially in between. You would often here phrases like “Plan your work and work your plan.” Then somewhere about ten years ago, I began to hear the phrase “waterfall” being used to identify our process flows. To-ma-toe, Ta-ma-toe I thought, it is still the same old project management. What I had failed to realize, is that the phrase was being used to compare the traditional project methodologies with a system of new methodologies that were rapidly growing in popularity. The term being used to describe this new system is collectively known as Agile.
The organization I work for is very project oriented. I have been there four years, and am now in my fourth role. The skills I have developed during the previous three roles lend themselves very well to the current role. However, not surprisingly, there are yet more changes on the horizon.
My employer wants to transform our existing network to be entirely IP based by the year 2020. AT&T has recently launched a new HR initiative that strategically aligns itself to that primary goal. Planning for success, our leadership has provided a list of essential skills that will be required to work in the new environment. The list includes those skills that you would intuitively associate with such a transition. The larger categorical line items include Big Data Analytics and Computer Science. Also on the list is Agile Project Management.
Looking at the proverbial road map of my career, I now have “motivation” to learn more about the Agile methodologies. AT&T has something called “T” University that offers various professional developmental programs and certifications. Given our current MBA program, and the PMP training I have scheduled for the fall, the pursuit of the Agile certification will have to wait until next year. Those facts notwithstanding, my natural paranoia dictates that I at least familiarize myself with this new topic. After all, if it has been deemed relevant where I work, it is likely to be so elsewhere.
So as a point in fact, what you are witnessing here is the manifestation of my previously admitted paranoia. Over next several weeks, I am bound and determined to use the blog post assignment as a means to research various articles that introduce “us” to the topic of Agile Project Management. So please join me as I stubbornly (or ironically) begin this journey at the only logical place I can conceivably start, which is of course at the very inception of Agile! The short article listed below will help answer the question; why deviate from traditional methodology?