Projects Are Not The Problem

This content is syndicated from LeadingAgile by Mike Cottmeyer. To view the original post in full, click here.

A lot of folks in the agile community feel like projects and project managers are a big part of the problem we have delivering software. My view is that projects are not really the problem… it’s projectized organizations that are the problem.

Projectized organizations form when we have people organized into functional silos and assign them as necessary to project work. The underlying assumption is that people are fungible resources and can be split indefinitely across projects to get work done.

Agile methods take a different approach. People are organized into cross-functional teams and focused on a product… or a set of features… or a component… or a set of services… within the larger production ecosystem.

Projects as a funding vehicle in most organizations are just fine. The shift in thinking is that projects have to be broken up and funneled through teams. Each team is responsible for a subset of the project deliverables with integration happening on regular intervals

I’d much rather integrate the work of many teams producing working tested features than try to integrate the activities of many individuals working within their own particular speciality. Done is easier to see and bottlenecks are easier to identify and resolve.

This is the #1 biggest problem we see with organizations trying to adopt agile. They do not have a pattern for organizing teams and managing project deliverables across teams. Until this gets sorted out… you are not likely to have much success using agile at any scale.

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