IT projects go away? #NoProjects

OK so IT project management won't go away entirely but it ceases to be the basis of our work.

There is a term #NoProjects which gets people as wound up as #NoOps or #NoEstimates. It is equally as provocative, and useful for provoking discussion, and it is equally as false. IT project management isn't going away, though it will be transformed and -yes- curtailed.

As DevOps transforms our operating model, it will change the way we manage work. The business will plan what it wants to achieve, and then engage with IT to deliver the features of services to support the changes.

This means that the funding model will change from large lumps of project money to continuous streams of funding for standing product teams.

The project will be at the business level. IT will provide capacity not outcome, through continuous streams of work delivering at a fixed sprint velocity. (Note that the velocity may be fixed but we expect it to continually improve year-over-year)

NoProjects is an end game transformation of the whole business operating model, not an interim step (and certainly not a first step).

It doesn't actually mean that there will be no project management at all within IT: it just means that this will not be the primary mode of operation. There will still be internal IT projects where the owner is IT, and complex one-off work such as upgrading desktops.

Nor does it mean that project management skills will disappear entirely within the continuous streams of work.

At the operational level the flow of work still requires skills to manage the timeline, money, and people resources. What project managers won't be anymore is the product owner, solution architect, or work manager.

And there is still a place for portfolio and programme management, e.g. in Scaled Agile.

As the level of project management activity is reduced within IT, project managers will move up to more strategic levels of programme and portfolio management, or they will move sideways into the business to manage business projects.

Of course this won't happen overnight. Even for organisations already on the DevOps journey, it will take years to transform the operating model across all areas of the organisation to eliminate the thinking that IT provides project-managed outcomes to the business.

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