The oxymoron of agile project management

Talk of "agile project management" is just lipstick on a pig. Project management is the worst thing thatever happened to IT. It's time for it to back out quietly.

CIO magazine - who ought to know better - came up with this bizarre statement:

    Geared toward continuous improvement, the agile methodology can greatly increase your project’s prospects for success.

Russ Lewis said on twitter

    lists of #agile things found by googling "agile": principles; methods; certifications; histories.

I'd call most "Agile Project Management" a hodge podge of agile terminology, clumsily grafted onto an incompatible framework in the hope of keeping it relevant.

The future of IT project management is bookkeeping: costs, progress, Gantt, capex/opex, benefits realisation, project burndown.

Which incidentally is where IT project management used to sit: as the record keeper, tracker and reporter of the project. Not The Boss, king of the work, assembler of the team, hired and firer, representative to the customer, decider of decisions.

Unreasonable systems create unreasonable people. The mistake was to make project managers accountable: "one throat to choke". With accountability comes a need for responsibility, for control. The team should be accountable.

Project management is not going to slap a coat of Agile paint on and continue the same. It's going to back off out of the way, and track the progress of waves of work through autonomous teams.

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