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By Gabor Stramb
March 8, 2023

Nowadays, in Project Management you can only hear the following:

Be more Agile – Agility is key – Running projects based on Waterfall is “dead”, “you are not open minded”.

Transformation-Transformation-Transformation – more flexibility to be able to adopt, be adaptive, use hybrid project management.

And I disagree, why? Project complexity should drive which project delivery method we shall use. There is no one size fits all. We cannot “blindly” run and be agile. It requires understanding of the difference and understanding the advantages of different project management methodologies.

Also, the essence of project management is still managing triple constraints. You cannot help it, in 2023, there are certain types of projects which cannot be run any other way.

Clarifying requirements, translating requirements into project scope and delivering project scope through deliverables. Every project needs to be planned on the level details which are required.

Basics we cannot neglect:

  • There are no projects without a business case.
  • There are no projects without baselines.
  • There are no projects without a critical path.
  • There are no projects without validate scope.

And the list can go on and on. How can you be prepared for any kind of project to deliver?

  1. Know your baseline: This is a useful “checklist” for a start of year-end(?) ‘readiness health check’ to identify any major gaps or overlaps which need tweaking on current projects.
  2. Assess team health: A healthy team with strong collaboration, critical thinking and communication will naturally get to balance and agreement, to ensure the right work is being done. If heavy process and RACI, (responsible, accountable, consulted, and informed) is needed, maybe there’s an underlying team/culture issue to be addressed?
  3. Align on the ‘North Star’: Help the team understand the context (the ‘Why’) first. If the overall vision and business outcomes to be achieved are well understood by the team – i.e. The ‘Why’ – then the What, Who, How and When will naturally follow. If not, then time-out is needed.
  4. Make the work visible: All of the above is harder to achieve in a global virtual business environment, yet this is now the norm for many business transformation teams. Don’t let tools and processes dominate, but also don’t ignore the importance of discipline to use Project management tools as primary workflow for the project and engineering teams. This gives essential visibility to the flow and blockers, and a basis for WIP (work in progress) management and work selection off the backlog.

On Agile, we shall utilize Scrum. Why Scrum?

Because of the advantages:

  1. Flexibility. Being able to adopt is the essence of Scrum framework. It is most suitable for projects where the scope and requirements are not clearly defined.
  2. Speed to market delivery. The main objective to deliver a working product by each sprint. This can result to very fast delivery, to give the necessary business advantage.
  3. Being agile. By adopting to customers and stakeholder feedback quickly. Due continuous improvement which can lead for better quality, less wasted efforts.

How? In project management, experience counts. How do you learn from others’ experiences?

By joining events/conferences/meetings and learn/listen. Gaining PMI certifications. Having a certification in project management will be your commitment to the career path.

There are many different certifications. If you just started your project career, go and get PMI’s CAPM exam which will help you to land your first project manager job.

If you already have project management experience, consider becoming a Project Management Professional, by taking PMI’s PMP exam.

I run weekly CAPM/PMP Study Groups, which you can join by clicking here.

Gabor Stramb

CAPM/PMP Exam Prep & Study Group
AgileAdmiral – Weekly Project Management Newsletter. Follow me on LinkedIn

Or join my weekly project management newsletter to learn more about PM career path. LinkedIn/ Substack

Gabor Stramb has over 14 years of experience leading projects in Energy (oil & gas) and Telecommunication industry. Gabor founded Projectcertifications.com in 2021, which help project aspirants to pass CAPM/PMP exam. His main vehicle in this area is the weekly study group. Working with close partnership with PMI UK chapter.

Gabor has a master’s degree in project management and certification from George Washington University.

Disclaimer: The ideas, views, and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of International Institute for Learning or any entities they represent.

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