Archive for 2009/06/09

When the project model does not match the software development method

I’ve heard this more often than not in larger organizations with a project management team or office and a developer department or team. The project management is not seen as a part of the software development.

The project managers create their own project model, often controlled by management and finance. The model is controlled by how projects are initiated, financed and how progress is reported. At least in Sweden, it seems like agile values haven’t changed this. To summarize: a project plan is still a Gantt chart when you ask an average project management. And a successful project is still “when everything goes according to plan”, which is defined as the Gantt chart on project start date.

And down in the basement, the software developers are implementing their own methods. They turn to scrum, XP, kanban or some other framework with agile values.

So what happens? Well, it almost having two kids to play together when one of them is using Lego and the other Meccano, and we’re amazed that it doesn’t work smoothly.

I’m thrilled to be involved in a project during which we’ll be evolving our software development methodology because as being part of our project management office, I can spot and point to process steps where our methods clash. Hopefully we’ll be able to find a tool set which meets the needs for our whole projects. I won’t say “project managers” and “developers” because just stating that a project manager is not a software developer is removing the responsibility of the software developing from the project manager. I’m a software developer but I don’t read a line of code, I just make sure we have the funding, that we do the right stuff and that people are kept informed as we work.

Categories: Agile, Leadership, planning