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Companies can miss out if they don’t have the right mindset for agile project management.

If your team is pursuing agile practices but doesn’t feel that the benefits to the company are delivering on the promised industry hype, this episode will explain some of the reasons why that may be the case.

I discuss how traditional project management techniques are often applied to software development projects, and the “agility theater” it can cause for teams.

It’s important for teams who are new to using agile development that executives, customers, and all other staff that work on the project understand the implications of the new approach.

The most common misunderstanding I come across is a lack of appreciation for the trade off of agility (a positive effect) for predictability. If a company wishes to adapt to the changing needs of their customer and the market quickly – they must become comfortable with uncertainty, and LET GO of the illusion of control.

Estimation specifically is an activity that can cause a great deal of confusion, wasted time, and unmet expectations when working on products that choose to have some form of Agile Project Management. I’ll discuss this in more detail in a later episode.

Regardless of how far along the agile journey your company is, beginning to have the tough conversations with stakeholders about WHY we choose agility, and how treating projects like a traditional work effort such as constructing a physical building doesn’t apply, can be the breakthrough you might need in becoming a lean organization.

During this episode, I also briefly mention a traditional software project management tool known as Gantt charts – which I believe are practically USELESS on agile teams. The number of times a project goes according to the chart is practically zero.

I’m sorry to report that over the past 17 years of my career (since agile development was introduced) – teams that are held to Gantt charts can easily fall prey to “faking” deliverables as being done just to make it look like they hit their schedule!