Agi­li­ty has been under dis­cus­sion for years. The term seems to come from IT deve­lo­p­ment – the mani­festo on agi­li­ty, among other things, was deve­lo­ped by the prot­ago­nists the­re.

One thing is clear: The basis of many suc­cessful pro­jects is good pro­ject manage­ment. But what is “good pro­ject manage­ment”? What about pro­jects who­se goals, con­tents and mile­sto­nes can­not be cle­ar­ly defi­ned in advan­ce, such as new deve­lo­p­ments? The­re is often only a vague ori­en­ta­ti­on, which is only spe­ci­fied in the pro­cess. Agi­le pro­ject manage­ment is, the­r­e­fo­re, a bet­ter approach for the­se situa­tions, becau­se the pro­cess is in the fore­ground and the actu­al goal can only be defi­ned in the pro­cess.

Ano­ther dif­fe­rence is that in con­trast to clas­si­cal pro­ject manage­ment, quick-wins is used. The all-encom­pas­sing 100% solu­ti­on often takes far too long to emer­ge and imple­ment. The fast solu­ti­ons, which may not be per­fect, but show the direc­tion and bring the first con­cre­te advan­ta­ges for the situa­ti­on, are con­sider­a­b­ly fas­ter.

What to deci­de about agi­li­ty?

This approach of agi­le pro­ject manage­ment thus dif­fers signi­fi­cant­ly from clas­si­cal pro­ject manage­ment. Both have their aut­ho­riza­ti­on in the appli­ca­ti­on. It is up to you to distin­gu­ish what will bring you the most bene­fit for your situa­ti­on now. Here are a few ques­ti­ons for ori­en­ta­ti­on:

  • Is it not now pos­si­ble for you to descri­be a goal cle­ar­ly?
  • Is it not pos­si­ble today, here and now to cle­ar­ly defi­ne the time­frame?
  • Are the resour­ces and basic requi­re­ments you need for the pro­ject not yet defi­nable?
  • Is a sequence of pro­cess steps curr­ent­ly not reco­gnizable?

If you ans­wer the ques­ti­ons with YES, then Agi­le Pro­ject Manage­ment might fit your pro­ject bet­ter than clas­si­cal pro­ject manage­ment. It does not only expect a dif­fe­rent approach, but also a dif­fe­rent basic atti­tu­de to the topic of pro­ject plan­ning. Agi­le pro­ject manage­ment, for exam­p­le, can use both quick-wins and short-runs, i.e. the deve­lo­p­ment of par­ti­al solu­ti­ons that are tes­ted in a kind of expe­ri­ment and ite­ra­tively fur­ther deve­lo­ped based on the results.

In a preli­mi­na­ry dis­cus­sion (on-site or also by telephone/video con­fe­rence) we would be hap­py to advi­se you on how the pro­cess could look like at your pre­mi­ses.

P.S. It may be that the prin­ci­ples of “agi­li­ty” have alre­a­dy appeared befo­re in manage­ment approa­ches. The honor of truth! Con­ti­nuing con­tri­bu­ti­on

About Mathias Scharf
Dipl-Economist + Dipl-TZI, Coach & Consultant since 1991, various Certifications including value coaching, topics: Organisational & strategic development, management consulting, junior management consulting, project consulting, coaching (specific topics: e.g. burn-out prevention), facilitation