Politics, Religion and Project Methodologies: 3 Ways to Have an Argument

Methodologies Compared

Everyone has their favorite project management methodology. Some people are so impressed by their methodology that they are offended when another methodology is discussed. It’s a lot like discussing politics or religion.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

All project management methodologies are supposed to lead to the same outcome: the right product or service, at the right price, in the right time frame.

There are many project management methodologies. Some are very popular. Many are not. They all fall into a flavor of one of these methodologies:

Behind Door #1: Sequential, Top-Down, Waterfall Project Management

It reminds me of the Book of Genesis, describing how God created the heaven and the earth in six days, one step at a time. That’s sequential. That’s top-down. That’s waterfall.

When you build a step-by-step plan, and you follow those steps, you are practicing top-down, waterfall project management.

The original top-down projects left no room for surprises. Life is full of surprises. Project managers began looking for ways to manage those surprises.

Behind Door #2: Agile

Here’s the secret about Agile Project Management. its primary purpose is to manage the unknowns of a traditional project. Agile means that you’ll jump out of a traditional sequence to manage an error before it derails your project.

Agile uses Progressive Elaboration to help manage unknowns. Think of driving your car down the road into a fog bank. As you first enter the fog bank, you know very little about the road conditions at the far end of the fog bank. Your decision-making is hampered by the fog. As you drive further into the fog bank, you can begin to see the end of the road more clearly. By the time you reach the end, you can see everything clearly.

Contrary to popular myths, there can be no 100% Agile project. Agile attempts to manage the unknowns in your project. That can only happen if your project began from a Project Charter that described the Deliverable, its Due Date and its Accountable Person: you as the project manager. The Charter is a top-down project management tool.

Beware of the Agile practitioner who says, “I’ll deliver what I want, when I want, for whatever it costs.” That’s not Agile project management; that’s chaos.

Agile processes start out by following a sequence of steps towards a checkpoint, a milestone. If the planned conditions are met, the Agile project acts like a top-down project as it continues sequentially to the next checkpoint. Doesn’t that sound like top-down to you?

If something is incorrect at any checkpoint, Agile jumps backwards to fix the problem and work its way back up to that milestone. It’s “two steps forward, and one step back.” If everything is OK the second time around, then the Agile project continues sequentially to the next checkpoint.

Agile is a good tool to manage unknowns, but

Behind Door #3: Scrum

Like Agile, Scrum has a single focus: how to resolve newly-discovered problems, so the project can stay on track.

Scrum is a rugby term. It is a method of re-starting play where members of both teams huddle with their heads down, and try to push towards their respective goals.

A scrum meeting is a brief, stand-up meeting that occurs each morning. One at a time, each team member reports on three topics:

  1. What they did yesterday

  2. What they plan to accomplish today

  3. What roadblocks are in their way

The scrum master focuses only on the third point: overcoming roadblocks so all team members can continue at full speed.

Scrum isn’t a complete project management methodology. It is an effective roadblock-remover that can be a tool in Traditional or Agile projects.

When You Combine the Best of Each, You Get Door #4: Hybrid Project Management

When you take the best tools from each project management methodology, your combination is called Hybrid Project Management. Hybrid is the new kid on the block. It’s the best, because it combines the best features from each project management methodologies.

There’s something for everyone with hybrid project management. As far as the proponents of each methodology are concerned, nobody gets everything, but everybody gets something. More importantly, the customer gets what they want, on time, within budget. Isn’t that what we all desire?

New PMP® Boot Camps Announced

A new class schedule has been posted at my PMPforYOU website. 

Are you looking for a project management position? 80% of the project management positions around the world, now require the PMP (Project Management Professional) credential. 

Don't settle for Ferris Bueller's teacher, a talking head who will read the slides to you in a monotone. Step up to a dynamic, easy-to-learn program:

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A Veterans Day Message About Hope

One of my bucket-list goals is to sing the National Anthem at a Portland Trailblazers game. That probably won't happen. Everyone I know can sing better than me. In the mean time, I will continue to work on it.

I'm proud of the four years I spent in the U.S. Air Force, including a tour at Udorn, Thailand at the height of the Vietnam War. 

When I sing the National Anthem, I treat it as a love song to America. When you hear our National Anthem at an event, look around at the faces of those who are standing. Watch their expressions as it sinks in. This is America. This is us. Our Canadian neighbors feel the same way when they hear and sing the Canadian National Anthem.

We are America's hope for the future. Let us always be worthy of the gift we have been given, by keeping the American Dream alive. 

Happy Veterans Day.

Mike

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Two Things Humans Like

Here are two facts of how humans operate:

  1. Everyone sells, regardless of your occupation.
  2. Everyone loves a good story. 

If you're the salesperson with the best story, you have the greatest chance of closing the sale. My new mobile course shows you the way.

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Everyone loves a good story.

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How to Become a Better Sales Manager

The better you manage your sales team, the more money everyone makes. Their success is your success.

Problem

You know you can do better. You aren't sure how increase your performance, so you can help your sales team members increase their performance. 

Solution

If you had a better structure to your sales management activities, you could be a better leader. You need the structure of Sales Project Management. Here are some of the ways your performance will improve immediately:

  • A common frame of reference: you and your sales reps are following the structure of your sales project.
  • More effective coaching, referencing the structure of goals, milestones and activities.
  • More opportunities for servant leadership, where you help each team member draw deep into their soul, to deliver the best work of their career.

Learn the basics of Sales Projects in my free intro course.

Project Management Training for Sales Reps - How to Make More Money

Problem

As a sales professional, you have three objectives:

  • Close more sales
  • Earn more money
  • Spend more free time with family, friends, sports and hobbies

You are always looking for an edge, a way to achieve more of the three objectives shown above.

The answer is the structure and discipline of project management. When you apply it, it's a liberating experience!

Solution

You need the proper training to apply the structure of project management to the sales profession. Your trainer must have these credentials:

  • Experienced sales rep and sales manager
  • Internationally-certified Project Management Professional
  • Successful trainer 

For a sample, try my free sales projects intro course.

How to Close Your Sales Project and Save Your Best Ideas for the Future

Closing is the natural evolution of your sales project. 

  1. Initiating: you received your sales project's Charter, giving you the basic information you needed, plus written permission, to begin your project.
  2. Planning: you spent the time necessary to create a workable sales project plan. Your plan included the Scope of work, the Time required for all activities, and the Cost of your project.
  3. Executing: you followed the roadmap of your sales project plan.
  4. Monitoring and Controlling: you performing auditing and adjusting, to keep your sales project on track.
  5. Closing: formally end your sales project.

Sign up for my free Sales Projects intro course. Learn the basics of the system that will add more money, opportunities and free time to your career.

How to Keep Your Sales Project on Track, for Greater Sales

Even with the best plan and flawless execution, your sales project may slip off course. When that happens, you must do three things:

  1. Detect the problem.
  2. Make course corrections immediately.
  3. Check to see that your corrections worked.

That's what sales project monitoring and controlling is about. Think of it as "auditing and adjusting," to help ensure your success. 

Free Sales Projects Course

Learn the basics of sales projects in my free mobile course. Sign up at the bottom the "Sales Project Management" Page.

How to Execute Your Sales Project, for Greater Sales and a Bigger Paycheck

You started with a clear charter for sales project. You made a great plan for your project. Now it's time to execute. 

How to Achieve Your Corporate Goals without a Project Manager on Staff

Problem

Kirk had a major infrastructure project to plan, execute and complete. None of his employees are project managers. He has no intention of hiring a project manager as a W-2 employee. Yet, the project must be completed on time and within budget.

Solution

Kirk hired me for a short-term engagement. I completed the project to his satisfaction. I performed my work according to the principles of project management. 

What About You?

Do you have an short-term initiative which requires a project manager? If so, perhaps I can help.

How to Plan Your Sales Project, to Make More Money and Go Home Earlier

If you do not plan, you let other people and "things" interrupt you enough that you don't accomplish much each day. 

Sales Project Management gives you the freedom to achieve! Here's how to plan your sales project:

If this vlog post helped you, don't forget to Like it.

How to Initiate a Sales Project, and Why It Matters

Every project needs a starting point. Your sales project is no exception. Here's how to start yours.

Learn more. Sign up for my free introduction to Sales Projects. You'll find the sign up form at the bottom of the Sales Projects Page:

Sales Productivity Matters - How to Take Yours Up a Notch

"Sales productivity" is defined as all the things you can do to close more sales, sooner:

  • Better prospecting
  • Better qualifying
  • Better need-finding
  • Better presentations
  • Better ways to address objections
  • Better closing/higher closing rate
  • Reducing the time to close

When you operate in chaos, each of these elements is harder.

When you operate with a structure, every element is easier, faster and more fun.

When you operate with a structure, your paycheck is bigger.

When you operate with a structure, you have more time for you, your friends and your family.

Sign up for my free sales projects course. Learn the fundamentals of the system that will set  you free!

How to Improve Your Performance, and Have Fun at the Same Time

You work hard all day. At the end of the day, you look back and say, "I know I could have done better, but I'm not sure how." 

Here's the answer:

Structure reduces chaos, letting you get more done.

Structure lets you do more work, with fewer steps.

Structure lets you go home early once in a while, because you completed all of the day's work early. 

Sign up for my free course that introduces you to sales projects.