Tag Archives: Technology

Project Management Predictions for 2016

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You don’t have to look far this time of year if you’re looking for a view into what people are saying the next year will bring. As sure as there are those making resolutions for the New Year, there are others making claims about what is to come in the New Year, for the purpose of informing, entertaining or somewhere in between. Whether you’re into technology, science, politics, or the movies, there are no shortage of predictions – some more serious than others – for what the new year will bring.

In this vein – and walking the line between being informative and being entertaining (as is generally always my goal with my posts – this time leaning more to the latter than the former) – here are my top 3 project management predictions for 2016.

Projects Will Still Have Issues in 2016

I feel ok about the lack of a **spoiler alert** on my number one prediction for projects in 2016, since I can’t image that this has come as a surprise to anyone. While a new year comes with new beginning and (hopefully) a renewed sense of ‘this time it will be different’, the reality is that projects have issues. Always have. Always will. To be clear, this is not an admission of defeat; not by any stretch. It’s simply a recognition of what is real. Despite the best laid plans, the best of intentions, talented, hardworking teams, solid processes, training and experience, there will be risks and there will be issues. Timelines will sometimes be unrealistic. Requirements will sometimes not be as clear as they could/should be and the list goes on. All that said, good teams will recognize this, plan for the known-unknowns, anticipate having to deal with the unknown-unknowns and most importantly, support each other when the going gets tough.

People Will Still be Talking About Agile

In 2001 the Agile Manifesto was created by representatives from various areas of the software development community, as a collection of guiding principles that challenged long-held notions and methodologies for application development. And while the manifesto was created in 2001, the principles and “lightweight methodologies” that it is based on were in use long before 2001, with “scrum” dating back to the early-nineties, and concepts around ‘iterative development’ dating back as early as the 1950’s.

To come straight to the point. This stuff isn’t new. Yet, it has been the sort of topic has that remained relevant over many decades. To even compare to the 2001 date of the formalization of the manifesto, 2001 was the year that Microsoft released Internet Explorer 6, Windows XP and the original X-Box; Napster had a user base of 26 million users and the Compaq Presario was the hottest new computer on the market – and you don’t hear much talk about these things anymore, do you?

For one reason or another Agile has and continues to be a hot topic in the world of software development. Traditionalists like to argue that it’s nothing more than an excuse not to plan or document requirements, while proponents are quick to dispel these notions and point out that ‘responding to change over following a plan’ and valuing ‘working software over comprehensive documentation’ results in a better product in the end. All the while, the training and certification industries are trying to make everyone ‘certified practitioners’ and ‘scrum-masters’ by spamming your inbox every chance they get, claiming that Agile is the silver-bullet you’ve been looking for.

And as if there isn’t enough to debate, I have even heard people debate over the pronunciation of Agile, as apparently that is a thing. Who knew?

So, whether it’s to defend the viability of the approach/methodology, to defend a principle or a process, or to debate its pronunciation, I predict that people will still be talking about Agile in 2016.

Project Management Will Still Not Be All That Exciting

As this article does a great job of describing – through a conversation between Leonard and Penny on an episode of the Big Bang Theory, Project Management is a bit like physics:

Penny: “So, what’s new in the world of physics?”

Leonard: “Nothing.”

Penny: “Really, nothing?”

Leonard: “Well, with the exception of string theory, not much has happened since the 1930’s, and you can’t prove string theory, at best you can say “hey, look, my idea has an internal logical consistency.”

Penny: “Ah. Well I’m sure things will pick up.”

This is to say – from my perspective – that while, there are certainly advances in project management methodologies, tools and techniques (a few for 2016 here), they aren’t often (or ever, with the exception of perhaps Agile – see above) flashy or garner much attention. That said, behind every project involving Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Computing, Virtual Reality, or whatever emerging technology is in play, rest assured that there is a Project Manager – and a project team, working tirelessly behind the scenes.

References:

http://agilemanifesto.org/

http://www.cio.com/article/3012273/project-management/top-5-predictions-for-project-management-in-2016.html

http://blog.capterra.com/the-6-biggest-project-management-trends-for-2016/

https://setandbma.wordpress.com/2012/03/23/agile-history/

http://www.computerhope.com/history/2001.htm

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Greetings and salutations

So I started a blog.

I realize I’m a bit late jumping onto the proverbial bandwagon here, but better late than never right? Actually, truth be known while I’ve never maintained a blog per se (mostly true) I have built and maintained a couple of sites over the years – so I’m not a total ‘noob’ when it comes to user (self) generated content.

Now these sites have long since been retired and my HTML/web development skills (if you could even call them that) have long since deteriorated from the perspective of me actually writing any code – though as a practicing Project Manager I’m still pretty close to the action. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending on your outlook on the world, we now have tools like WordPress that make this sort of thing pretty darn easy, even for PM types like me, so here we are. Hi, I’m Evan. Nice to me you.

So what’s the point?

Good question. Firstly, like the rest of the people on this planet I just don’t feel complete unless I’m sharing my every thought with anyone that cares to ‘follow me’. Ok, this is mostly untrue but it would be pretty ridiculous to start a blog and claim to be indifferent as to whether anybody reads it. So yes, what I write, I hope people will read. There, I said it.

So what are you going write/post about?

The plan (though you know what they said about the best laid plans) is to post about topics related to my professional life – project management, consulting, business and technology. As I learn about new (or new to me) methodologies, technologies, tools, etc. or just want to blather on about some topic that I may feel compelled to blather on about on a given day, I will have now have a forum for my ramblings. Isn’t the internet great!? (For ramblings of a more concise nature, follow me on twitter here).

In addition, I’ve been working on an MBA part-time for the last few years and though I’m a little late getting to this (per my opening remarks), I thought I’d use this little piece of real-estate on the internet to write, reflect, perhaps even pontificate if the mood strikes, on some of my key learnings – from both my remaining classes as well as anything I’ve already done that might be worth re-visiting in the name of contributing to the ‘blogosphere’.

As this is the inaugural post, this is where I’m supposed to say how I will be updating this all the time and you should check back often; since we all know a blog without current content/frequent posts isn’t worth the ‘paper’ it’s written on. To this I say, (1) WordPress happens to be free and (2) since I’m not trying to sell you anything I have nothing to lose (beyond your dedicated followership – which I do appreciate by the way), I don’t have to make such commitments since we both know they’d just be bogus anyway.

So to recap: this is my blog. Welcome to it. PM stuff. MBA stuff. Maybe other stuff TBD. Updated sometimes. I hope you stop by from time to time.

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