Is Agile Project Management Simply Good Business Management?
Imagine running a Nordstrom's (or your favorite retailer) shoe department or men's store with a PMI structured work process, where you use compliance, contracts, and Gantt chart based rules of engagement as your customer management style? Might work. But think about your best experiences at a retail or service business. What brings you back.
My local tire store here in Boulder (Barnsley Tire, with Sam Barnsley owner) always recognizes me, never gives me grief over trivial things and never charges me for things they should have looked after in the first place and never up-sells me for stuff I don't really need. I've bought 1,000's of dollars of tires over the years and recommend them to anyone who asks. Why? Because they look after me as a "customer."
If project managers looked at their role through the eyes of business relationships with customers. Then...
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools is the means to increasing sales from satisfied customers
- Delivery of features results over compliance builds a track record of performance needed for customer satisfaction
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiations establishes the trust needed for satisfied customers
- Responding to change over following the plan shows the customer that you understand the business environment they're in resulting in satisfied customers
This isn't that hard. If you want to behave in an agile manner start behaving like a good business development manager. Subordinate all those contract compliance, non responsive to needs, "the policy says" responses, and "the computer says" answers and start treating projects as a means to increasing sales.
This is what being agile is all about.