Every project becoming a program?

As suggested by “The Experience Trap” series I’ve been running, in the very near future, the skills and competencies to lead future initiatives will be those of a program and portfolio manager

I’m not sure that the way we approach methodology is helping.  As an example, my local PMI chapter is sponsoring a speaker on Adaptive Project Framework, a methodology that tries to square the circle between traditional and extreme PM approaches.  Per the invitation e-mail:

Those projects for which both the goal and the solution to reach it are clearly defined are well-supported by traditional project management (TPM) approaches. Those projects whose goal and solution are not clearly defined are well-supported by extreme project management (xPM) approaches. But what about those projects whose goal is clearly defined but whose solution is not? A new approach called Adaptive Project Framework (APF)…

But aren’t today’s complex projects more about the challenges of combining these approaches (rather than either/or)?  In other words, aren’t we first building or upgrading a platform (usually done w/ traditional “waterfall” approaches),  then attaching or layering components large and small on that platform (usually done w/ agile, iterative, or adaptive methods)?  This trend is happening across industries — aerospace w/ the A380 and B787, software w/the SAP Business Process Platform, Enterprise Services, and Custom Development, construction w/ more manufacturing and pre-assembly off-site. 

I’m afraid this signals the impending commoditization of PM — today’s project manager skills and competencies will only get you a team leader role tomorrow.

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One Response

  1. […] Byron (here) reinforces the urgency to start thinking of ”every project as a program” (here).  NetWeaver revenue is nearing $2 billion on a trailing 12 month basis (SAP says it’s only a […]

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