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Project Management Tutorial

Projects have become much more complex and much volatile in today’s time, especially the software and new technology development projects. In traditional brick and mortar engineering projects, it is possible to understand and define the requirements and prepare an upfront plan to execute the projects. Such brick and mortar traditional development projects do not undergo much change as everything about them can be well defined. And such projects can be managed with a well laid out project plan.But the software development projects and new product development projects undergo immense changes during the course of development itself. It is not practically possible to define all the requirements upfront for such projects as these are futuristic solutions. And such products will undergo suggested changes very frequently during the course of development itself in order to keep the product really relevant when finally they are developed fully. Changes come in because of the dynamic nature of market conditions and ever changing needs of customers. Such development which is full of frequent changes creates a very uncertain and chaotic environment. Hence in such situations it will not be possible to draw up a clear upfront plan for the whole project. Such projects need to be managed in an adaptive manner.This is where Agile Methods of developments have come into practice. Extreme Project Management is one such method of managing projects which are filled with immense uncertainty and frequent changes.Extreme Project Management Definition“Extreme project management is the art and science of facilitating and managing the flow of thoughts, emotions, and interactions in a way that produces valued outcomes under turbulent and complex conditions: those that feature high speed, high change, high uncertainty, and high stress.” - Doug DeCarlo, author of extreme project management. The main focus of XPM is on managing project stakeholders and the human interactions, rather than managing stringent schedule and plan with heavy formalism.Difference between traditional and extreme project managementTraditional ManagementExtreme ManagementFully plan drivenFully adaptive with short cycles of developmentManages the knownManages the unknownStable and predictableChaotic and ever changingAchieve planned resultSelf-correcting leading to right resultEfficiencyEffectivenessProcess drivenPeople and result drivenIt thrives on managingIt thrives on leadingGiven that requirements are constantly changing and technology is evolving very rapidly, extreme projects move forward very fast and allow the teams to work in shorter timelines. This in turn gives the team the ability to better understand and approve each other's ideas and work. For extreme project management to produce rapid change, it is necessary for all team members to communicate well and develop complete understanding. To produce project plans, XPM uses a concept similar to rapid application development (RAD) called rapid application planning (RAP). Stakeholders are invited by the project manager to the RAP session where a sequence of steps (including planning the project) is run so that the best decisions are taken. Extreme project management contributes to success in the following three different ways:With it, we manage the unknown and unpredictable.It increases desire and confidence among stakeholders and it focuses on gaining and sustaining commitment to the project mission.It is a holistic approach, based on reality, managed by experts and specialists. Philosophical mind set for Extreme Project ManagementSince extreme project management is not a plan driven approach, rather an adaptive and self-correcting method of management, it requires great discipline and greater understanding in the minds of the team members. The team members need to possess a right “mind set” and a set of “beliefs” in order to make extreme project management successful. Below are some of the beliefs which should be part everyone’s mind set:Requirements and project activities are chaotic, ever changing and unpredictableUncertainty is most certainFull control and full upfront plan of such projects is not possibleChange is inevitable, we need to adapt to change for better benefitsFlexibility and openness creates a secured environment full of relaxation and comfortTeam members should accept the above points as normal. Extreme Project Management will be successful only with immense self-management concept. Every team member need to feel highly responsible, should be very proactive, the team should provide an open environment filled with encouragement and trust.Steps in Extreme Project ManagementXPM is an iterative and incremental development and management method. This is truly the philosophy of progressive elaboration as suggested for project management. Here the development will happen in shorter cycles of 2-6 weeks. Each iteration will deliver some concrete and working feature which stakeholders can use.As per Doug DeCarlo, the author of XPM, there are 4 phases in XPM namely INitiate, SPeculate, Incubate, and REview (INSPIRE). Each iteration of development will provide more clarity and insight for the next iterations. ConclusionExtreme Project Management (XPM) should be used where things are highly unpredictable, unknown and will be ever changing. In such situation it will not be possible to prepare a formal plan defining the scope, time and cost constraints upfront. XPM will require a very different philosophical mind set and behaviour by each of the team members as well as the leader of the team. XPM team will be a self-organizing team capable of doing self-correction on the go. It relates with the Extreme Programming concepts in Agile Methods.
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Project Management Tutorial

Extreme Project Management

Projects have become much more complex and much volatile in today’s time, especially the software and new technology development projects. In traditional brick and mortar engineering projects, it is possible to understand and define the requirements and prepare an upfront plan to execute the projects. Such brick and mortar traditional development projects do not undergo much change as everything about them can be well defined. And such projects can be managed with a well laid out project plan.

But the software development projects and new product development projects undergo immense changes during the course of development itself. It is not practically possible to define all the requirements upfront for such projects as these are futuristic solutions. And such products will undergo suggested changes very frequently during the course of development itself in order to keep the product really relevant when finally they are developed fully. Changes come in because of the dynamic nature of market conditions and ever changing needs of customers. Such development which is full of frequent changes creates a very uncertain and chaotic environment. Hence in such situations it will not be possible to draw up a clear upfront plan for the whole project. Such projects need to be managed in an adaptive manner.

This is where Agile Methods of developments have come into practice. Extreme Project Management is one such method of managing projects which are filled with immense uncertainty and frequent changes.

Extreme Project Management Definition

“Extreme project management is the art and science of facilitating and managing the flow of thoughts, emotions, and interactions in a way that produces valued outcomes under turbulent and complex conditions: those that feature high speed, high change, high uncertainty, and high stress.” - Doug DeCarlo, author of extreme project management. 

The main focus of XPM is on managing project stakeholders and the human interactions, rather than managing stringent schedule and plan with heavy formalism.

Difference between traditional and extreme project management

Traditional ManagementExtreme Management
Fully plan drivenFully adaptive with short cycles of development
Manages the knownManages the unknown
Stable and predictableChaotic and ever changing
Achieve planned resultSelf-correcting leading to right result
EfficiencyEffectiveness
Process drivenPeople and result driven
It thrives on managingIt thrives on leading

Given that requirements are constantly changing and technology is evolving very rapidly, extreme projects move forward very fast and allow the teams to work in shorter timelines. This in turn gives the team the ability to better understand and approve each other's ideas and work. 

For extreme project management to produce rapid change, it is necessary for all team members to communicate well and develop complete understanding. 

To produce project plans, XPM uses a concept similar to rapid application development (RAD) called rapid application planning (RAP). Stakeholders are invited by the project manager to the RAP session where a sequence of steps (including planning the project) is run so that the best decisions are taken. 

Extreme project management contributes to success in the following three different ways:

  • With it, we manage the unknown and unpredictable.
  • It increases desire and confidence among stakeholders and it focuses on gaining and sustaining commitment to the project mission.
  • It is a holistic approach, based on reality, managed by experts and specialists. 

Philosophical mind set for Extreme Project Management

Since extreme project management is not a plan driven approach, rather an adaptive and self-correcting method of management, it requires great discipline and greater understanding in the minds of the team members. The team members need to possess a right “mind set” and a set of “beliefs” in order to make extreme project management successful. Below are some of the beliefs which should be part everyone’s mind set:

  • Requirements and project activities are chaotic, ever changing and unpredictable
  • Uncertainty is most certain
  • Full control and full upfront plan of such projects is not possible
  • Change is inevitable, we need to adapt to change for better benefits
  • Flexibility and openness creates a secured environment full of relaxation and comfort

Team members should accept the above points as normal. Extreme Project Management will be successful only with immense self-management concept. Every team member need to feel highly responsible, should be very proactive, the team should provide an open environment filled with encouragement and trust.

Steps in Extreme Project Management

XPM is an iterative and incremental development and management method. This is truly the philosophy of progressive elaboration as suggested for project management. Here the development will happen in shorter cycles of 2-6 weeks. Each iteration will deliver some concrete and working feature which stakeholders can use.

As per Doug DeCarlo, the author of XPM, there are 4 phases in XPM namely INitiate, SPeculate, Incubate, and REview (INSPIRE). Each iteration of development will provide more clarity and insight for the next iterations. 

Conclusion

Extreme Project Management (XPM) should be used where things are highly unpredictable, unknown and will be ever changing. In such situation it will not be possible to prepare a formal plan defining the scope, time and cost constraints upfront. 

XPM will require a very different philosophical mind set and behaviour by each of the team members as well as the leader of the team. XPM team will be a self-organizing team capable of doing self-correction on the go. It relates with the Extreme Programming concepts in Agile Methods.

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Comments

Prakruthi

In these project management tutorials, I have learned the Techniques & methodologies and in this article, anyone can learn the basics of PMP to latest and advanced levels of PMP. I have referred some other website but no website provided this much detailed information about project management really thanks for the website for guiding the professionals to be good at our project management carriers.

Clife

Clear and understandable notes

Muwanguzi Edward

Good information to enhance good communication

Ali

Thanks .the information you provide is very important

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