My book “Adaptive Project Management”

Does Adaptive Project Management make sense for you?

Are you using waterfall project management and…

  • your stakeholders expect innovation, a predictable schedule, and a fixed budget without padding?
  • your project requirements are poorly defined and likely to change as you understand the problem and your solution better?
  • it’s impossible to build a Work Breakdown Structure because your team doesn’t understand the solution yet, much less the tasks needed to complete the solution?
  • you’re using new technology making it impossible to estimate durations accurately?

Are you using agile project management and…

  • your project includes complex dependencies (e.g. create a schematic, layout board, build PCB and buy components, build PCBA, design firmware, write firmware, load firmware, test)?
  • some of your tasks have long-lead times?
  • it takes weeks or longer to complete and test a build?

Are you trying to get a project completed without any project management and…

  • priorities aren’t clear, so the wrong tasks are being worked on?
  • your delivery dates are just guesses and things are always late?
  • when your projects are complete the end users say “That’s not what I need or want”?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then Adaptive Project Management is for you.

In Adaptive Project Management, the project manager does just enough planning to be confident that the team is working on the correct tasks. Those tasks might be removing uncertainty, reducing risk, or progressing along the critical path.  The goal is to foster an environment of innovation, constantly reducing risk and uncertainty as you move through a project, always updating the plan as you increase your knowledge.

I have over twenty years’ experience designing innovative products, including medical devices, consumer electronics, and industrial equipment. This book includes many real-world examples of how using the wrong project management paradigm created barriers to success and an unpleasant environment. The examples come from product development, but the lessons apply to any project where uncertainty and complexity are present. In addition to getting it through my publisher, it’s available through Amazon, though they’re taking a long time in shipping.

Reviews

Adam Schuster says

I just finished reading the book and I really loved it. I’m not a project manager myself but I’ve worked on the programming and business development side of software projects so I’ve always worked closely with them. This addresses a very real problem, that waterfall and agile are both good approaches in theory but a blend of the two is required in practice. This book describes why that is and how to do it in and effortless and conversational manner. The instructions are easy to read, easy to understand, and the analogies used are enjoyable and make the lessons it’s teaching more tangible and understandable. I’d highly recommend this for anyone who’s involved –in any capacity – with software, hardware projects, and other types of projects!

Naomi Caietti, PMP, CTM published an interview of me about Adaptive Project Management at ProjectManagement.com (free account needed).