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HF PMP: how does it fit with Lean Software Development...

Gian Franco
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Hello,

How does PMP fit with practices as explained in Lean Software Development (by Poppendieck) or Agile practices in general?

Thanks,

Gian


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Andrew Stellman
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I wrote a blog post about this a while back called "What About Agile?"

http://www.stellman-greene.com/2007/04/27/what-about-agile/

There are definitely a lot of things that the PMBOK(r) Guide and PMP exam cover that aren't addressed at all with Agile -- like whether a fixed price contract is better or worse for the seller than a cost-plus contract. But there's one really important way that both the PMBOK(r) and Agile are very similar: they both recognize that managing change is an important part of a successful project. And in that respect, you'll definitely find that your knowledge of Agile can help you when you study for the PMP exam.


<i>Andrew Stellman<br />Author, "Head First C#" and "Head First PMP"</i><br /><a href="http://www.stellman-greene.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Building Better Software</a> - <a href="http://www.stellman-greene.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">http://www.stellman-greene.com</a>
Ilja Preuss
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Originally posted by Andrew Stellman:
I wrote a blog post about this a while back called "What About Agile?"

http://www.stellman-greene.com/2007/04/27/what-about-agile/


Interesting post - I added a comment that is currently awaiting moderation.


There are definitely a lot of things that the PMBOK(r) Guide and PMP exam cover that aren't addressed at all with Agile -- like whether a fixed price contract is better or worse for the seller than a cost-plus contract.


Mhh. When *is* a fixed price contract better, ever?


The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny - it is the light that guides your way. - Heraclitus
Gian Franco
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Thanks for the link

...what speaks to the imagination in Lean SW development is the concept of 'eliminating waste', beeing waste anything that does not add value for the customer, and often causes delays, lesser quality, etc.

Is this concept expressed explicitly in PMP? Or must one read between the lines?

Thanks,

Gian
Darya Akbari
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Originally posted by Gian Franco:
...what speaks to the imagination in Lean SW development is the concept of 'eliminating waste', beeing waste anything that does not add value for the customer, and often causes delays, lesser quality, etc.

Is this concept expressed explicitly in PMP? Or must one read between the lines?


Tell me one method, no matter which one which does not concern on eliminating waste . PMP is no exception here. HFPMP gives a very clear picture how to avoid doing wasteful things.


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Gian Franco
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Originally posted by Darya Akbari:


Tell me one method, no matter which one which does not concern on eliminating waste . PMP is no exception here. HFPMP gives a very clear picture how to avoid doing wasteful things.


Well , let me put it in another way..., In Lean SW development requirements churn is considered to increase costs, I don't know much about PMP, but suppose it resembles to Prince2 (another comparable projectmanagement method) then the initial phases of specification might fall in this category of specifying too much too early.

For the record, I'm not an expert in Prince2 either

Thanks,

Gian
[ December 05, 2007: Message edited by: Gian Franco ]
Andrew Stellman
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Ilja Preuss wrote:
Mhh. When *is* a fixed price contract better, ever?


When you're the customer.


Gian Franco wrote:
Well , let me put it in another way..., In Lean SW development requirements churn is considered to increase costs, I don't know much about PMP, but suppose it resembles to Prince2 (another comparable projectmanagement method) then the initial phases of specification might fall in this category of specifying too much too early.


The PMBOK(r) Guide was developed so that it can be applied to any kind of project, not just a software project. So projects that fit into its framework tend to develop all of the requirements up front, before any work begins. That's because all of the plans for the submarine or office building need to be finalized and agreed upon before you hire the construction crew to break ground.

There will be changes that happen. But if those changes involve very large alterations to the blueprints and you need to tear out the last three floors you put in, it gets very, very expensive.

Oddly, the same is true of software in many cases. There are some changes that need to be made, and which you could have found had you "churned" through the requirements a little more before you started building the software, and now you've got a bunch of code you need to tear out -- and it would have been a lot more efficient to take the time up front to figure out the requirements and then only build your software once. Unfortunately, many people don't consider that "Agile". (I think they're wrong -- I think that doing a lot of iteration before you even start writing code can be the most efficient and customer-focused way that you can build software... but that's a story for another day.)
Ilja Preuss
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Originally posted by Darya Akbari:

Tell me one method, no matter which one which does not concern on eliminating waste .


Almost any - at least not to the amount Lean does. By far.

See http://community.ative.dk/blogs/ative/archive/2007/01/18/Lean-Principle-Number-1-_2D00_-Eliminate-Waste.aspx
Ilja Preuss
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Originally posted by Andrew Stellman:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ilja Preuss wrote:
Mhh. When *is* a fixed price contract better, ever?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



When you're the customer.


How comes?


Oddly, the same is true of software in many cases. There are some changes that need to be made, and which you could have found had you "churned" through the requirements a little more before you started building the software, and now you've got a bunch of code you need to tear out -- and it would have been a lot more efficient to take the time up front to figure out the requirements and then only build your software once.


Could you please elaborate on what kind of changes you are talking about? Perhaps with an example?


Unfortunately, many people don't consider that "Agile". (I think they're wrong -- I think that doing a lot of iteration before you even start writing code can be the most efficient and customer-focused way that you can build software... but that's a story for another day.)


I'd say that doing a lot of iteration before you even start writing code is not Agile by definition. I guess what you are then saying is that you don't think an Agile approach is always the most efficient and customer-focused way that you can build software...?

Again, do you have a good example?
Darya Akbari
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Originally posted by Ilja Preuss:

quote riginally posted by Andrew Stellman:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ilja Preuss wrote:
Mhh. When *is* a fixed price contract better, ever?
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



When you're the customer.



How comes?


How it comes ? As a customer you obviously like more a fixed price contract.
Ilja Preuss
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Originally posted by Darya Akbari:

How it comes ? As a customer you obviously like more a fixed price contract.


I know that many like it because they think that it reduces their risk. I think most of that risk reduction is actually an illusion, and that it sets up a relationship that actually works to the detriment of the customer, compared to a more collaborative contract.
Gian Franco
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I agree Ilja...

I've seen also in some situations, when a project isn't going very well, many customers think that stepping over to a fixed-price model is the solution to their problems

...often making things worse IMHO
 
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