How to Become More Agile while Keeping in Control

How Good is Your Project Performance?

How safe are your projects from going over time and budget, and are you sure, that they are delivering the expected value?

Research shows that of all projects carried out in organizations, both public and private, almost half of them will not meet the agreed goals in terms of time, budget and value. Your organization is probably neither better nor worse than most in project performance, but you are probably not satisfied with the situation. You may, however, not know what to do about it.

But imagine if you could reduce each project you decide to carry out by one week. Just one single week! This may not sound very ambitious, but let’s do an easy, unscientific and conservative calculation and see how much money is wasted in this small made-up organization:

A Simple Calculation

“A small company carries out 10 projects every year. Each project has 5 project team members including the project manager. The hourly rate is 65 EUR which equals approx. 500 DKK. That’s probably quite conservative in many parts of Europe. If we do the calculation, cutting down the project time for each of those 10 projects by one week, this small company would save 2,000 man hours equalling 130,000 EUR or 1 million DKK.”

Even if your company does not calculate internal hours, think about what you could do with 2,000 extra man hours every year! Think about the calculation if you do more projects each year and with bigger teams. Imagine if you use external consultants! Your project waste will increase dramatically. We need to reduce this enormous waste and become more efficient delivering projects. We simply need to raise the ambition level.

A Few Facts

The project success rate has not improved much during the past 10 years even though agile methods such as Scrum and Kanban have done their bit to get the project success rates up. This is today’s situation:

  • Traditional methods have been available for more than 50 years
  • Agile methods have been in use since the nineties
  • A lot of different project management certifications exist
  • Project success rates are still too low – research shows only 54% project success
  • Organizations typically have a few PM stars while the rest of the PMs are less successful

Agile Project Management Association® Suggests a Shift

To get the project success rate up, we must do something different. This is why APMA – Agile Project Management Association® has been founded. APMA is independent of all PM methods, but works to fill the PM toolbox with well-working tools from both the traditional and the agile world. We don’t want to re-invent the wheel, but to work intelligently with concepts that have proven themselves on real projects creating real value. This introduces a shift in project management thinking.

It should be only your project and your organizational context that determine which mix of traditional and agile concepts and tools will be the best to use. In APMA we believe that new, more flexible structures are needed – structures that are applicable to different types of projects in different types of organizations. The aim is furthermore to reduce project complexity by introducing a system that is easy to use for all project managers – experienced as well as less experienced.

This Is Why You Should Be Interested in APMA

People and organizations cannot be put on one single formula. All projects are different, and so are organizations. What works in one organization cannot necessarily be repeated 1:1 in other organizations. Public organizations are different from private, and there are different conditions, maturity levels, decision and organizational structures etc. This all affects project managers, project teams, and in the end the project results. It also implies that it will not be possible to fit all projects in all organizations into one single project formula.

Yet that’s exactly what we have been doing for more than 50 years without significantly improving project success.

We need to appreciate that even if there is a lot of indispensable knowledge and “condensed experience” in the traditional methods, and the new ideas about improving quality, reducing waste, eliminating bottlenecks etc. that are found in agile methods hold great value, we need to keep an open mind to combining both ways of thinking and use the best from both worlds. There is no “one-size-fits-all” method in project management. The results speak for themselves.

Agile Project Management Association® is a new organization for project managers and others that wish to become more agile while keeping the good and indispensable elements from traditional method thinking in mind. If you want to work with like-minded, are open to new ways of thinking, and ready to discuss and share ideas and experience – good as well as bad – with the APMA network, you are invited to join the Linkedin group: APMA – Agile Project Management Organization, where you will be kept posted on APMA activities.

Do you need more information about APMA? Contact

About Annette V

Agil specialist og realist. Scrum og Kanban træner, agil coach og rådgiver. Foredragsholder og forfatter. Grundlægger og ejer af Xvoto ApS. Agile specialist and realist. Scrum and Kanban trainer, agile coach and advisor. Public speaker and author. Founder and owner of Xvoto ApS
This entry was posted in Agile, Agile combined with traditional PM methods, Agile project management, Agile Project Management Association, APMA, Project efficiency, Project Management Methods, Projektledelse, Projektmetode, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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