Project Management Styles

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It's been two weeks since my last post here. I guess you could say I've been slacking a little with the blog but I have a good excuse. This week I'm finishing up my last major project, and next week is finals week.

That project is to flowchart the systems development project being followed in the text. While it is very educational, it is a little frustrating. The text discusses many of the principles that could, and even should be used, but that are not necessarily a part of the project in question. I'm about at the point where cost:benefit ratio is at it's highest; where more time spent on it will not significantly change the outcome.

One of the things I have discovered is that project management has so many standards available, and at the same time there is so much creative opportunity in project management. PMBOK and my studies have the standard procedures down. At the other extreme there are agile methods, RAD and Scrum.

One of the things that keeps coming to mind has to do with the subject of our research paper, failed projects. While failed projects are unfortunate, I'm beginning to believe that project failure has very little to do with methodology. Methodology has less to do with doing everything just right than it does with reflecting the philosophy of the organization, and development style of the team.

Like my disc golf game, if you are creative, there will be greater risks. But, if you are successful, there are greater rewards. In addition, it seems the more radical approaches require more work and more interest. It's not for the nine to five manager.

One thing that strikes me as odd is that so many projects seem to adopt a methodology that combine various development styles, and yet there are no standards for how to do that. Maybe there are and I don't know about them yet.

Yes, I know a standard for creativity is something of an oxymoron, but standards, best practices, things that are known to work are more reliable. So, which is it? It may be like any sport we play; We have to develop our own style. There may be some rules, but our style can still be unique.

If my programming experience is any indication, I would probably be more of a prototyping, iterative type manager, but also one that will have to learn to control scope creep. It never takes me very long to see that there are so many opportunities in the business environment that one could harness; so many things that need to be improved.

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