Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Post Modern PM

During MITPM in Kuala Lumpur I got to listen to Dr. David Frame give a talk in which he explored a number of PM methodologies and how none of them served every purpose. The general gist of it was that there are lots of methodologies/tools available and that you need more than just one.

This is something that I consider to be a big deal in the evolution of a project manager. Getting past the point where you consider one approach to be the “one true way”, and on to a place where you see each approach as viable and important is a huge leap. It is also where the creative part comes in and when being a PM gets to be an actually fun job.

In his talk, Dr. Frame used the phrase “post project management”. It seemed to fit, but at the same time, to beg for just a bit more. It started rolling around in my head as post-modern project management. If the post modern movement was a reaction against what had become standardized forms and something which achieved success by the ironic blending of the dissimilar, then wouldn’t the blending of things like Scrum and PMBOK fit that same bill? (Yes, I took just enough postmodern film classes in college to make me dangerous.) If so, then I’d argue that for a PM to success in today’s’ job market, a PM has to evolve to this post modern state in which all tools hold equal weight and are only as good (or bad) as the way in which they are implemented.

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