Agile is not the end-game of project management methodologies

McKenna, T. and Whitty, S. J. (2013) Agile is not the end-game of project management methodologies. In: 10th Annual Project Management Australia Conference (PMOz 2013): Projects Driving and Sustaining the Future of the Australian Economy, 17-18 Sep 2013, Melbourne, Australia.

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As Australia continues to feel the chilling winds of the global economy, nowhere more than in project management is the pressure felt to demonstrate resilience. Today the term 'agile' has become for many a business mantra to address mounting these economic woes. Agile methods are portrayed as the means of moving from traditional technical processes to a more proactive and inclusive approach. Agile is perceived as the inevitable result of the evolution of project management methodologies. But this is far from the truth, for there is very little 'new' or inevitable about
Agile methods.
The paper explores the role of Agile methods by turning the clock back a century and more, and illustrates how today's practice of project management has come to incorporate methods and tools which can be found throughout activities that underpinned the rapid economic growth of the twentieth century. The paper traces Agile's wide ancestry from Scientific Management and Fordism, through the revitalisation of Japan post-World War 2 and the expansion of lean manufacturing, to the US military and space programs. Agile is seen as the default project management approach in the era of rapidly changing technologies and
mounting economic pressures. But as this paper argues, these technological and economic conditions are not new. And neither for that matter are Agile methods.
By uncovering Agile's evolutionary history we see patterns of change and adaptation in methods of production that suggests an inevitability in how project management methods will adapt in response to ever-increasing and complex technological and economic pressures. Agile is therefore reframed not as an end-game, but part of the evolutionary journey of project management.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © PMOz 2013. This publication is copyright. It may be reproduced in whole or in part for the purposes of study, research, or review, but is subject to the inclusion of an acknowledgment of the source.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Management and Enterprise
Date Deposited: 05 Nov 2013 23:43
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2014 03:29
Uncontrolled Keywords: socioeconomic complexity; agile method; project management methodology; post-postmodernism
Fields of Research : 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150309 Logistics and Supply Chain Management
15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150307 Innovation and Technology Management
12 Built Environment and Design > 1202 Building > 120201 Building Construction Management and Project Planning
Socio-Economic Objective: B Economic Development > 91 Economic Framework > 9102 Microeconomics > 910210 Production
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970115 Expanding Knowledge in Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services

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