All in project management

I recently read a pair of books that talk about project management shifting into product management - both of which seem to blame the woes of organizations on project management. One is Mik Kersten’s Project to Product: How to Survive and Thrive in the Age of Digital Disruption with the Flow Framework, and the other is more of a work-in-process book (and free) #noprojects: A Culture of Continuous Value by Evan Leybourn and Shane Hastie.

Overall, these books present some interesting ideas on how to think of delivering value - whether it is in a project environment or not. And they present a few frustrations for me in that I don’t think the core problem is due to “projects.” I think it is deeper embedded into organizations that are so fractured that the flow of value has been lost. Lets get that righted, and project management AND product management work much better.

I came across "Guest Blog: Finding Science and Success with Lean Principles in R&D" by Norbert Majerus of Goodyear on the Factory Physics website, and it describes the Factory Physics ideas as applied in new product development, and I thought it was a pretty good summary. This is also a lot of what we do with Theory of Constraints concepts applied in product development (and project management) arenas too.

Unlocking Innovation Productivity

Unlocking Innovation Productivity (Proven Strategies that Have Transformed Organizations for Profitable and Predictable New Product Growth Worldwide) by Mike Dalton is a guide to the challenges of product innovation and how to overcome them. He provides seven cumulative strategies to improve innovation, all based on Critical Chain Project Management and the underlying Theory of Constraints. 

Breakthrough Project Management from Ian Heptinstall and Robert Bolton  is a brief guide to getting significantly improved project performance through combining two management approaches: One is Critical Chain Project Management (CCPM) and the other is collaborative contracting. For me the material on CCPM is a confirmation of what I have been doing for many years. And the material on Project Alliancing is new, and yet it rings bells for ensuring successful projects of any type.

Ajai Kapoor has a nice piece on LinkedIn Pulse where he says, "Please STOP planning ... Really."  He recounts the familiar challenge of plan / don't plan.  Plan because we want to direct our efforts into the right places to achieve some goal.  But don't plan because plans never survive contact with the enemy.