Archive for February, 2014

Flexibility and Water

February 8, 2014  |  No Comments

Sun TzuWhile discussing Weak and Strong Points in The Art of War, Sun Tzu has stated,

Water shapes its course according to the nature of the ground over which it flows; the soldier works out his victory in relation to the foe he is facing.

The shape of water is used as a perfect analogy, not only from a strategic and military standpoint, but also from the perspective of day to day life of a project manager. As the changes happen during the course of the project. A project manager has to monitor the status of the project and he must be flexible to change plans as needed to drive the project’s success. When this culture imbibed in the team and team members are skilled to identify the potential changes to the existing plans, it becomes a strength of the team and in turn of the organization’.

We can build many strengths in our teams. Having such a strength, that focuses on where plans might need tweaks and changes on almost continuous basis, is of strategic benefit.

Isn’t it what agility is also about?

Sun Tzu on Agility

February 2, 2014  |  No Comments

In 2002, I started my journey of methodology implementation and in process, learned several of them.

Each complementing and sometime competing with the other highlighting their own USPs.

In the years that followed, I began to see overwhelming similarities rather than the differences. The agile methodologies were becoming popular with increasing adoption of technology as a tool to solve business problems. Even today we see that the agile is referred to the most modern way of delivering a project. However I think, against the popular notion, agile is not a new concept. It is our insistence on limiting ourselves to the modern knowledge that often leads us to ignore the ancient wisdom and to not draw any lessons or inspiration from it.

In the Art of War, Sun Tzu has said that,

One should modify one’s plans according to the favorability of circumstance.

This is a very powerful idea in the agile world, where flexibility is the major advantage one can draw on in modern products and application development.

When we keep the outcome in perspective, it doesn’t matter which methodology we adopt, what matters is how honestly and responsibly we have been able to adopt it in our projects. Of course, the tools and methods for adopting agile are going to be different for each application area.