in Process

The Agile Project Leadership Network

I’ve found the Agile Development community has a lot in common with the user-centered design community, and their methods — especially the spirit of them — is closely aligned. In case you haven’t been following their evolution, many different methods from Scrum to Extreme Programming sprang up and, seeing commonalities among them, the founders came together to write the Agile Manifesto and form the Agile Alliance. Soon project managers caught the bug, adopted the practics and just recently formed the The Agile Project Leadership Network (APLN) which incidentally is structured much like the Information Architecture Institute.

The APLN’s core principles reaffirm the human-centeredness and agility of their predecessors:

In order to consistently deliver successful results, great project leaders embrace the following practices:

  • Relentlessly Focus on Value. Focus efforts on generating organizational value rather than managing tasks.
  • Be Situational Specific. Use situationally specific strategies, not a one-size-fits-all approach.
  • Manage Uncertainty. Manage uncertainty through client focused collaborative exploration and proaction.
  • Continuously Align to Changing Situations. Choose strategies for leading within a dynamic environment.
  • Lead with Courage. Confront reality with conviction and a dedication to purpose.
  • Build Strategies that Leverage People. Challenge team members with opportunities to grow professionally.
  • Design Strategies Based on Teamwork. Devlop and sustain a collaborative team environment.
  • Communication Through Immediate and Direct Feedback. Maintain control through feedback, not prescriptive plans.
  1. Victor,

    Where exactly in these principles do you see proof of human-centeredness?

    The only humans I see mentioned are team members, colleagues (hidden under ‘organizational value’) and the courageous leaders themselves…

  2. Right, and don’t team members and colleagues qualify as humans?

    While it would be ideal if they were also concerned with the end-user, let’s remember these are project managers and not product designers, and their job is to manage the work, not design for an end-user.

  3. So you’re really looking at this with meta-glasses: the project manager methods focus on project team members (whereas below this layer the user-focussed team members focus on project end-users).

    Are there any signs that agile PM methods start to have a built-in end-user focus themselves, or is that irrelevant in your opinion?

  4. Irrelevant. Agile PM is light years ahead of traditional PM, and if converting PMs to use more agile methods is all we get, that will be wonderful. That alone is a gigantic undertaking.

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