Product oriented in an Agile World (product over project)

Once upon a time…actually more exactly 7 years ago, I wrote about being project oriented in an agile world on this blog. As time passes by we learn, and our minds and methods evolve as a result of it. Well, you’d hope so at least!

Back then, although I didn’t go deep into the topic, being project oriented was becoming the thing. I had recently graduated and was fresh into my career within the field of Project Management. Larger and complex corporations working in silos and seeing the world through a functional approach were shifting gear and getting more focused on achieve value and change by becoming project driven organisations. It’s partly about organisations structuring themselves in a focused way to effectively create a strategic advantage from projects and supporting delivery of specific business benefits. This was particularly suitable in the IT world and in complex environments where you need to be more agile and deal with uncertainty. People were starting to question waterfall and starting to look into agile and lean development methods as well… I’ll stop here.

And yes here we are again, many years later, and the world has evolved. And it will keep on evolving again and again.

Today and in the last years, people are now talking about that shift from being project driven to product driven instead. More than ever before it is not just about being efficient and doing things right, but prioritising our WHYs and doing the right things at the right time first . What’s the point of leading a ‘successful’ project and achieving it within set budget and time constrains, if you end up not solving the right and specific problem and build a solution that ends up not being used and adopted? And then you have endless requirements and scope creep, by users and buyers who can’t make up their mind of what they really like and would need. Why do we need to do much more if we can achieve it and solve the main problem with less? Also, can we continue iterating, learning and improving as we go? This may not be the solution for all organisations and industries, but it seem to be appropriate for organisations who want to drive innovation and business through a digital platform. The ones who take a leap of faith and need to manage a lot of uncertainty.

There is a fair bit that could be said in this topic and discussed. However, this is not really about diving deep into the above mentioned methodologies or preaching about one way for everyone, but more about illustrating how we keep learning and adapting to better approaches as we uncover new things and realisations. Let’s keep questioning things, let’s continue being insight and context driven and let’s lead with our eyes on value (customer value, business value etc.) and purpose.

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