Extreme Project Management: – Today even more than yesterday, effectively managing a project can be a real challenge. Between the developments of new technologies, rapid changes in customer needs, economic conditions and new revolutionary ideas, certain characteristics of a project can change every day due to a wide variety of circumstances. For this reason, the Extreme Project Management methodology was created.
Extreme project management (XPM) is a modern approach that is opposed to traditional project management methods (TPM). It is more open and flexible, and allows the necessary changes to be incorporated during the project, which is difficult if not impossible with a traditional Waterfall method.
Principles of Extreme Management Methodology
As the name suggests, Extreme project management allows you to manage extreme projects in complex environments, making it difficult to estimate the duration of the project and the obstacles you will encounter. With these kinds of projects, things are unpredictable, the planning is chaotic and realized just in time, and the whole project is disorderly.
Presented thus, these projects seem doomed to failure. However, thanks to the Extreme project management method, you can manage the unknown and the unexpected by correcting the project as it progresses.
Doug DeCarlo, author of extreme Project Management, compares the Extreme project management methodology to jazz. Although jazz seems to sound incoherent and chaotic, it has its own setting that allows musicians to improvise and create exceptional pieces.
Is this Extreme Management Methodology for you?
In order to know if you need to use the XPM methodology for your project, here are the typical characteristics of extreme projects:
- Work at a frantic pace;
- A project with very complex needs and results;
- Requests for frequent changes throughout the project;
- A trial and error approach to see what works;
- A process of self-correction to get back on track when the project deviates from its goal;
- Deviating from the hierarchy to make decisions;
- Projects that are human-based and not process-driven (people do not adapt their projects to fit the model, adapt the model to suit their projects);
- Traditional methods that is not adapted.
If you find your project in this description, it is time to take into account the Extreme project management approach to manage your projects.
Extreme Project Management Methodology
It is obvious that the extreme approach is totally different from the traditional approach. In order to ensure the successful implementation of the XPM methodology, the project team must adopt some basic rules:
- the requirements and tasks of the project are chaotic and unpredictable;
- the team must rely on uncertainty;
- it is almost impossible to fully control such projects;
- change is inevitable;
- Flexibility and transparency give a sense of security.
Start with a team that is ready to work at a fast pace and flexibly, and then follow these steps:
- Plan the project with the XPM method, i.e. plan the changes in the schedule, be prepared to allow time to change and leave room for errors.
- To ensure the success of the method and project, answer these questions: who needs what, and why? What do you need to carry out the project? Do you have what it takes to go through? Is it worth it?
- Organize the work in short cycles (a few weeks maximum).
- Start with a meeting to kick off the project, inform and motivate the entire team. Be very clear about your expectations. The visibility of the project must be your priority from the first day.
- Communicate regularly with the client, take into account their requests and needs, and pass the information directly to your team.
- Follow the progress of each cycle with regular checks, revision sessions and realignment meetings if the project appears to be diverting.
- Celebrate each end of cycle. Be grateful to your team and appreciate the efforts made to keep it motivated. For example, begin each meeting with the list of team successes since the last meeting.
Do not complicate the task and keep your projects as simple as possible while customizing them to suit your needs.
XPM was created to help you manage the unknown and to take into account the variables that change or emerge during a project. At the end of the project, the objective is to have delivered the desired result, not just the result originally planned. If stakeholders or the client fined themselves in the middle of the project that the original product is not appropriate, this method allows them to make changes. Teams using the Extreme project management methodology must be prepared to make several attempts until they succeed, rather than focusing on getting everything right the first time. Moving from a traditional method to an extreme method is not easy, so it is essential to train yourself properly to succeed.