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Let's not force organization on projects

People, let's not force organization on projects!

A software project is an ecosystem where experts and others live, earn, and play. As far as I can remember, process authors and project managers have focused on turning this ecosystem into an organization. A project manager is put in charge of a project. She gets a team to work with. A somewhat hierarchical structure is set up within which this team operates to follow a monolithic plan. A key component of the plan is usually a Gantt chart with many tasks and deliverables. There is an inherent fallacy in this approach. An organization has ecosystem, but ecosystems can not be organized!

Why is this my pet peeve? Well, because many projects fail, and I believe the reasons are primarily human. Let human beings do what they excel in - self organize. Let's not make regiments out of project teams. And if we did, let us acknowledge the heroism they demonstrate in salvaging projects many a time. Then, let us try to bring the root drivers of that heroism to the fore of how to manage projects. Again, not as organizations, but as agile ecosystems.

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