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December 2011 Volume 11

Agile project management helps overcome IT obstacles

Early in my IT project management and leadership career, I learned three incredibly important lessons: 1.   No one knows what they want until they see it. 2.   Once they see it, they will want to change it. 3.   At best, large projects will be challenged; at worst, they will fail. Learning these lessons shaped how I plan and manage every type of IT project since then. I've shifted away from traditional project management methods and toward what is now called Agile project management, which emphasizes flexibility and interaction with empowered stakeholders. Here's how Agile project management has worked for me, and how you can use Agile methods for greater project success. 1. No one knows what they want until they see it. I once led a project to develop a new Web application. I spent days gathering requirements from the project's stakeholders. We discussed and mapped out the entire process and information flow. We sorted through the exceptions we had to handle. We then created a magnificent document that precisely captured ...

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