My current work lives here: Oddball Empire - Rock on.
Craig Brown writes a blog at BetterProjects.net. Craig and I are regular readers of each other’s sites and now we are having a conversation from site to site.
Thanks for the great summary. Yes, I think the solution to the problem of changing requirements lies basically in education and training. The sources of the problems can be found in 1) lack of knowledge about true cause-effect-chains, and 2) mimicking the behavior of a certain group of people to be associated with that group. Proper training for Project Managers and stakeholders should reduce the negative effects of requirement changes.
Stereotype Australia photography by Reinn.
You mention Prince 2 and PMP for Project Managers and CAPM accreditation for general project stakeholders as an example of available education. Although I think our business world needs accreditation, it will only solve a very small part of the problem. Three kinds of “training”, “coaching”, “support” or whatever form is chosen, are needed:
1. Educating people in generic “HOW”: How is a project done? What is typically expected of a certain role? This is to provide complete novices some guidelines and to create a common language among people involved.
2. Educating people in “WHY”: Why are projects performed the way they are? Why do people behave the way they do? Why and when do certain problems occur.
To quote myself …
“The world is changing. The world is throwing all kinds of different situations towards us. We need to adapt. We need to adapt fast! Project Managers don’t need to be flexible, they need to be FREAKIN’ GUMBY’S! And what do we do? We are teaching Project Management as if nothing has changed in 50 years. Heck, you even get a nice badge when you pass certification, when you have managed to learn large checklists.”
That’s why the “WHY” is so important.
3. Coaching / supporting people during project execution: Before or during the start of a project everybody is still relaxed, open for suggestion, cooperative and very receptive for reflection and feedback. That is changing during the execution of the project. With pressure on not everyone is remembering the lessons learned at training. In my opinion it is wise to have an impartial person supporting the analysis, decision making and general operation from a coaching perspective. Do I dare to say, one needs a Project Shrink?
The generic PM accreditations are good for the first kind. Some IPMA certifications are exceptions as they also cover on the job experience. So, they are good, but only form a fraction of the solution.
I cannot imagine that this is any different in BA. Is it?
Bas and Craig have a weekly conversation, back and forth on their respective blogs, Project Shrink and Better Projects. With blog titles like that, you don’t have to guess what the topic will be. Feel free to join in.