Adaptive Project Framework: Managing Complexity in the Face of Uncertainty

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A Breakthrough Framework for Adaptive Project Management from Project Management Guru Robert K. Wysocki

For an increasing number of critical projects, traditional project management models simply are not appropriate. In many cases, complete requirements and objectives cannot be specified up front, and significant changes cannot be avoided. What’s needed is an entirely new framework for project management: one that combines agile methods with the profession’s most enduring best practices. In this book, Robert K. Wysocki provides that framework–the Adaptive Project Framework (APF)–and shows how to apply it in any domain.

Wysocki, one of the world’s leading project management consultants, has spent decades helping large organizations succeed with complex projects. Drawing on everything he’s learned, he explains why a fundamentally new framework is needed and introduces all five phases of that framework. He covers artifacts, processes, and deliverables, and shows how to utilize each phase most effectively in your environment. Through four detailed case studies, you’ll discover how APF can help you adapt to unexpected events, encouraging creative responses based on open partnerships between clients and project teams.

Coverage includes

  • Bringing greater flexibility and speed to any project, regardless of its goals or context
  • Moving forward successfully with projects that have vague requirements
  • Discovering what clients really want, not just what they say they want
  • Managing ongoing scope changes throughout a project
  • Customizing APF to your own environment
  • Integrating APF with existing agile software development methods
  • Using APF to overcome the obstacles to success
  • Preparing for the future of project management

This book is written for every project participant–project and program managers, software and product developers, process designers, and business analysts–who needs to deliver results in a world that won’t stand still.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321525611
  • Publisher: Addison-Wesley
  • Publication date: 2/19/2010
  • Pages: 355
  • Product dimensions: 6.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert K. Wysocki, Ph.D., has more than forty years of experience as a project management consultant and trainer, information systems manager, systems and management consultant, author, and training developer and provider. His sixteen books on project and IT management include the PMI-recommended Effective Project Management, Fifth Edition (Wiley, 2009). In 1990, Robert founded Enterprise Information Insights, Inc. (EII), a consulting and training practice that specializes in helping large organizations run projects more effectively. His clients range from AT&T and Aetna to the U.S. Army Signal Corps, Wal-Mart, and Wells Fargo.

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Table of Contents

Preface xv

Acknowledgments xvii

About the Author xix

Introduction 1

The Contemporary Project Landscape 2

Project Management Is Organized Common Sense 18

Why I Wrote This Book 20

How This Book Is Structured 21

Case Studies 21

Who Should Read This Book? 24

Putting It All Together 27

Chapter 1: Overview of the Adaptive Project Framework 29

The Fundamentals of the Adaptive Project Framework 30

Goal, Solution, Functions, and Features 34

Traditional Project Management (TPM) 37

Agile Project Management (APM) 43

Case Study: Try & Buy Department Stores–DSDM Approach 58

Adaptive Project Framework 58

Case Study: PDQ Prioritized Scope Triangle 85

Extreme Project Management 89

Emertxe Project Management 90

Putting It All Together 91

Discussion Questions 91

Chapter 2: How to Scope the APF Project 93

Overview of the APF Version Scope Phase 94

APF Version Scope Phase: The Defining Process 98

Case Studies 110

APF Version Scope: Planning Process 128

Version Scope Phase Kick-off Meeting 141

Team Formation 142

Putting It All Together 143

Discussion Questions 143

Chapter 3: How to Plan an APF Cycle 145

An Overview of the APF Cycle Planning Phase 146

APF Cycle Plan Deliverables 161

Cycle Scope Changes 176

Issue Tracking and Resolution 177

Micromanaging an APF Cycle 178

Case Study: Try & Buy Department Stores 180

Case Study: Pizza Delivered Quickly 182

Putting It All Together 188

Discussion Questions 188

Chapter 4: How to Build the APF Cycle 189

Overview of the Cycle Build Phase 190

Cycle Build Variations 212

Case Study: Kamikazi Software Systems 214

Putting It All Together 215

Discussion Questions 215

Chapter 5: How to Manage the Client Checkpoint 217

An Overview of the APF Client Checkpoint Phase 218

Client Checkpoint Questions 229

Major Inputs to the Next Cycle Planning Activity 234

Artifacts of the Client Checkpoint Phase 237

Next Cycle 245

Client Checkpoint Variations 246

Case Study: PDQ 246

Putting It All Together 251

Discussion Questions 252

Chapter 6: How to Conduct the Post-version Review 253

Overview of the APF Post-version Review Phase 255

Major Questions for the Post-version Review Phase 256

Lessons Learned 259

Improvement Opportunities 261

Post-version Final Report 264

Case Study: Snacks Fifth Avenue–Kiosk Design 265

Case Study: Kamikazi Software Systems–Systems Development Project Management Process Design 266

Case Study: Pizza Delivered Quickly–Order Entry and Home Delivery Process Design 267

Case Study: Try & Buy Department Stores–Curriculum Design, Development, and Delivery 268

Putting It All Together 269

Discussion Questions 269

Chapter 7: Adapting APF 271

APF Is Flexible and Adaptive 271

Variations 272

Putting It All Together 282

Discussion Questions 283

Chapter 8: APF in the Extreme 285

Defining an Extreme Project 286

Extreme Project Life Cycle 290

A Variation of an Extreme Project: The Emertxe Project 305

Comparing xPM and MPx PMLC Models 306

Putting It All Together 307

Discussion Questions 307

Chapter 9: APF Frequently Asked Questions 309

APF Is a Work in Process 309

You Mean I’m Going to Ask My Clients for $1M and One Year, and I Can’t Tell Them What They Will Get? 310

Can the Clients Increase the Budget or Deadline? 312

What if You Can’t Get the Client to Be Meaningfully Involved? 313

How Much Planning Do You Do Up Front for the Contents of the First Few Cycles? 316

What if the Team Is Resistant to APF? 317

Can a Distributed Team Use APF? How? 317

Can Part of a Project Use APF? How? 319

Do You Have to Worry about Micro-management? 319

How Do You Implement APF in an Organization Heavily Invested in TPM? 320

Putting It All Together 321

Chapter 10: Taking Stock 323

Organizational Environment 324

Making Choices 324

Prioritization Rules 325

Value of the Project Landscape Model 325

The Current State of APF 325

Implementing APF in Your Organization 330

Putting It All Together 334

Discussion Questions 334

Appendix: CareerAgent Overview 335

CareerAgent Functions 335

The Architecture of CareerAgent 336

Index 343

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