Six months ago, during an interview, I had a conversation with the director of a project management office that went something like this:
Director: “You earned a computer science degree, then you studied marketing. Wouldn’t it have made more sense to study operations research?”
Me: “You’re right, that would have been the next linear step. Still, marketing determines the success of software projects to a large degree, so I studied marketing.”
The director stayed in his linear trance for another minute then moved on. This director is a reflection of what’s wrong with project management methodology.
Hypnotized by linear improvements, project management at many companies is stuck in a rut. Don’t let PM knowledge frame problems in a way that limits your ability to perform the unthinkable. Consider this, project management teaches that there are three constraints to a project:
In software development, I’ve seen time and again how one bright idea cuts through the trinity of constraints. Of course, these insights typically come to people who have studied multiple disciplines and learned to think laterally.