As I promised, I will write about using or not using MS PROJECT in agile Projects (Scrum, Kanban, etc.). First thing first. What does the expert says? Some quotes:
“The traditional way to build software, used by companies big and small, is commonly known as “The Waterfall”. The tasks necessary to execute the design are determined, and the work is planned using tools like Gantt charts and programs like Microsoft Project.“ Yes, and is that bad???? NO!
Again, from my previous post:
“Humans are not able to predict the future. You can not plan what will you do six weeks from now! Problems can arise, and you will have to change your planned work. It has been the downfall of many a carefully constructed Gantt chart.” Who says that you have to predict everything? You can not, of course! And, as far as I know in MS PROJECT you can change Tasks, Duration, Resources, Estimations, Baselines etc. in it! If you can not, maybe you are in the read only mode
“There is no visibility on where the software is in the middle of the project. You have GANTT charts and reports that looks good on paper but never deliver the software on time. You will never see a promised delivery date met and worse, you will rarely discovered slippage until it is too late to reforecast company revenue.“ The answer is very simple: Why, Why, Why, Why, don’t you LEARN HOW TO USE MS PROJECT???? If you don’t know how to use it that you can conclude that it is bad, and that you cannot track project progress, and you will miss the deadline! But you should blame yourself, not MS PROJECT!
“In a meeting with the CEO, I noted that for years he had received project plans that were supported by Gantt charts. The CEO agreed that no plan had ever delivered the required functionality on time. Many delays had been extensive and hurt the company financially. “ Microsoft, Microsoft, what are you doing! Shame on you! Those Gantt charts are killing economy worldwide! Of course, blame the tool, not the person! That’s the easiest way to avoid personal responsibility
“Gantt charts are useful for planning purposes. However, they are poor for tracking software projects because dependencies change on a daily basis. A full time developer can be absorbed keeping Microsoft Project up to date for a single Scrum team and Scrum was designed to eliminate this wasteful activity.” If dependencies change on a daily basis, then any software is useless if you want to track your progress! Still, you don’t have to waste “SO MUCH TIM”E” if you use MS PROJECT! Why? Because it is easy to track the Task progress with it!
OK! I will stop here! My point is: Use any tool which will help you to get to the goal! And be aware that you know how to use it! Do not forget the old saying: “The fool with the tool is still a fool!”
If you want to use MS PROJECT with agile methodology, you can (I say you can, I didn’t say you MUST!). You can modify it for yourself in a very, VERY, VERY (did I say very?) short time. My MVP buddy from UK, Ben Howard (www.applepark.co.uk) gave me permission to show you what he did! Why didn’t I do it? I have very reasonable explanation. I am lazy, and Ben is good colleague (Thank you BEN!)
I will not explain Scrum here, nor what is Sprint, Iteration, Backlog etc. I give you this example just to see that you can do it! Most of agile methodologies use whiteboards, walls, and post-it as a tool! Fine! I found it very difficult to manage “virtual” teams (international, or not co-located teams) with this approach. What am I using? Tadaaaaaa, you will never guess! MS PROJECT ! Ihaaaa, and it works! With Gants! And I am alive. And neither of my clients did not shot me! They didn’t even try! And, guess what. My team is happy with that!
So, the conclusion is: Use whatever tool you want, but do not tell me that you can not manage Agile Projects with MS PROJECT! If it does not suits you, that is fine! But, that doesn’t mean that it can not be done with it!
Encouraging to see that you are successfully using MS project. In my opinion, most of the people ( including me) are overwhelmed when we see the effort involved in maintaining the plan up to date in MS project. I also think it is a matter of time to get comfortable using it, and then gradually we cannot do without it, perhaps. 🙂 MS project is definitely a great tool for project management, no doubt. 🙂
“The fool with the tool is still a fool!” Till date I have seen people comparing tool as with Excel, because they are not able to gauge the capability of the tool. Its wonderful tool empowering Project Managers to plan and manage their complex projects; Thanks Nenad for the eye opener write-up.