Agile is not different words for the same thing

A conversation today reminded me of a couple of years ago. We had the idea of having a "thought for the day" and I popped this one on a whiteboard:

Being in a Product vs Project mindset 

"Thought for the day
A Product Manager is like a mother
A Project Manager is like a foster parent"

They both care but you know it's different.


Today's question:

"Surely agile is just the same as any other way of running project. Just different names for the same things"

Answer:

"Well maybe not, lets take a step back and imagine there are no more projects, only product teams.

No project managers, no project framework, no approval through project gates, no project boards, no project directors, no PMO, no documents for project ceremonies.

No boundaries between people working between different parts of the same product, no reason to farm out work when peeks are high, no reason to move all the time, a time to work with the same people and become really good at what you do together. No silos of the delivery team - you all work for the same product.

A chance to plan strategically over the long term, a chance to do the next most important things, a chance to experiment, a chance to take pride as your product improves, a chance to build long term relationships across all the people involved. A chance to influence and have a say, a chance to be trusted to make decisions.

A chance to put things right when you make mistakes. A reason to make less mistakes as there is no next project, only you and your team, to put them right.

Some might say Mother is another word for Foster parent. If you see the difference then you can start to understand Agile"

I'm not sure I got my message over .... but I tried.

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