AGILE PROJECT MANAGEMENT
"On February 11-13, 2001, at The Lodge at Snowbird ski resort in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, seventeen people met to talk, ski, relax, and try to find common ground... What emerged was the Agile Software Development Manifesto." (www.agilemanifesto.org)
The precursor to Agile project management was the brainchild of Dr. Winston Royce. Introduced in his 1970 treatise, “Managing the Development of Large Software Systems,”1 Dr. Royce presented a 5-point rebuttal of the sequential development Waterfall Model, which had been the status quo for project management.
The waterfall model views a process as a series of steps cascading downwards as shown in the illustration below:
Fig. 1: The Waterfall Model
Originating in industries concerned with complex physical structures such as skyscrapers, vehicles, and machines, the waterfall model suited these types of projects. The underlying assumption was that late-stage modifications were constrained by the high costs and difficulties inherent in physically modifying a large, complex structure after construction or assembly had begun.
The first sequential project management protocol is attributed to Walther Shewhart at Bell Labs, who coined the phrase "Plan-Do-Study-Act"2 in the 1930s. His ideas were advanced in the following decade by the so-called “father of the post-war Japanese industrial renaissance",3 William Edwards Demings, Bell and Thayer are credited with coining the term "waterfall" in a study published in 19564, a decade and half before Dr. Royce expounded his views.
Contrary to popular belief, Dr. Royce neither used the term "waterfall" nor endorsed its cascading model.5 In fact, he wrote a scathing review criticizing sequential project management as erroneously based on the assumption that requirements do not change during development. His treatise called for modifications to the sequential model which he deemed...