Sometimes you get so close to a problem, or you are so intimate with it, that you can’t see how to go about it any other way.

No where is this more true than traditional project planning.

Traditionally, all that mattered to planners to was meet the plan.
On time. On budget.
Plan the work, work the plan.
That’s all that mattered.

There were very strong incentives for managers to do this.
They were paid to meet the plan.
Bonuses hinged on hitting the plan.

And this relentless drive to make the plan, is what has driven, and contributed to much of the drama and dysfunction we associated with traditional project planning. Especially in software.

Fresh Eyes

That’s why change never comes from the status quo.
It takes new eyes and approaches to see problems and solve problems.

It took a group of programmers, to stare down traditional project managers and say enough is enough.

If you have too much to do and not enough time, do less.

This is the basis for Extreme Programming and Agile Planning.
This is why we flex on scope.

Traditional project management is still grappling with this profound, yet simple insight.
They want to be Agile, and be seen as flexible when it comes to adapting the plan.
But they’ve got half a century of baggage and expectation setting slowing them down.

That’s why a revolution in project planning could never come from Project Managers.
They were too busy maintaining the status quo.

It took a group of engineers, with a healthy dose of common sense, to stop the madness, and bring sense back into the process.