Every year, Agile Alliance puts on one of the most importantproject management conferences for software developers:Agile2017. The Orlando-based conference hosts 2,500 people, including project management celebrities like Lisa Crispin and Jez Humble.
The Vanguard theory encourages flurried conversations among developers, QAs and project managers as well as other Agile enthusiasts (the majority of program participants). I listen to the industry and its tools, hoping to uncover theories.
I feel like a foreigner in this world. Where the men’s bathroom line stretches across the conference hall, while the women bounce in and out from their stalls. Where a 20-year-old with aspirations to become an astronaut is a keynote speaker. And where visual aids such as this make perfect sense for most parties.
Blue is for the “thinking”, “reviewing” and “work” parts of Agile. Red is for “work.” Agile is a set of principles that emphasize continuous improvement and people over processes. It’s most commonly used to develop software.
I feel the twinge that I am an analyst, not a programmer, project manager or QA. I also feel the twinge because I am short, female, and young. I will likely be one of the youngest attendees to this conference. I make sure to straighten my face in the mirror. Smiling too much can make one look incompetent. Then, I pull my shoulders back to make me appear a quarter of an inch taller. Finally, I tie my hair in a tight, no-nonsense ponytail. My name tag reads “Gartner”. I don’t want any technical ignorance to distract from the brand.
I am dressed in my full costume and persona to navigate the conference. Although I don’t have any programming experience, I’ve spent four years writing about project management and software. I came to this site hoping that my lack in programming experience wouldn’t hinder my ability to spot new trends in Agile tools.
This article will discuss not only how project management tools have changed, but also what driving forces are driving these changes. The most important driver is “business agile”, which refers to applying the project management framework across all functions of a company. These implications are huge and well-examined in this article.
Future of project management software
Project management is going through a transformation. Code matters less and people matter more. Psychology, ethnography and philosophy are replacing management training, formal methodology, reporting metrics, and cornerstones of the field.
I smile and hug my liberal arts degree.
Sensitivity to human condition – to personal fallibility, to communication power, to how people understand their place in relation to their peers, coworkers and competitors – is now the unspoken driving force behind project and product development tools.
There is a renewed emphasis on stories and not just storyboards. Real people are preferred to personas and long-term visions over sprints. The humanization of project, portfolio and product management is beginning to take root.
Many of the industry’s major changes can be seen in the merger between VersionOne and CollabNet
“Our customers had already asked for [the merger] long before it was done.”
Robert Holler is VersionOne’s CEO and sits on Monday evening on the conference floor. To his right and left are Thomas Hooker (both senior CollabNet leaders) who nod in agreement. Even though the th