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About Converging 360

Welcome to the inaugural post of RMC’s new blog,  Converging 360.

RMC_Headquarters_sign
RMC Corporate Headquarters – Minnetonka, MN

So why “Converging 360″?  The name comes from the realization that the nature of projects has evolved. Projects today often require a team that is familiar not just with traditional project management or business analysis or agile, but some combination of the three. Practitioners originally trained in only one of these individual disciplines are now required to have knowledge—in some cases extensive knowledge—of the other areas. This is why RMC offers not only products and services in the discrete areas of project management, business analysis, and agile, but also learning solutions that take a more multidisciplinary approach. These learning solutions blend hard business skills along with management, communication, leadership, and other soft skills.

With corporate downsizing and the proliferation of smaller projects, employees are often asked to develop requirements for a project (traditionally a business analysis function) and then implement it.  Many of these smaller projects also require the use of agile processes along with more traditional project management techniques. Consider the following examples we’ve seen at RMC:

In some of her recent classes, Barb Carkenord, RMC’s Director of Business Analysis Practice, has encountered several BAs who are being assigned to work with agile teams. These BAs need to learn the role of the product owner on agile projects to support requirements prioritization and need to be able to help the quality assurance team members with testing. Team leaders on these teams have found that they need to understand the basics of agile project management and know how to adapt them to this new development approach.

Sonja Almlie, who manages our Project Management Practice, finds that many knowledge work projects tend to be smaller projects, with the role of PM assigned to a SME.  Because the initiatives are smaller, BAs may not be assigned, which means the PMs are responsible for developing requirements as well as for managing the project. So these are situations where a SME must be knowledgeable about both project management and business analysis.

Those are just two examples. There are many more.

We’re finding situations where people who generally identify with a particular role are required to have skills in other areas that, while related, are typically considered to be different jobs or disciplines. Although it may be sufficient to cross-train practitioners in these other disciplines, it seems to me there might be a need to develop a conceptual framework that will allow people to better integrate these three related but separate practices.  I imagine PMI® would say that traditional project management is broad enough to encompass all three of these disciplines.  This might be true, but I don’t think that merely adding an additional form or overarching process to the PMBOK® Guide would be sufficient.

So let’s hear from you. I guess the first question is, how you are adapting to this new and changing environment?  In your day-to-day work experience, are you seeing the need to integrate these and other disciplines? How are you managing the process?  Post examples.  Use this blog as a forum to talk to each other as well as to us.  After all, you’re our market.  We exist to serve you.  To do that, we need to know what you’re thinking.

Tim Mulcahy
President & CEO
RMC Learning Solutions, Inc.

 

“PMBOK” and “PMI” are marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc. RMC Project Management has been reviewed and approved as a provider of project management training by the Project Management Institute (PMI). As a PMI Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.), RMC Project Management, an affiliate of RMC Publications, Inc., has agreed to abide by PMI-established quality assurance criteria.

1 Comment

  1. In addition, roles are blurring in many organizations, so PMs and BAs are also expected to think about marketing and sales components of their new products.

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