Agile project management methods are still a novelty in many organizations, even though “The Agile Manifesto,” was published in February 2001, and the first version of the “Guide to Scrum” in 2010! Since then, many new approaches have appeared. And while none of them is as popular as the ever-improving agile methods, let’s take a look at a few interesting ones that gained some popularity and recognition.
Methods in project management – table of contents:
It takes full focus and flexibility for a Project Manager to design, implement then supervise projects, especially in the case of a hybrid or remote environment. The constant emergence of new software with its upgrades, as well as the dynamic business situation is one thing. Another is managing the team in project implementation. That’s because year after year, there is a growing number of expectations regarding the team’s engagement not only in the process of establishing solutions or principles of cooperation but also in promoting an organizational culture and fostering a sense of purpose, and mission. What new management methods are trying to address these expectations? Today we’ll try to answer
The first method on our list is Management 3.0. It’s a way of managing projects developed by a Dutch trainer, consultant and author Jurgen Appelo who defined it in his book, “Management 3.0: Leading Agile Developers, Developing Agile Leaders.”
The Management 3.0 method, like agile methods or Scrum, focuses on making teams more effective through better management. However, instead of providing an organizational framework, it focuses on fostering a values-based work culture, that is, one in which the team largely has its say in its work.
The key areas of Management 3.0 cover values and recommendations for:
- teams – should be autonomous, motivated, and flexible,
- systems – should allow employees to make decisions at every level of the organization regarding, among other things, the setting of common goals, the division of responsibilities, and open and transparent communication,
- processes -should leverage Lean and Agile achievements to respond quickly and flexibly to emerging changes.
The core principle of Management 3.0 is to provide the right conditions for continuous team development which affects the satisfaction and motivation of employees, accompanied by development of their competencies. As the result, the team can smoothly implement the project goal.
This management approach involves Project Managers as well as employees who want to improve the cooperation of their team and strengthen self-management. It is particularly suitable for teams implementing software projects, but it will also perform well with interdisciplinary teams composed of experts with different specializations.
Advantages of the Management 3.0 method include:
- increasing employee engagement,
- improving their motivation o seek solutions on their own,
- fostering ob satisfaction, as well as
- Increasing the team’s efficiency.
Still, the 3.0 critics point out its lack of specific tools and excessive generalizations.
Self-management is a concept developed by Belgian author Fredric Laloux, who described it in his book(“Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations Inspired by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness” published in 2014.
After surveying more than 50 organizations with over 100 employees each, Laloux argued that traditional management structures and practices based on hierarchy, control, and bureaucracy have ceased to exist. Therefore, a new paradigm is needed.
The book identifies five major phases in the development of organizational management:
- Red Organization – focused on immediate goals but ill-suited to carry out complex tasks, in which “the chief must demonstrate overwhelming power and bend others to his will to stay in position. The minute his power is in doubt, someone else will immediately try to overthrow him,” (“the chief [of a Red Organization] must demonstrate overwhelming power and bend others to his will to stay in position. The minute his power is in doubt, someone else will attempt to topple him”, p. 18)
- Amber organization – like an army based on a rigid hierarchy yet capable enough “to plan for the medium and long term, and create organizational structures that are stable and can scale,” p. 21),
- Orange organization – a machine, divided into smaller, collaborative teams, where “changes must be planned and mapped accordingly, and then carefully implemented as planned. If some function of the machine doesn’t work as expected, sometimes a ‘soft’ intervention is needed – an occasional team-build – like injecting oil or grease into the cogs”,” p. 29),
- Green organization – resembles most modern, well-managed organizations that (“focuses on culture and empowerment to achieve extraordinary employee motivation,” p. 36),
- Turquoise Organization – a model that Laloux believes is now emerging in some companies. Turquoise organizations operate more like living organisms than machines, with decentralized decision-making, a focus on personal development, and a strong sense of purpose. Rather than relying on hierarchy, these bodies distribute authority and responsibility to all levels of the organization, creating a more egalitarian and inclusive workplace culture.
To illustrate the principles and practices of this new way of organizing, Laloux refers to several real-world examples of Teal organizations, such as Buurtzorg, a Dutch healthcare provider, and FAVI, a French auto parts manufacturer. He also provides practical advice for leaders who want to manage projects in the Turquoise Organization model.
Corporate rebels are a movement that arose from a wave of dissatisfaction with classic management models that favor bureaucracy and hierarchy. Representatives of the model work for the development of the organization they represent, but their methods of operation and approach usually deviate from the norm – they are not afraid to challenge established practices and form special groups to engage in innovative projects or technological challenges.
The originators of the movement are Joost Minnaar and Pim de Morree, who met in a corporation. They noticed that traditional management models were stifling the growth of the company and the creativity of employees, so they decided to talk than write about it. In 2016, they founded the blog, “Corporate Rebels,” which they set up to show alternative ways of management and make changes to the traditional model.
Their thoughts and assumptions are described in the book “Corporate Rebels. Make Work More Fun” (“Corporate Rebels. Make Work More Fun”) from 2020. They are based on the principles:
- freedoms, and
In their view, the main goal of management is to establish an environment that allows employees to carry out tasks on their terms, without constant supervision and control by superiors. In such a model, every employee has a say in company decisions, and hierarchy is replaced by a network of horizontal relationships and cooperation.
The corporate rebels’ methods draw inspiration from other management methods, including Agile. Among other things, they recommend holding regular retrospectives, during which employees have the opportunity to share their thoughts and comments on the work and functioning of the company. It also emphasizes the introduction of free development into the organization’s culture, i.e. to allow experimentation and mistakes and to adopt the attitude that nothing is permanent and therefore one should constantly develop and change.
The methods of corporate rebels are dedicated primarily to those who want to change the way their company operates, i.e. entrepreneurs who want to develop their business in a way that is flexible and open to change. It is also for employees who want to co-create an environment in which they are treated as equal partners.
One of the greatest challenges facing the corporate rebel method is the practical difficulty of managing without hierarchy. It requires a high level of commitment from every employee, a willingness to actively participate and to take on much more responsibility. In addition, such a work model requires a great deal of trust in employees, which can get difficult to achieve.
The Spotify model
The Spotify model is a way of scaling Agile, the principles of which were published by Henrik Kniberg and Anders Ivarsson as “Scaling Agile @ Spotify with Tribes, Squads, Chapters & Guilds” in 2012. It wasn’t an explanation of the method or a ready-made framework, but rather a description of the way Spotify was operating at the time. And as it prospered brilliantly, many other companies attempted to implement this model at home.
It is based on dividing the company into four non-hierarchical ways called:
- Sections (Chapters), and
- Guilds (Guilds).
A slot is the basic product development unit in Spotify’s model. It consists of 6 to 12 people. Each slot is assigned a specific task and can choose its working methods, just like in a mini-startup. It has a specific purpose of operation but can pick any management method – for example, Kanban, Scrum, or Lean. This unit is engaged in product development and its work methods or division of responsibilities are not controlled or imposed from outside.
Several tribes work together on a particular project or product feature from a tribe. Each tribe can consist of one hundred people, including a tribe leader. The leader is responsible for removing obstacles in the product development process and proposing solutions to individual tribes. However, the options offered by the leader are considered suggestions, as the tribe does not have to follow his recommendations.
One section includes experts working in the same field, such as back-end developers or UX designers. They collaborate and meet to exchange experiences and eliminate similar problems. Sharing knowledge improves communication between the cross-fellows and creates an environment that fosters innovation.
Unlike sections, guilds are groups made up of people with similar interests rather than specialties. For example, any person can join and see what the testing phase of a solution is like, even if he or she has no prior experience in the field.
The Spotify model has not become widespread mainly for two reasons: it lacks oversight and ways to involve stakeholders in projects. And as a result, it usually fails to deliver quality projects on time.
Management 3.0 is based on building a values-based work culture, increasing employee engagement, and developing employee competence. Self-management is about delegating responsibility to employees, and corporate rebels encourage unconventional thinking. Spotify’s model, on the other hand, is to create an organizational structure consisting of smaller, self-managed teams connected in different ways.
All of these ways of managing projects and organizations benefit from the Agile legacy, ask a lot of questions and bring new values to the thinking of everyday work organization. But which of them will work in the future or become the basis for more refined solutions? The time will tell.
Getting started with project management:
- What is a project?
- What is project management?
- How to manage projects?
- Project management methods
- Types of projects
- 4 examples of projects
- Prioritization of projects
- Areas of project activity
- Definition of success in project management
- Why use project management software?
- How to choose the best project management software?
- Overview of project management software
- Project life cycle
- What is the project vision for?
- Project goal. What is it and how to define it well?
- Project initiation phase - what to pay attention to?
- The domain of planning in project management
- What is a project schedule and what is it for?
- How to use milestones in a project?
- Project execution
- How to prepare a successful project contingency plan?
- Importance of project closure
- Project failure. 5 reasons why projects fail
- 4P of management: project, product, program and portfolio
- Most important tasks and responsibilities of the Project Manager
- Most useful project manager skills
- How to become a project manager?
- 5 books every project manager should read
- How to set up a project team?
- Work breakdown structure - how to delegate work in a project?
- How to lead a team during hybrid work?
- Challenges project managers face when working with a team
- Types of project meetings
- Project monitoring. What parameters to watch?
- How to write a compelling
- How to define the scope of a project and avoid scope creep?
- Feasibility study – can we implement this project?
- Risk analysis in projects and tools to facilitate it
- How to create a project charter?
- What is a stakeholder register?
- Gantt chart in project management planning
- How to create a project budget?
- Time management in project
- How to create a project risk register?
- Project risk management strategies
- Project marketing
- Sources and areas of change in the project
- Project management change models
- What's after Agile? Methods in project management