How to choose the right project management approach
The field is divided into the following areas:
- complex and
The Stacey Matrix does not take into account the project environment, nor is it based on measurable variables, nor is it based on sharp and clear ways of classifying a project, nor does it have clearly defined or neatly demarcated fields, and yet, in a simplified way, it can already be said:
- If the assignment is clearly formulated and it is also known how the project will be delivered, then the project should be managed using traditional project management,
- If, on the other hand, the customer's requirements and the implementation are unclear, it is better to use agile project management for the project.
The 5 Domains of the Cynefin Framework
This area can be illustrated with the following example:
You are driving your car down a narrow one-way street when the car in front of you slows down. You notice this (sense, in the sense of perception) because the car's brake lights flash and its speed decreases (categorise, in the sense of classification); you also brake to avoid hitting the back of the car (respond, in the sense of reaction). In order to avoid a collision, there is only one best solution, the so-called best practice.
The principle is therefore Sense - Categorise - Respond. The response is based on a tried-and-tested recipe for success, the best practice, which you know from similar situations.
The management concept applied in this domain is self-management or routine management.
To familiarise yourself with the Complicated domain, imagine the following situation:
Your car no longer accelerates as usual (sense, in the sense of perception). You take it to a specialist garage. In order to find out the individual cause-effect relationships, the problem is analysed by experts (analyse, in the sense of analysis by experts), and from several possible solutions, which have different advantages and disadvantages, the most suitable one is selected and implemented (respond). In order to repair the damage to the vehicle, there is not just one, but several suitable solutions, i.e. there is no best practice, but several good practices.
The principle is as follows Sense - Analyse - Respond. In the Complicated domain, there is no best practice, but several good practices from which to choose.
Traditional project management should be used in this area.
The following example illustrates a complex system:
You read about government decisions in the daily press, and you know that the car of the future will no longer be powered by fossil fuels. But which engine will prevail? Because there are too many possible solutions today, and because unpredictable political decisions and unpredictable technological developments, for example in energy sources and storage media, have an impact on the system, this question can only be answered tomorrow (i.e. in retrospect). In terms of actively influencing the system, your ability to influence policy makers and technical developers is likely to be very limited. But what do engine developers do? They research and develop (probe, in the sense of exploration), recognize facts (sense, in the sense of perception) and adapt their processes, tools and raw materials used step by step (respond, in the sense of reaction).
The procedure is as follows Probe - Sense - Respond. New practices that are in the process of being developed, so-called emergent practices, are applied.
This is where the use of agile or hybrid project management makes sense.
The following example will familiarise you with the Chaotic Domain:
Anyone who has ever let their three small children play unsupervised in their room for an hour knows what a chaotic system is. Toys and clothes, bedclothes and pieces of cake, with chocolate smeared on the floor and children screaming or shrieking with delight. The situation is far from clear, and it is impossible for children to make sense of the chaos. As a parent, irritated by the chaos, the first thing you do is to stop the hustle and bustle (act, in the sense of action). You provide an overview (sense, in the sense of perception). Then you bring order to the chaos (respond).
You follow the principle: Act - Sense - Respond. In this case, there are no best practices, no good practices, and no practices that are currently evolving; rather, new practices can be discovered and applied through the chaotic domain (Novel Practices).
The management concept that applies here is Crisis Management.
You should get involved in the disorder and not choose the easy solution. Instead, get more information about the unknown areas, look at the different patterns of action and try to find new ways.