Last year I predicted that 2011 was to be the beginning of a shift from a focus on quality, schedule, and budget to value, quality, and innovation. Presentations at diverse conferences around the world show that there is an increasing interest in value and quality, and to some extent, innovation, too.
The interest in value and quality was boosted in part by Jim Highsmith’s Agile Triangle (see Jim’s webinar Measuring Agile Performance: Beyond Scope, Schedule and Cost Webinar and his book Agile Project Management, 2nd Edition). A few months after Jim’s book came out in 2010, I published the first version of the Lean–Agile Prism in the Agile Journal, where I added design as a fourth element; that element evolved throughout that year to innovative design and, eventually to innovation. (I also wrote about this in the Cutter Executive Update, “The Agile Triangle Evolves as a Lean-Agile Prism”.) Why the evolution? Because innovation makes it easier to increase quality and value.
During 2012 we will see this trend continue. Lean and Agile thinking, together with methods such as Kanban and Scrum, will greatly contribute to a better understanding of value and quality. Teams and organizations will begin to understand that innovation goes beyond highly visible products such as the iPad; innovation has more to do with improvements (at all levels of the organization and in all contexts) and that the longtail of innovation provides greater benefits than, for example, the 20/80 Pareto approach.
This shift in the way of thinking will help decision makers and customers understand that managing projects based on budget, schedule and time doesn’t match the effectiveness of managing projects based on value and quality and allowing innovation to take place as services and products are developed.
I don’t expect full awareness to take place during 2012 but I do expect to see a tangible shift in this direction by year’s end.