#NoProjects Pure and Simple

#NoProjects reimagines the classic organization of work that has a definite beginning and end (limited duration) often with a temporary organization as an ongoing operation. The first attribution of the #NoProjects is from @joshuajames (Joshua J. Arnold) in the following tweet:

@DamienSchreurs Projects kill flow and teams. Focus on products, not projects. #NoProjects

Note:  Bob Marshall may have coined the hashtag earlier than June 2013, however, I have not found evidence (yet).

#NoProjects, replaces the project metaphor, with its finite scope, budget and time span, with a product metaphor. The product metaphor draws on the philosophies of continuous delivery of value, the continuous evolution of business need and continuous discovery that are more closely aligned with the principles in the Agile Manifesto and lean software development (Tom and Mary Poppendieck define lean principles in their books and at  http://www.poppendieck.com/).

Functionality is continually added to a product until it loses economic viability. When the product loses viability, the organization will cut the funding and redeploy those financial resources elsewhere (or the organization goes out of business). Projects by definition are one time events which stop delivering functionality when based on an end date rather than economic viability.

A product evolves as the business environment continuously changes.  A product approach builds a backlog of needs and requirements. The business evaluates and prioritizes the backlog continuously or at least on a periodic basis.  Projects by definition have a defined scope agreed upon at the beginning of the project.

Longer time horizons and changing environments provide fertile pastures for discovery and innovation. All of the components of agile such as a backlog that are changeable combined with evolving business and technical environments push teams to continuously discover new opportunities and solutions.

#NoProjects is a rejection of the classic PMI definition of a project. The product metaphor hidden in #NoProjects replaces big bang deliveries with a continuous flow of small batches so that stakeholders do not have to demand everything at once or to make everything their #1 priority. In a more conversational world, #NoProjects might have been #ContinuousValue.

Special thanks to Allan Kelly, Evan Leybourn, Steve Smith, and Joshua Arnold for the history of #NoProjects and Twitter conversations from 2013!

Note: I am beginning a project with Ben Woznicki (I worked with Ben at Hyland Software) to define common agile concepts in 5 minutes or fewer.  #NoProjects is my first content assignment for the new project. Can you provide feedback on what I missed or where I could cut?