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Series: Churchill, the Agile PM

by Deborah Hartmann Preuss on Jun 14, 2006 |
Stories are an excellent teaching tool - somehow, narrative enhances retention and understanding.  So here's another one for the list: in this case, western history is looked at through a modern lens, examining Churchill's challenges, actions and strategy.

Perhaps surprisingly, given the title of the series:
Churchill: The Agile PM,  Mark Kozak-Holland examines Churchill's "project" using the framework of Knowledge Areas advocated by PMBOK.  The nine areas are: integration management, scope management, time management, cost management, quality management, HR management, risk management, procurement management.  The reader must decide whether the analogy of Agile Project Management, particularly within the PMI framework, is indeed a suitable match for this important bit of history.

Kozak-Holland is the author of Churchill’s Adaptive Enterprise: Lessons for Business Today, a book about how Churchill, under tremendous pressure, inspired his nation to continue a fight already considered lost.  Within a very short time, Churchill had to transform his organization to the modern-day equivalent of an Adaptive Enterprise.  He did this using the emerging technologies of the day, with no room for error.

Kozak-Holland has used excerpts from this book in this Gannthead.com series, in which he draws parallels between events in World War II and today’s business challenges.
Churchill created his Adaptive Enterprise in a very dire situation.  Not only did the transformed organization work, but it changed the course of history.  This book will show you how he did it, and how you can do the same in your own organization or on your project.  An Adaptive Enterprise modifies the way an organization behaves — primarily, in how it wrestles with change — and allows it to stay ahead of the competition.
Part 1 of this series introduced the overall series and how Churchill acquired a project from hell, a project that no one wanted. 

Part 2 looks at the background to the project, the events that led to it and how intransigence allowed problems to fester and get worse. It asks the question: At what point do you say enough is enough and start to take action? It also starts to look at what differentiated Churchill from his colleagues and opponents.

Mark Kozak-Holland is an experienced consulting, helping Fortune-500 companies formulate projects that leverage emerging technologies. He is also the historian behind the Lessons from History series of books.

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