Agile Project Management And Lean Thinking – TRG International
Innovating IT solutions for greater success.

Load more photos

On July 5th, TRG held the seminar “TRG Talk – Project Management” with the topic “Agile Project Management and Lean Thinking”. The seminar was hosted by Mr. Chris Krupp, Executive Coach & Founder, Semdi Solutions, and Mr. Brian O’Reilly, Deputy Director of Industrial Relations and Technology Transfer Centre, VGU.

Both speakers shared many useful experiences, engaged with the participants throughout the entire talk about the foundations, the principles and the advantages of Agile Project Management in combination with having a lean mindset.

According to Chris, one project usually goes through five phases:

  • Initiation
  • Planning
  • Execution
  • Monitoring
  • Closing

What is Agile Project Management?

We all know about Gantt chart or Waterfall chart, the traditional frameworks of project management, which were designed around the years 1917 – 1956. But many things have changed in the last 50 -100 years, today’s projects are much more complex than they were in the past. Therefore, how do the previously-mentioned charts deal with the modern problems?

And when the agile project management method was invented in the 21st century, it has brought about many changes in project implementation. To understand agile, Chris introduced Cynefin – a conceptual framework used to aid decision-making.

Figure: the Cynefin framework

Figure: the Cynefin framework

The Cynefin framework offers four decision-making contexts known as “Domains”: Obvious, Complicated, Complex, Chaotic. The domains provide a “sense of place” for the project managers to analyse their own and others’ behaviours as well as to help aid the decision-making process.

The domains on the right, Obvious and Complicated, are the causes and effects that are already known or can be discovered. The domains on the left, Complex and Chaotic, are the causes and effects that can only be deduced with hindsight, or not at all.

An agile project manager usually does not have to worry about simple projects in the Obvious and Complicated domains. Their primary purpose is to serve the Chaotic and Complex ones. More often than not, we tend to think we are in the Obvious, but the reality is we are in the Complex.

From the Cynefin framework, there is no one universal decision-making strategy for situations. We need many diverse thinking approaches to apply in different situations. The framework can help to guide your train of thoughts instead of giving you the specific answer right of the bat. Once you’ve identified your position, you start to see the different perspectives and multiple methods to solve a particular problem.

Chris also analysed the values of agility and showed the participants how to build this method for their projects. At the same time, he also introduced the method of lean thinking as well as encouraged people to better improve themselves through The Toyota Production System case study – an integrated socio-technical system which was developed by Toyota based on the Lean Methodology and its Kaizen culture.

About TRG Talk

TRG Talk is a series of events co-organised by TRG International and PJ’s Coffee Vietnam in order to promote the latest trends in the IT industry and the HR world, as well as tips and trick in improving your project management skills.

About TRG Talk – Project Management

A good Project Manager must be able to identify problems and risks. He/ She also needs to know how to minimise these issues and is able to make the decision needed throughout the entirety of the project. Do you consider yourself a good project manager? Do you have the required skills and power to handle the situation and the people involved in your project?

TRG Talk – Project Management is a monthly meetup that allows project managers to discuss in detail what it takes to become great at what you’re doing. The event takes place every first Thursday of the month.