One of the challenges presented by the shift to agile development methodologies is that the ability to manage projects that are in a constant state of flux becomes sorely trying. The simple fact of the matter is that most existing project management systems were never really designed to handle that much iteration.
Against that backdrop it's interesting to ponder a new approach to project management for application development projects that is being put forward by Mendix, a provider of a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) environment that IT organizations can use to develop applications in the cloud.
To augment that service, Mendix this week rolled out a beta version of sprintr, a complementary social networking service that provides what Mendix CEO Derick Roos calls a new paradigm for project management in the context of the cloud.
Given the pace of change in agile environments, IT organizations need an environment that both facilitates communication while giving executive management a vehicle through which project managers can discern that status of any given project in the most unobtrusive way possible.
And just as importantly, Roos says that sprintr provides all the communications benefits of a social network without developers having to resort to using Twitter or any other public service that could put intellectual capital at risk.
Changes to the way application development projects are managed are forcing project managers to rethink their entire approach to project management. The days of a command-and-control approach that made project managers the center of the universe are coming to a close in favor of more collegial approaches. The real trick, of course, is to find ways to manage a project so that most of the participants don't realize they are being managed.