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A Lifetime of Significant Change

Sometimes when I tell people that we will be using agile techniques on a Microsoft Dynamics implementation, you would have thought that I told them that I was sending them to a Russian Gulag in Siberia.   The thought of using something other than a waterfall approach on a project is more than they can bear.

changing from a waterfall approach to an agile approach to project management is not a significant changeChange is all around us; you can see it in the seasons of the year, you can see it when you walk to the beach and look at the colors of the water in the ocean, and you can see it in the ever changing lives of those around us now and when we were growing up.

My grandparents, on my dad’s side of the family were born in the early 1890s in rural Illinois into an agrarian society.   My grandmother was born the year Robert Louis Stevenson died, the Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling was first published, and Coca Cola was first sold in a bottle.   There were no cars, they did not have electricity, and they did not have telephones.   The horse and buggy was their primary means of transport around the Northern Illinois countryside.

Things for my grandparents started to change drastically in the 1910s with the advent of World War 1. My grandfather joined an artillery regiment with the Canadian Expeditionary Force and then set off to fight on the front lines in Europe.    As with most major wars, technology took a significant leap forward.  Industrialism and mass production brought forward for the first time the significant use of machine guns, airplanes, tanks, submarines, automatic rifles, and flame throwers in warfare.

Over the next five decades things for my grandparents continued to change dramatically with continued technological advances.  Introduced to the world during those decades were jet aircraft, ballistic missiles, atomic weapons, napalm, sonar, radar, the modern management methodology of project management, and the German Blitzkrieg.  The first satellite orbited the earth, rock and roll started, television became the dominant mass media, and Alaska and Hawaii became states.

Then the 1970s arrived with what was called the “me” decade, although I do not recall my grandparents being too wrapped up into themselves.    The Vietnam war had finished up;  the first fiber optics, the first cell phone, the Sony Walkman, and the Apple 2 computer were all introduced.  Charlie’s Angels was on TV and Star Wars was on the big screen.   My grandfather passed away in the 70s, but my grandmother lived until the early 1980s; she passed way just around the time of the Introduction of the IBM PC. 

What a span of change my grandparents witnessed; from the days of the horse and buggy to the dawn of the micro-PC.  Yet, I do not recall my grandparents ever complaining about or protesting change.   I think that for them, change was just another part of life; they took every day, one day at a time.

Next time someone suggests using a different approach to project management, just think about it; is it really such a significant change?

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