Lean is one of the major Agile software development methods that aims at performing only the tasks that are absolutely necessary to provide value to customers. “Value” means any process or activity that the customer is willing to pay for. Tasks that do not provide any customer value are wasteful and should be eliminated. According to Taiichi Ohno, father of Toyota Production System (TPS), waste is defined as anything that does not produce value. During the 1980s, Toyota was a leader in implementing Lean practices.
Crystal is a family of related methodologies described by Alistair Cockburn in his book “Crystal Clear: A Human-Powered Methodology for Small Teams”. It is a family of color-coded agile methodologies such as Crystal Clear, Crystal Orange, Crystal Yellow, etc. whose attributes are determined by various factors such as team size, system criticality, and project priorities.
It is clear that the adaptability nature of agile practices has changed the face of project management today. The adoption of agile systems development has been increasing lately in the industry due to reported benefits from increased productivity, learning, and business satisfaction, and due to the need for flexibility and innovation in responding to change (Fernandez and Fernandez 2008). However, some adopters have posited that agile might not be adequate for all types of projects and should only be applied to those where it would add value, which means that other traditional non-agile methodologies are still in need for coexistence. This creates the necessity to properly match the project management approach to the project in hand to achieve success (Fernandez and Fernandez 2008).
The article “Aim, Fire, Aim—Project Planning Styles in Dynamic Environments”, is part of a larger study conducted by Simon Collyer (over 15 years of project management experience), Clive Warren (PhD in property and facilities management and workplace efficiency), Bronwyn Hemsley (20 years of management experience in the use of communication), and Chris Stevens (extensive management experience in delivering transformation and change within large corporations), to develop a theory or model to help project managers in dealing with dynamism and uncertainty of today’s work environments. The authors pinpoint three main drivers for change; particularly changes in materials and resources, changes in relationships and interdependencies among projects, and changes in business environment goals and government policy. In an effort to better manage rapid change, the article stresses on five planning approaches: change resistance, staged release, iterative planning, competing experiments, and alternate controls. A qualitative research study out of 37 interviews with 31 practitioners from a range of industries was conducted to explain how and why these practitioners use the above five approaches, in what circumstances these approaches become effective, and how these approaches can be optimized to achieve new dynamic management strategies.