BB6. Innovative Project Management Systems


This chapter describes the fifth and final building block of “Tier II: Setting the Direction” for innovation and answers the fundamental questions: Are there Project Management Systems applicable to TIME? If so, would you identify and describe them - both theoretical models and automated tools -and how can I learn more about them?

The most important goal of an innovative project management system is to execute a plan to bring the idea to a productive and value-added position as quickly as possible. Whether this is a more profitable product (extrinsic value) or simply a better way of doing something (intrinsic value), it can create something completely new, or it can improve the quality of an existing service, process, or management model. In short, it is the addition of value to stakeholders, especially the customer. If no monetary reward is achieved with the addition of customer value, I would assume that the innovation at least offers an improvement to an individual, a group, or to society, in general. However, I would call that “creativity,” not “innovation.”

One can categorize innovation by product innovation, service innovation, process innovation, supply chain innovation, value stream innovation, marketing innovation, or the focus of this chapter (Innovative Project Management Systems).


Here, in alphabetical order, are the specialized terms and acronyms used in this chapter that aren’t already defined for you:

  • PMS: Project Management System
  • Portfolio: A centralized collection of independent projects or programs that are grouped together to facilitate their prioritization, effective management, and resource optimization in order to meet strategic organizational objectives.
  • Project Portfolio Management: Aligns organizational strategy by prioritizing projects and programs, prioritizing work, and allocating resources. It is the centralized management of one or more portfolios to achieve strategic objectives.
  • PPM: Project Portfolio Management (see above)
  • Program: A group of related projects, subsidiary programs, and program activities managed in a coordinated way to obtain benefits not available from managing them individually. May include work outside the scope of projects but will always have two or more projects within its scope.
  • Program Management: The specialized application of management knowledge, know-how, tools, and techniques to a program to achieve its objectives and to obtain benefits and control not available from managing its components individually. It focuses on ° Creating cross-project interdependencies.

° Resolving resource constraints/conflicts among projects.

° Aligning strategic direction to impact PPP goals and objectives.

° Addressing issues and changes within the governance structure.

• Project: A temporary, change-oriented work endeavor undertaken to create or modify an innovative product, sendee, system, or result.

  • Project Life Cycle: The series of phases through which a project passes from its initiation until its closure.
  • Project Management: The specialized application of management knowledge, know-how, tools, and techniques to a project in a manner that is fundamentally proactive, integrated, and preventive.
  • WIP: Used in a Lean context, it refers to “Work in Process,” which is a company’s partially finished goods waiting for completion; used in an Agile context, it refers to “Work in Progress,” which is a Development Team’s partially finished backlog of features waiting for completion at the end of a Sprint or Scrum.
  • WIP Limit: Coined for use in an Agile context, it refers to a strategy for preventing bottlenecks that should be agreed upon by the Development Team BEFORE a project begins and which is enforced by the Team’s Facilitator or Scrum Master.


It is the central premise of this chapter that bridging organizational strategy by delivering a continual stream of successful, short-term outcomes must come through a pipeline or portfolio of projects and programs, each of which must be managed properly to drive incremental change and, in some cases, transformative innovation within the organization - one project at a time.

The increased presence of disruptive technology on 21st century projects has changed the “rules of the game” and created a demand for unique project life cycle choices and development approaches that will match their unique challenges and opportunities. This chapter focuses on the unique project life cycle and development approach choices available and used by Innovation Project and Program Management teams and the automated tools available to implement them.

Project Life Cycle Options

Innovative projects and programs in the first quarter of the 21st century have been coming in varying shapes and sizes, and there are many ways to execute them, including the type of Project Life Cycle used to undertake each one. There are five types of Project Life Cycle from



Project Life Cycle Options and Factors.

Project Management Institute Inc., Agile Practice Guide, 2017. Copyright and all rights reserved. Material from this publication has been reproduced with the permission of PMI.

which to choose: Adaptive, Incremental, Iterative, Predictive, or Hybrid. See Figure BB6.1.

Another way to distinguish between the five main Project Life Cycle Options is displayed in the dual-axis matrix in Figure BB6.2:



Project Life Cycle Options Matrix.

Below you’ll find brief narrative descriptions and illustrative examples for all five Project Life Cycle options:

Adaptive (aka “Agile"): When innovation Project Teams use this Life Cycle option, they iterate over the product to create smaller, finished, and more frequent deliverables. The team gains early feedback and provides customer visibility, confidence, and control of the product. Because the team can release things earlier, the project may provide an earlier ROI because the team delivers the highest value work first. It leverages both the aspects of incremental and iterative characteristics described below. It is also characterized by

  • • The requirements are elaborated frequently during deployment;
  • • Deployment occurs frequently with customer-valued subsets of the overall product;
  • • Change is incorporated in real-time during delivery;
  • • Key stakeholders are continuously involved; and
  • • Risk and Costs are controlled as requirements and constraints emerge.

There are two “sub-types” of Adaptive Project Life Cycles: “Iterationbased” and “Flow-based,” which are illustrated separately in Figures BB6.3A and BB6.3B. (Note: The “S” Star at the left of the Life Cycle is the Project Start Milestone and the “F” Star at the right is the Project Finish Milestone for each one.)

Incremental: When innovation Project Teams use this option, the deliverable is produced through a series of product increments that gradually add functionality within a predetermined time frame. The



Iteration-Based Adaptive Project Life Cycle.



Flow-Based Adaptive Project Life Cycle.

Project Management Institute Inc., Agile Practice Guide, 2017. Copyright and all rights reserved. Material from this publication has been reproduced with the permission of PMI.

deliverable contains the necessary and sufficient capability to be considered complete only after the final increment. It provides finished deliverables that the customer may be able to use immediately. It is also characterized by

  • • The requirements can be elaborated at periodic intervals during deployment;
  • • Deployment can be divided into subsets of the overall product;
  • • Change is incorporated at periodic intervals;
  • • Key stakeholders are regularly involved; and
  • • Risk and Costs are controlled by progressively elaborating the plans with the new information.

You will find an example of an Incremental Project Life Cycle in Figure BB6.4:



Incremental Project Life Cycle.

Iterative: When innovation Project Teams use this option, the Project Scope is generally determined early in the project life cycle, but time and cost estimates are routinely modified as the project team’s familiarity with the product increases. Iterations develop the product through a series of repeated cycles, while increments successively add to the functionality of the product. It is also characterized by

  • • The requirements can be elaborated at periodic intervals during deployment;
  • • Deployment can be divided into subsets of the overall product;
  • • Change is incorporated at periodic intervals;
  • • Key stakeholders are regularly involved; and
  • • Risk and Costs are controlled by progressively elaborating the plans with the new information.

You will find an example of an Iterative Project Life Cycle in Figure BB6.5:



Iterative Project Life Cycle.

Project Management Institute Inc., Agile Practice Guide, 2017. Copyright and all rights reserved. Material from this publication has been reproduced with the permission of PMI.

Predictive (aka “Waterfall’’ or “Traditional”): When innovation Project Teams use this option, the Project Scope, Schedule, and Cost are determined in the early phases of the life cycle and any changes to the Scope are carefully managed after the Baseline has been set. It takes advantage of any variables that are known and proven. This reduced uncertainty and complexity allow teams to segment work into a sequence of predictable groupings. You can use the “Predictive” option when the requirements are very well known, clear, and fixed up-front; product definition is stable and the solution is known; no changes in the scope are expected; the technology is understood; resources with the required expertise are freely-available; and, project duration is expected to be relatively short. It is also characterized by

  • • The requirements are defined and the design is approved up-front before development begins;
  • • Define plans for the eventual deliverable; then, design, develop, test, and deploy only a single final product at the end of the project timeline (“Big Bang Delivery”);
  • • Change is constrained or controlled as much as possible during the Project Life Cycle;
  • • Key stakeholders are involved at specific milestones; and
  • • Risk and Costs are controlled by detailed planning of mostly known or knowable considerations.

You will find an example of a Predictive Project Life Cycle in Figure BB6.6:



Predictive Project Life Cycle.

Hybrid: It is a customizable combination or blend of both the Predictive and Adaptive Life Cycles in which those elements of the project that are well known or have fixed requirements follow a predictive approach, while those elements that are still evolving follow an adaptive one. You will find two examples of Hybrid Project Life Cycles in Figures BB6.7A and BB6.7B:



Hybrid Project Life Cycle Example “A”.



Hybrid Project Life Cycle Example “B”.


Regardless of which Project Life Cycle approach you decide to use on innovative projects and programs in the current environment, you’ll need to come up with answers to a set of questions for the following twelve Performance Domains throughout that Life Cycle:

  • (1) Project Scope: What are the REQUIREMENTS? What WORK needs to be done to complete them?
  • (2) Project Schedule: When does the project need to be done? How Long is the work expected to take?
  • (3) Project Cost: How Much Money do we expect to need to complete the work?
  • (4) Project Resources: Who, What, and How Many do we expect to need in order to perform and complete the work?
  • (5) Project Quality: How Well do we expect the REQUIREMENTS will need to be met?
  • (6) Project Communications: What INFORMATION do we expect to be needed? From WHOM? To WHOM? Via which MEDIA? How Often?
  • (7) Project Risk: How Much UNCERTAINTY is there on the project? What are the THREATS? What are the OPPORTUNITIES?
  • (8) Project Procurement: Do we expect to need CONTRACTORS or VENDORS? If so, which SKILL-AREA(S)?
  • (9) Project Stakeholders: Who is expected to IMPACT the project or be IMPACTED by it?
  • (10) Project Change: How DISRUPTIVE is the project? What IMPACT is it expected to have on the Requesting Organization? On the Performing Organization?
  • (11) Project Management Technology: Do we expect to need help using the PROJECT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM AUTOMATED TOOLS?
  • (12) Project Integration: How comfortable are we with the answers to #1-11 above? Is everything in a state of BALANCE?


Depending on which of the five Project Life Cycle approaches you decide to use and the twelve sets of Performance Domain Key questions, you’ll need to answer for it, and you’ll need to select an appropriate automated PMS or tool that is designed to work with them.

Table BB6.1, in alphabetical order, provides brief descriptions and pricing information for the thirteen most popular PMS and PPM automated tool vendors.


For more information and to increase the number of innovation project successes you’ll have, I recommend that you read these two books (I co-authored with H. James Harrington) on Project Management and Project Portfolio Management Systems: Project Management for Performance Improvement Teams (CRC Press ©2018) and Effective Portfolio Management Systems (CRC Press ©2016).


Most Popular Automated PMS Tools

Automated Tool Vendor

Brief Description

Pricing Options

1. Asana (

San Francisco, CA

A project and task management application (app) that facilitates team communication and collaboration. You can use it to create projects and tasks within the projects and follow the progress of those tasks from various browsers and devices. You can then add your team members to the projects and tasks, share files, and communicate with them.

  • Free for Project Teams up to 15 users
  • • $9.99/user/month for 16+ users
  • Enterprise Plan is also available for more control and support. (Contact the vendor for price.)

2. Basecamp ( Chicago, IL

A project management software that facilitates team communication and collaboration, primarily for entrepreneurs, freelancers, small businesses, and groups inside large organizations. It combines tools that teams need in a single package.

  • • 30-day/ree trial
  • • $99/month for unlimited users and projects.

3. Bitrix24 (

Alexandria, VA

A collaboration platform that provides a complete suite of social collaboration, communication, and management tools for your team, including CRM, file sharing, project management, calendars, and more. Available in both cloud and On-Premise editions.

  • Free Plan for Project Teams of up to 12 users, 1 admin, and 5 GB of online storage
  • Plus Plan for $39/month for Teams of up to 24 users, 2 admins, and 24 GB of online storage
  • Standard Plan for $99/month for teams of up to
  • 50 users, 5 admins, and 100 GB of online storage
  • Professional Plan for $99/month for unlimited users, admins, and online storage.


Automated Tool Vendor

Brief Description

Pricing Options

4. CA Agile Central (formerly Rally Software) ( us/products/ca-agile-central. html)

Islandia, NY

An enterprise-class SaaS platform that’s specially built for scaling agile development practices that transform businesses. You can connect your work to your company’s most important business initiatives, empowering your teams to focus on the right work at the right time. Your teams can collaboratively plan, prioritize, track, and deliver value to your customers faster than the competition. Visibility into your real-time performance metrics demonstrates your levels of productivity, quality, and responsiveness.

  • Free 15-day trial
  • Standard Plan (contact the vendor for pricing).
  • Plus Plan (contact the vendor for pricing).
  • Enterprise Plan (contact the vendor for pricing).
  • 5. Jira/Portfolio for Jira
  • (

San Francisco, CA

A cloud-based project management tool for Agile (Adaptive) Project Teams that displays Scrum Boards, which help them stay focused on delivering iterative and incremental value as fast as possible. It can be scaled to meet an organization’s needs by allowing it to choose a workflow or to make their own.

  • 7-day free trial
  • • $10/month flat fee for Teams of up to 10 users
  • • $7/user/month for teams of 11-100 users
  • Discounts for 101+ users (contact the vendor for pricing).

6. KanbanFlow (

Göteborg, Sweden

A cloud-based tool (portal) that performs simplified Lean Project Management and real-time collaboration via the virtual Kanban Board concept.

  • Free (w/limited functionality but NO time or user limit)
  • • $5/user/month (w/Full functionality and 14-day free trial)

Automated Tool Vendor

Brief Description

Pricing Options

7. Monday ( Tel Aviv and NYC

A cloud-based tool (portal) that simplifies the way teams work together to manage workload, track projects, move work forward, and communicate with each other.

  • Free Trial
  • Basic Plan $25/month (billed annually)
  • Standard Plan $39/month (billed annually)
  • Pro Plan $59/month (billed annually)
  • Enterprise Plan for $118/month (billed annually)

8. MS Project (https://products. ject-and-portfolio-manage ment-software)

Redmond, WA

A project, resource, and portfolio management tool to help you keep track of projects successfully. Project Online subscribers can work with their projects in a more agile way in the Project Online Desktop Client. If you are accustomed to using Kanban for Scrum methodologies to manage your projects, the Project Online Desktop Client allows you to create and manage your projects in a familiar way through the use of task board views of your projects and the ability to create Sprint-based projects.

  • Free Trial (w/Partner)
  • Project Online Essentials ($7/user/month)
  • Project Online Professional ($30/user/month)
  • Project Standard (the standalone, on-premise version for $560 SRP)

9. Planview (

Austin, TX

A multi-product menu of four options:

  • Planview Enterprise One (for enterprise-wade portfolio, resource capability, and technology management);
  • Planview PPM Pro (for project portfolio and resource management for Agile projects);
  • Planview Projectplace (for collaborative work management that empowers teams); and
  • Free Trials (for all four options)
  • Planview Projectplace ($29/user/month when billed annually)
  • • Contact the vendor for a free trial and pricing on the other three product options.


Automated Tool Vendor

Brief Description

Pricing Options

• Planview LeanKit* (for enterprise Kanban for engineers).

10. Slack (

San Francisco, CA

A business communication platform that provides teams with a central place to instantly communicate with each other. Although it has customers in a variety of industries ranging from healthcare to ecommerce, this PMS is especially popular among tech companies and startups. Because many of its features help replace other tools, it has become a tool that helps companies streamline their communications.

  • Free Trial
  • Standard Plan ($6.67/user/month billed annually or $8 billed monthly)
  • Plus Plan ($12.50/user/month billed annually or $15 billed monthly)
  • Enterprise Plan (contact the vendor for pricing).

11. Smartsheet (

Bellevue, WA

A project management system application emphasizing messaging with a spreadsheet-like interface to help teams collaborate, plan projects, and manage tasks. It offers a suite of project management applications, such as document management, reporting, resource management, and time tracking, with issue management offered through an add-on application. It standardizes key project elements, increases speed and improves collaboration with options that fit individual work preferences. It allows users to track all projects and improve visibility into team priorities such that important activities do not miss out on regular

  • Free Plan
  • Individual Plan ($14/user/month billed annually)
  • Team Plan ($15/user/month billed annually)
  • Business Plan ($25/user/month billed annually)
  • Enterprise Plan (contact the vendor for pricing).

Automated Tool Vendor

Brief Description

Pricing Options

work operations. It offers a cloud-based subscription model with native mobile apps for Android and iOS that includes accounts for multiple

collaborators, so users can work on projects with a number of clients and colleagues.

12. Trello (

New York City

A project management app emphasizing task management. It utilizes the concept of boards (which correspond to projects) and within boards, there are cards (which represent tasks). The cards contain lists that can be used to track the progress of a project or to simply categorize things. (Note: In 2017, it was acquired by the same company that sells Jira - #4 above.)

  • Free Plan
  • Business Class Plan ($9.99/user/month if paid annually)
  • Enterprise Plan ($20.83/user/month if paid annually)

13. Wrike (

San Jose, CA

An online project management software that was designed to improve the speed and efficiency of work in both co-located and distributed groups. You can use it to schedule, prioritize, discuss, and keep track of both work and progress in real time.

  • Free Plan (up to 5 users)
  • Professional Plan ($9.80/user/month for 5, 10, or 15 users billed annually)
  • Business Plan ($24.80/user/month for 5-200 users if billed annually)
  • Marketing Plan ($34.60/user/month for 5 unlimited users if billed annually)
  • Enterprise Plan (for 5 unlimited users. Contact the vendor for pricing).

Note: Inclusion in the table is NOT necessarily an endorsement of any one of these automated tools.


It doesn’t make any difference if it is just a short continuous improvement activity for a major project like setting up a new production line or cultural transition: the same considerations apply, but they are implemented at different scales and degrees of complexity. For the complex or critical type projects/programs, a person who is trained and familiar with the project management processes and practices as defined in the PMBOK' Guide {The Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge) Agile Practice Guide, and Organizational Change Management should be assigned. For minor or noncritical short duration projects and corrective actions, it is usually not practical to assign a project or program manager. In these cases, the team leader should play the role of the project manager as adding a professional project manager could add additional cost and cycle delays that may not be justified. In the case of an innovation project that shows no continuous improvement, the nature of the project frequently requires a specialist and project manager to be assigned.

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