Agile, Project Management

Can Flow be used on a project? #Agile #PMOT

I have been lucky enough to be on a large integration project lately. On this project, there are four distinct streams and they are being executed in different ways. I would consider all of them to be Agile projects, but some of the streams lean closer to Traditional to Iterations and some lean more towards pure Flow.

It got me thinking and considering if Flow can really be used on a project. Initially I was thinking that Flow wouldn’t be appropriate to use on a project. I had thought that Flow is aligned better with operational activities as opposed to a project. Typically a project is defined as an agreed upon amount of work that a person or team undertakes in accordance with an agreed upon schedule.

“A project in business and science is typically defined as a collaborative enterprise, frequently involving research or design, that is carefully planned to achieve a particular aim.” – Wikipedia

The main difference I see between the using Flow and more structured approaches like Iterations seems to me to be the lack of a Schedule. (Whether the schedule is high-level or detailed)

So I took off to Wikipedia to find the definition of a Plan. 🙂

“A plan is typically any diagram or list of steps with timing and resources, used to achieve an objective. See also strategy. It is commonly understood as a temporal set of intended actions through which one expects to achieve a goal.” – Wikipedia



After reviewing the definition of a Plan, I realized that I was not concerned about the use of Flow as much as I was concerned about the lack of a Plan. If a plan is “a temporal set of intended actions” then starting a project using pure Flow would be starting without a plan.

I am not proposing a Work Breakdown Structure or anything of the sort. But starting a project should require a temporal plan to allow the team to think through the activities, spot conflicts and prerequisites, and create a schedule. (at a level the team thinks is appropriate)


I think Flow does naturally have its place on very routine and repeatable processes. In can also be used on projects with great success. It does not however remove the requirement for a plan.




About Terry Bunio

Terry Bunio has worked for Protegra for 14+ years because of the professionalism, people, and culture. Terry started as a software developer and found his technical calling in Data Architecture. Terry has helped to create Enterprise Operational Data Stores and Data Warehouses for the Financial and Insurance industries. Along the way Terry discovered that he enjoys helping to build teams, grow client trust and encourage individual career growth, completing project deliverables, and helping to guide solutions. It seems that some people like to call that Project Management. As a practical Data Modeller and Project Manager, Terry is known to challenge assumptions and strive to strike the balance between the theoretical and real world approaches for both Data Modelling and Agile. Terry considers himself a born again agilist as Agile implemented according to the Lean Principles has made him once again enjoy Software Development and believe in what can be accomplished. Terry is a fan of Agile implemented according to the Lean Principles, the Green Bay Packers, Winnipeg Jets, Operational Data Stores, 4th Normal Form, and asking why


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