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Overview of Extreme Project Management (XPM)

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Prerequisite : Software Project Management

Nowadays projects have become complex and volatile in nature with most of the software and new technology development projects. As these are one of the futuristic solutions, the software development projects encounters vast changes very frequently during the courses of development only to keep the product relevant when they are ready or maybe the never ending demand from customers. These changes leads to an unsettled and chaotic environment. And here the role of Agile Methods of development come into play i.e. Extreme Project Management is one of the methods in managing projects that are filled with these uncertainty.

Extreme Project Management :
Extreme Project Management may be defined as an approach which estimate, evaluate the project and reacts to the situation to deliver the scope and targets of the projects. This process obeys much shorter time and reduced deadlines when compared with traditional methods.

Execution of XPM :
Extreme Project Management is initiated by gathering and combining a team/group of people around us who are willing and ready to take this method. After assembling the team, we should go after the following steps :

  1. First we should develop a project plan with concept of extreme project management in mind i.e. expecting change, keeping in mind that  timeline may change and leaving room for error.
  2. It is to be ensured that all these questions should be answered: What he needs?, Who needs and why?, What will it take to do it?, Can we get the desired result?, Is it really worth it?
  3. The work need to be scheduled in short cycles, maximum a few weeks.
  4. Make project visibility a priority starting from Day 1. Communicate and try to answer every question. Aware everyone and get people excited to get to work on a few project by organizing a project kick-off meeting.
  5. Frequently interact with the clients, listen what they needs and pass the information to your team.
  6. Proceed with work cycles with check-ins, review sessions and restart meeting if possible when the project seems to be getting off-track.
  7. When project or cycle is finished, celebrate it. So that team members becomes excited for upcoming project. List all the accomplishments since the last meeting that your team should be proud of.

Each project may require different steps and templates which we can achieve by customizing each project as per our needs. We should not take more processes than needed and cut the extra steps whenever possible if team reports that some processes are making project complicated.

How Extreme Project Management (XPM) is different from Traditional Project Management (TPM) :
Traditional Project Management is a solution made for construction and engineering projects as they have specific goal and a well-defined path. But today, most have no specific paths and also requirements are frequently changing.

Unlike traditional management, where process is highly predictable, in extreme project management we can grow and develop in the chaotic environment where the level of certainty is low. Generally traditional approach is more streamlined and extreme one is more flexible.

Now, some of the differences between the two approaches are :




01.XPM is future oriented.TPM is past oriented.
02.It is more about leading. It is more about managing. 
03.It is about changing yourself & your approach to the worldIt tries to change the world.
04.It makes the process servant of people.It makes people the servants of process.
05.It is about distributing control.It is about centralizing the control.

Is XPM right for use ?
There are some common characteristics of extreme projects, if you can handle this or it sounds like under your work, then you can easily adopt with the approach. These are :

  • Self-healing process when things not go in the planned way.
  • Regular changes to the project requirements.
  • A move away from hierarchy while decision making.
  • Involves project with highly complex processes and outcomes
  • Use of trial-and-error approach whether it works.

Once the extreme project managements decided to be chosen, then for a team work members should comprise of energetic people who can adapt to changes. Then the project manager request the members of the group to communicate and build plan. It is not easy moving from traditional approach to XPM since XPM processes can’t be defined with conventional methods as they meant to be built from scratch. But the flexibility in XPM enables developing the best plans that aims to achieve project goals, unlike which can be restrictive in case of traditional approach.


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Last Updated : 19 Nov, 2022
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