Blog Subject Matters

Subscribe to Blog

Subscribe to Podcast

Newsletter Signup


Latest Tweets

Welcome to Our Blog

FIRE is Hot in Washington DC

Attention: open in a new window. PDFPrintE-mail

Written by Jim Crear


Lt Col Dan Ward has been a guest several times on CHAOS Tuesday. During these sessions we discussed FIRE and its adoption in Project Delivery. He has written and published a book. FIRE: Fast, Inexpensive, Restrained, and Elegant Methods Ignite Innovation (Dan Ward; Harper Business, 2014) documents further results and provides an introduction to FIRE tools, practices, and principles. Well we can all be excited to know that between Standish Group articles, CHAOS TUESDAY, and Dan Ward’s book on FIRE the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy released a new paper to government and military program managers on innovative contracting. One of the several of the methods they describe, along with Agile, is the FIRE approach!

The government wants (Rapid Technology Prototyping) the ability to rapidly and inexpensively assess new technologies. To accomplish this they propose multiple, small, fast, and inexpensive acquisitions developing prototypes with demonstrating various scenarios. This approach will allow users to try out the functions early. Microprojects! Sound familiar! Challenge the vendors by having them go head to head to provide a working prototype or technology. Then award the project to the vendor that provides the best working solution. Another important aspect of the paper is that they now want to “manage failure”. Failure can be good, it can save money. The Standish Group has been saying for several years that failure early on can be the best learning curve and ultimately lead to a better more successful outcome for any size organization.

“Engaging the End Users and potential end users should be engaged as early as possible, and the end users should be the main participants in identifying the problems/requirements. End users should be identified from among the subject matter experts and power users in an office.” This was taken verbatim from their paper. Wow!  Additionally, they have included many of the long standing preaching’s of the Standish Group. It calls for the establishment of small teams using Agile for small projects or microprojects. It also includes as they call it “Prizes” or as we call them incentives to project team members for getting a project completed on time, under budget, and user accepted.

The paper is really long, but my take away from it is this: someone in Washington DC is listening to the Standish Group, CHAOS TUESDAY and reading the CHAOS Chronicles.  If you would like a copy of the paper, please write to Jennifer Lynch: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with the tagline: innovative contracting.

This week’s CHAOS Tuesday: is titled “Trustworthy Vendors”. In this show we explore:

  • Definition of Trustworthy Vendors
  • Dealing with the X-Factor
  • Dealing with Bait and Switch
  • Dealing with the Emperor's New Clothes techniques
  • Dealing with Overpromising

Last Week’s PM2GO Advice Posts

Ticking Time Bomb: Hans Mulder suggests you think of design debt as a ticking time bomb.

Role Models: The Standish Group suggests that the project manager have access to similar projects to use as role models against the current project

Entrance and Exits: As Bill Heil says, “VMware has a large number of waterfall IT projects.

Five Deadly Sins: The Standish Group suggests the executive sponsor understand the five deadly sins of project management and how to deal with them.

Integrating the Role: Gloria Larson suggests that the executive sponsor role is integral part of the her normal job.


Page 1 of 2