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Day 3 of PMINAC

Today was the last day of the PMI North American Congress.  It’s started well enough.  I left the house at 6:45am.  Due to Washington DC traffic, I arrive 2 hours and 30 minutes later.  Yep, welcome to my flesh little slice of hell.

I did arrive in time for my first session.

Here were the days events:

Flexible Project management: Extending Agile Techniques Beyond Software Projects.

Teamed up with John Stenbeck, Laurie Diethelm, Rich Sheridan, and Lisamarie Babik for the session exercise.
I was in John’s and Lisamarie’s sessions before.  Both enjoyable.

My notable Tweets:

There must be dedication to the team.
If you don’t have flexibility in your project, change is expensive.
Co-location may not be pleasant but it is key to team communications.
iterate, iterate, iterate.
Keep your options open. Decide your last responsible moment.
Out of hundreds of cited projects, there was not a single case where the requirements did NOT change

Modern Agile Contracts for the Real World by Jesse Fewell

Notable Tweets
Contracts are put in place to make people accountable.
When dealing with contracts, traditionally we start with scope…
…but what if we are constraint driven? Fix the cost and time?
Distinguish the proposal, from the contract, from the project execution
Look for a balance between T&M and fixed rate. Try graduated T&M
As project managers, you should be influencing at the beginning of the project
As a PM you need to empower decision makers
As a PM, don’t hide things. Keep people informed
Change is not a risk. Change is a reality

The attendees then broke out into groups and everyone participated in an exercise.  There were lots of smiles with this group and they were really engaged.

We then broke for lunch and then I checked out the Exhibit hall.  I was hoping to say hello to Dave Garrett but he was talking to someone.  Dave was one of the first people to follow me on Twitter.  I admire what he’s done for the project management community with Gantthead.com.

I then went over to the VersionOne booth.  I spoke to Ken Mills and Leeann Berner for a few minutes.  I just drank a cup of coffee (thank you to Gantthead for the breathmints) so I don’t think I let them say much.  I really think they have a great product and wanted them to know that.  I think customer feedback is good, especially if you like something.

I then made my way to one of the umpteen million couches around the hotel.  I sat for a few minutes and began to doze off.  In my semi conscious state, I think I farted.  I have to say, it’s not cool falling asleep in a public place and then farting.  People look at you funny.  Check out the picture of this poor guy.  Yep, I felt your pain brother, I felt your pain.

Jesse and the guys from Excella Consulting stopped by.  I chatted with them for a few minutes.  I then attended Nancy Nee’s session on Metrics for Agile Project.  Pretty good session.  Here are some notable tweets.

Tie all metrics to goals and objectives
The less granular of the feature list that you report the better. Avoid task level reporting.
How to estimate? ROM or team velocity
Daily stand-ups are a great way to manage ADD
Referencing the Sulaiman, Barton, Blackburn paper on EVM

My last session of the day was the creme dela creme of the Congress.  I got to see Michele Sliger’s session titled Goodbye, Scope Creep, Hello Agile!

The only thing that sucks is my Droid X flooded my Twitter stream with updates and then turned off (battery was dead).  Yep, no more tweets.  But, the silver lining was I actually got to listen to Michele talk.  Michele offered a compelling argument on why waterfall may have worked in the past but not so well now.  She illustrated how waterfall works and how Agile works.  She then showed how scope creep would be applicable with waterfall but now becomes an opportunity with Agile.   Offered the audience a glimpse into Kanban.  This was the only session I saw at the Congress where Kanban was really discussed.  She did an awesome job of presenting.  It didn’t matter if the attendees had never heard of Agile before the Congress.  By the time Michele was done with her session and the Congress sessions officially ended, I feel confident there were a lot of light bulb moments.  The reception of Agile at the Congress was overwhelmingly positive.  Sure, there were a few haters out there.  But, I believe they were in the gross minority.

Thank you to all of the PMI Agile Community of Practice people who put on such excellent sessions.  Thank you to PMI for realizing the importance of Agile adoption.  Thank you to all of those people out there who followed along on Twitter.  I know I forgot awesome moments from the last 3 days.  But, I’ll admit, my ass is tired!  I am all Congressed out.  For those out there who are wondering why this PMI Congress favored Agile so heavily, only time will tell.  I’m just ready to get back to work and do my part in educating people about Agile.

About Derek Huether

I'm Vice President of ALM Platforms at LeadingAgile. Author of Zombie Project Management (available on Amazon). Novice angel investor.

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