New Agile Training Classes Announced

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ICAgile Accredited CourseThough I’ve been doing Enterprise Agile Coaching with LeadingAgile for over a year now, I haven’t been doing a lot of training (or blogging).  I’ve been sticking to agile transformation work and the occasional private class.

Well, it’s time for an update.  Dennis Stevens and myself co-authored the International Consortium for Agile (ICAgile) Agile Project Manager learning objectives back in February.  The result was a solid certification even a PMP could respect.

New Classes and Locations

LeadingAgile has decided to offer more public training.  We’re offering classes in Atlanta, Denver, Orlando, and Washington DC.

Scrum

Certified ScrumMaster certification class

Certified Scrum Product Owner certification class

PMI

PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP) certification prep class

ICAgile

Fundamentals of Agile (CIP certification awarded)

Agile Project Management (to be announced)


Are in interested in some public training?

Send me an email and I’ll get you a special discount code.


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The Iron Law of Bureaucracy versus ICAgile

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AgileI was listening to This Week in Tech #264  and one of the guests was Jerry Pournelle. Though it’s not necessary to go into the details of the NetCast, Jerry said something that had me scrambling for the rewind button.  He referred to his Iron Law of Bureaucracy.

(Jerry) Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy states that in any bureaucratic organization there will be two kinds of people: those who work to further the actual goals of the organization, and those who work for the organization itself. One example in education would be teachers who work and sacrifice to teach children, versus union representatives who work to protect any teacher (including the most incompetent). The Iron Law states that in ALL cases, the second type of person will always gain control of the organization, and will always write the rules under which the organization functions.

I then watched a Ted Talk titled The Child-Driven Education.  There were three statements by Sugata Mitra that I want to reference.

  1. Self-organizing system: Is where the system structure appears without explicit intervention from outside the system.
  2. Emergence: The appearance of a property not previously observed as a functional characteristic of the system.
  3. Speculation: Education is a self-organizing system, where learning is an emergent phenomenon.

So, what does this have to do with Project Management?  The organizational machine that is the Project Management certification ecosystem has become that second group Jerry Pournelle identifies.  There is now an entire industry dedicated to certifying people and keeping them certified, including the most incompetent. There is no focus on educating people in best practices, delivering value to customers, or increasing project success rates.

On the other end of the spectrum are the visionaries, the mentors, and coaches.  This is where I make my speculation.

Keep your eyes on the International Consortium of Agile (ICAgile).  At ICAgile, the certification path is divided into three main phases; a Fundamentals Phase, a Focus Track Phase, and a Certification Phase.  It’s not all about getting certifications.  It’s about educating and learning.  In the Fundamentals Phase, the goal is to educate the attendee with the values, principles and basic practices of Agile.  Having garnered the fundamentals of agile in the first phase, The Focus Track Development phase will have different tracks to choose from.  This will allow people to focus being educated in different functional areas like Project Management, Business Analysis, and Testing. Only after completing the courses in a focus track, will the applicant is eligible for the ICAgile “Professional” certificate.

I’m very bullish on ICAgile educating and people learning.

Being Agile is self-organizing by nature, does ICAgile have the unique opportunity to prove the Iron Law of Bureaucracy wrong?

Graphic: Pictofigo

Lawfulgood PMP Level 5

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After reading a blog post by Dennis Stevens, I suddenly realized one of things about the family of PMI certifications that has been bothering me.  The family of credentials does not lend itself to the Dreyfus Model.  Dennis offered really compelling arguments about what does certification imply, about people who can’t or won’t earn certifications, and what he calls tilting at windmills.

The Dreyfus Skill Acquisition Model, which Dennis references, identifies five stages of competence:

Novice: Rigid adherence to taught rules or plans.  No exercise of discretionary judgment.

Advanced beginner: Limited situational perception. All aspects of work treated separately with equal importance.

Competent: Coping with crowdedness (multiple activities, accumulation of information). Some perception of actions in relation to goals. Deliberate planning. Formulates routines.

Proficient: Holistic view of situation. Prioritizes importance of aspects.  Perceives deviations from the normal pattern. Employs maxims for guidance, with meanings that adapt to the situation at hand.

Expert: Transcends reliance on rules, guidelines, and maxims. Intuitive grasp of situations based on deep, tacit understanding. Has vision of what is possible. Uses analytical approaches in new situations or in case of problems.


PMI currently has 5 certifications.  You don’t need to be an active PMI member (currently at 318,421) to hold one of these certification.  To get one of these credentials, you need to meet some educational and experience requirements and then pass a written exam.  Only the Program Management Professional requires a panel review.

Certification Total Active
Project Management Professional (PMP) 389,726
Certified Associate Project Manager (CAPM) 11,785
PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RPM) 393
PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP) 327
Program Management Professional (PgMP) 436

What is missing here is some continuity between the credentials and something that indicates the level of expertise.  There is a difference between a PMP who met the minimum experience requirements and one who has been practicing in the profession for 20 years.  Would calling someone a Lawfulgood PMP level 5 with a 20 wisdom and 30 charisma help?  I’m not proposing we pull credential titles form Dungeon and Dragons, but rather something that will give the laymen an idea of experience.

Do I have an example?  I absolutely do!  Check out the International Consortium of Agile (ICAgile).  They are proposing a 3-phased, skill-based, certification.  If PMI borrowed from this model, the CAPM would be part of phase 1 (Associate), RPM, SP, and PMP would be part of phase 2 (Professional), and PgMP would be phase 3 (Expert).  PMI wouldn’t necessarily have to mimic this framework exactly, but do you see how it puts it all into context?  If there would be a mighty uproar by the PMP community, suddenly being demoted to associate level, you could identify them as a PMP-1 or PMP-2, depending on which knowledge area(s) they have been certified in.

Any thoughts or comments?

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