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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PMI Puerto Rico Simposio Anual

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Imagine barely missing the Nor’easter up in Connecticut, only to land in sunny San Juan, Puerto Rico 24 hours later for the PMI Puerto Rico Simposio Anual. That was me last week. My time in Puerto Rico was short but I met some amazing people and had a great time.  I spent one day offering a seminar on Agile Project Management and one day as a Simposium Speaker.  There was a lot of interest around Agile and what it is (and what it is not).  It was exciting to have the opportunity to interact with a completely different group of people, not focused on U.S. Government related work.  Just to confirm, not everyone is Washington D.C. is, but I would argue a large group I spoke to last month at the Washington DC PM Symposium were.  The people I spoke with this last week were entrepreneurs, company presidents, and managers…  What I found as the common thread was not on keeping a schedule or staying on budget.  It was about satisfying customers, maximizing ROI, and responding to constant change.  Regardless of the language barrier on my side, they could understand what I was talking about, confirmed by the nodding heads and mouthed “sí.”

I want to thank PMI Puerto Rico for being such amazing hosts.  There is something very notable I want to point out about their symposium.  Much like the symposium attendees, the organizers’ primary concern appeared to not be keeping the symposium on a tight schedule.  The focus was ensuring the people attending got as much value as they could provide in the time they had.

Originally published on LeadingAgile

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PMI Global Congress Presentation on VMS

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I am back from the PMI Global Congress in Vancouver, British Columbia.

My lack of fancy pants went pretty much unnoticed.  I brought plenty of energy (and coffee) to my session and it appears people were very happy with the results.  I was referred to, at one point, as the Energizer Bunny and even the PMI quoted me.

I definitely left people wanting more.  It was an introductory talk and I only had 1:15 to present.  With 20 minutes dedicated to people in the audience working together to create their own Visual Control Systems, I found myself all over the room and loving every second of it.

It was great to meet people I’ve known for several years via the blog and through the PMI Agile Community of Practice.  It was also great to meet so many new people excited about Agile becoming more mainstream.

Side note: If you saw me limping during my session and at the Congress, it was because I may have a fractured heel.  I guess my OJ Simpson run through the airport to make my flight did it.

Agile 101 – Presented at the PM Symposium

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I want to thank everyone for coming out to the PMI Washington D.C. Project Management Symposium. It was a great crowd. The ballroom was full and I was told there were up to 400 people in the room for my talk. As promised, here is the SlideShare of my presentation.  If you go to the SlideShare site, you have the ability to download it.

Thank you VersionOne for the content for two of the slides.

Chasing After The Latest Fad or Evolving

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Washington DC PMI Chapter LinkedIn Group

Washington DC PMI Chapter LinkedIn GroupThis last weekend, I had an interesting exchange on the PMIWDC LinkedIn Group discussions board.  This healthy exchange of viewpoints came about from the following message:

In June, PMPs numbers are down by over 4000 while the PMI Agile certification numbers are on a steady rise. What is preventing the ACP from really getting traction?  http://ow.ly/i/NRLD [link to graphic showing the upward trend of the PMI-ACP]

Because that LinkedIn group is not public, I won’t include the persons name.  Rather, I will refer to him as “Mr. PMP, CSM, ITIL” and include his responses in red.  Even if I don’t agree with everything he writes, I have to respect a differing viewpoint.

PMP numbers likely vary slightly throughout the year and 4,000 is less than 1%. Plus, in the current economy, I don’t think a drop is surprising at all.

Now about PMI-ACP. In my opinion, the PMI-ACP has no market (no one asks for it and, as you note, no one is really seeking it even after PMI lowered qualifying standards to get it). It is simply a me-too certificate competing with already established certifications by Scrum.org and ScrumAlliance.org. Besides, it is mislabeled as Agile when all it talks about is Scrum without ever using the word Scrum–making it even less distinguishable.

Personally, I’d rather see PMI focus its efforts on strengthening the PMP, and the overall body of project management knowledge and practice, than chasing after the latest fads.

[Mr. PMP, CSM, ITIL], interesting opinions. I always find these “corrections” compelling. Everyone can read the August edition of PMI Today (the source of my numbers) and draw their own conclusions. It could be there were 4000 people who really weren’t project managers in the first place, thinking they needed a PMP, and then realized they really did not. We’ll never know for sure.

As for the PMI-ACP, the qualifying standards were corrected while the certification was still in pilot. I know this because I was in Miami with PMI when it happened. It just took several months to get the change implemented in the application process. At least there is a qualifying standard. You and I both have a CSM, yet we both know there is no qualifying standard for that.

The PMI-ACP is not all about Scrum. Again, I know this because I helped create the ACP and because I am the Co-Lead of the ACP support team at the PMI Agile CoP. I won’t disagree that a large percentage of the ACP is Scrum related but in VersionOne’s latest State of Agile survey, a majority of Agile practitioners are using Scrum to deliver value to their respective organizations. I think the certification is pretty representative of contemporary Agile practices.

If you’d rather PMI focus its efforts on strengthening the PMP, I’m curious how you will feel about the upcoming PMBOK Guide revision and Software Extension. Both include Agile knowledge and practices. Does that mean PMI is chasing after the latest fad or is it evolving?

Derek, I’ll admit the 5th edition draft PMBOK is troubling–almost as if some folks are trying to sabotage the PMBOK or simply making changes for the sake of changes. Don’t get me wrong, I am not against change but some of what is occuring is not good, doesn’t fix some problems in the 4th Edition and introduces some new contradictions and confusion. Waiting to see what the final release settles on. 

Stats can be fun and too often misleading. I don’t think month-to-month changes in active certificate holders is very meaningful and PMI-ACP’s less than six month track record is nonetheless too short. It’s 7 to 18% month-to-month increases are already faltering, losing 32% of it’s growth rate in the latest month. During this same time, PMPs dropped just under 1%. If both of these two latest trends continue, PMI-ACP will max out around 6,923 and reach parity (with current month declining) PMP in just over 38 years. 

As a reality check, PMP and CAPM make up 99.2031% of PMI’s certificate holders. I suspect the overall number of ‘traditional’ projects is a not too dissimilar ratio. Adding in the few thousand CSM and other certificate holders won’t significantly shift this ratio. And traditional project management is, if practiced well, agile and not the caricature painted by Agile and Scrum advocates.

Listening to people who are participating in the PMBOK revisions sounds a lot like legislation in the government. In the beginning, a bill with a bold new idea or fix is presented. In order to close the deal, the bill gets watered down and new stuff that really has nothing to do with the original bill gets introduced. I can totally see that happening with the PMBOK. But I do think common agile concepts and practices should be included. The question is, will it be a square peg in a round whole, based on the format of the PMBOK?

Speaking to the certification stats, I once presented a correlation graph claiming an increase in ice cream sales caused deaths by drowning. It was merely illustrating that metrics can be used to support just about any claim. If PMI gets more market penetration in India and South America, I think the overall growth rate for the PMP (and ACP) will continue. With PMI being the marketing machine that it is, I see the ACP cannibalizing market share from ScrumAlliance and Scrum.org, not from the PMP.  Only time will tell.

It’s my belief that “Agile” practices will be accepted as “Traditional” practices over time. Until then, the misinformed will believe it is a silver bullet. It’s funny, when I coach new clients, I always have at least one project manager tell me that he or she proposed similar changes to leadership but was ignored. I’ve also had attendees of my training tell me that having PMI offer an “Agile” certification legitimizes it as a possible delivery mechanism. This isn’t new stuff! Whatever gets people talking works for me.

HT: Project Management Institute

HT: VersionOne

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