PMI Agile CoP Retrospective

When you think of spending a Saturday afternoon among friends and colleagues, do you picture yourself sitting in front of your computer, collaborating for three hours on a web-based tool and discussing what is working and what could work better? Well, that is exactly what a group of us did. It was time for the quarterly PMI Agile Community of Practice (CoP) retrospective. We couldn't all be in the same physical location so some of us from the community jumped online and tried to make the world (or at least our CoP) a better place.  When you look at the graphic above (or click on the link to Cacoo), you may be left scratching your head, if you are neither an Agilist nor a member of the PMI Agile CoP. If you are either, I hope you nod in recognizing the mechanism we used to interact and make our Agile Community of Practice a better place for us all to belong.

Community of Practice

You could describe us as a motley crew of discontents and zealots. You could also describe us as a passionate group of Agilists drawn together, with the hope of helping the PMI community discover the value of Agile practices and approaches.  We all hold a sense of belonging to our community.  We all believe in the altruistic sharing of knowledge, methods, stories, cases, tools, and documents.


Generically speaking, a retrospective meeting is held at the end of a scheduled event or time interval. With the aid of a facilitator (in this case Brian Bozzuto), a team discusses what went well and what could be improved during the next interval or prior to the next scheduled event.  The meeting is time-boxed to help ensure it doesn't just turn into an out-of-control complaining session.  When properly facilitated, you come out of the meeting with an actionable list for improvement. Though I always recommend doing retrospectives in person, actually having the retrospective takes priority. Do it wherever you can however you can.  Successful teams need to take the time to have retrospectives if they have any chance of improving what they do.

PMI Agile CoP Quarterly Retrospective

The leadership of this community recognizes that as our community grows, some things will work and some challenges will need to be overcome (zoom into the graphic to see what we thought).  One thing is for certain: with almost 14,000 members, our PMI community has a lot to offer both members and non-members.  Every minute of that Saturday afternoon was well spent.  I hope this post and the link to the Cacoo graphic provides some transparency into what we've been doing the last three months.

Interested in joining our community or becoming a volunteer?  We'd love to have you!

Source:  This post was originally written and published by me on the PMI Agile Community of Practice blog

PMI Agile CoP Strategic Planning Day 1

The first full day of the PMI Agile Community of Practice strategic planning session just wrapped up.  It's been an amazing day.  We discussed how we could help Project Management Practitioners, PMI Members, CoP Volunteers, and Agile Leaders. Topics ranged from increasing awareness of Agile, to the PMI-ACP, and a PMI-ACP Glossary. Though we all come from all over the country, different organizations, and different backgrounds, we have at least one thing in common.  We all have a passion for Agile.

Because the PMI-ACP certification is transitioning to an operational stage, myself and a few others focused deeply on what we wanted to see happen in 2012.  First, you'll be seeing the PMI-ACP v1.1 coming January 31.  You should see PMI-ACP v1.2 out the end of the second quarter.  I'll save the real good stuff for subsequent posts.  Until then, goodnight from Miami.

Transparency Allows Better Discovery

PMI Agile Community of PracticeMy friend and colleague Sameer Bendre and myself are currently serving as Co-Product Owners for the PMI Community of Practice (CoP) blog. Like any challenge I accept, I like to eat my own dog food.  What that means is if we're going to have a blog about Agile, we should take an agile approach to its creation.  Though I wouldn't say the following is exclusively Agile, I am listing some content from a Product Owner training deck. There will be three things I guarantee: Transparency, Inspection, Adaptation

Transparency - Honesty about progress & problems Inspection - Feedback will come from real customers & users Adaptation - Tweaking of blog based on feedback & goals

Because we're initiating a project, Sameer and I are going through some discovery.  First up is project orientation.   We're doing process analysis, we're understanding scope and objectives, and we're creating the initial product backlog.

But, are we ready to start blogging?   To do so, we need to ask ourselves Why, What, and How.

Why? What are the stakeholders’ goals?
What? What is the Outcome Vision?  What is the end result?
How? What is the Implementation strategy?

Yesterday I heard an awesome quote, as I sat in on a Product Owner class.  My colleague Arlen Bankston quoted Peter Skillman.

Enlightened trial-and-error succeeds over the planning of the lone genius

I've never been one to silence that inner voice.  If I have a problem, I share it and have faith in the collective minds of my readers to propose a solution.  I'm not saying I don't have vision.  I do.  What I'm talking about here is an impediment or a problem.  When I looked at the web address of the Agile CoP blog, I noticed that it was deep in the PMI website.  There was no link from the homepage.  The Agile CoP blog can only be viewed by (logged in) PMI members.  So, the question I have to the CoP members is, how do we get the word out?  How do we blog about things that others (outside of our immediate group) will actually read?

My short term solution is to repost here, on the Critical Path blog.  The next thing I would propose is someone convince PMI to allow more people to post on the Voices blog.  It's the only PMI blog that appears to be open to the world.  If PMI wants Agile readers, they need to open the blogs to more readers.

In closing, I'm not lambasting PMI.  I'm bringing attention to both an issue and an opportunity.  I want more visibility to what our CoP has to say.  I want to have our voices be heard.

HT: Pictofigo for the drawing

Thank You Guys and Agile Community of Practice

Dennis and BrianI was asked the other day if it was worth being a member of PMI.  I wasn't completely sure.  See, you can be a PMP in good standing but not have to be a member of PMI.  It's strange to me but true.  Granted, as a member, you get discounts to attend events and go to networking events (if you're into that).  But, was there real value to me? Last night I had the pleasure of hanging out with Mike Cottmeyer, Jesse Fewell, Brian Bozzuto, and Dennis Stevens.  They were all in Washington DC, attending the PMI Leadership Institute Meeting (LIM) and representing the PMI Agile Community of Practice (CoP).  Now, I will be at the PMI Global Congress Sunday through Tuesday but these guys are in town this week.

Well, last night I spent 6 hours with them.  So, ask me again if it's worth being a member of PMI. My answer is now a confident yes.  I say yes, not so much for being a member of PMI but rather being a member of the Agile CoP.  These four fellows are the kind of Agile thought leaders you want to talk to, if you ever need some inspiration.  If these four are what you get when you team PMI and an Agile CoP, I see a great future.

I was going to go into some details of our conversations, but it would probably be 5-pages of me ranting about stuff with stopping points when one of the guys hands me another beer.

I genuinely had an awesome time and am inspired by each of them.

If you are a PMP and are passionate about Agile, I would strongly recommend you get involved with the PMI Agile Community of Practice.  Not sure quite yet?  Then at least do yourself the favor of looking these guys up, read what they have written, go listen to them speak, or get some training from them.

If you're reading my blog and you're in need of some Agile Training, Agile Coaching, or Agile Transformation, send me an email and I will reach out to my ever-growing Agile circle of friends.