TWiT

Live (Agile) Video Sessions

If there is one place I like to get my information, it's from the experts.  For technology news and information, I tune into This Week in Tech (Leo Leporte and crew) or Tech News Today (Tom Merritt and crew) over at (TWiT.tv) When I can't watch them live, I watch the webcasts later.  When I want to do the same for start-up news and information, I tune in to This Week in Startups (Jason Calacanis and crew). What I see missing from my daily or weekly consumption of media is the topic of Agile.  Sure, I watch webinars, but these are mostly slide deck presentations.  What I see missing is a regularly scheduled "program" that serves the Agile community and more.  Well, it looks like the need is about to be met.  Peter Saddington over at AgileScout is about to launch  AgileScout "Live".

Though going back and watching interviews with industry experts, pundits, and aficionados is pretty awesome, watching it live takes it to a whole new level.  While watching a live session, you can also participate in a live chat, which allows you to interact with like minded people in ways you don't get from old-school media.

So, the big question is when? Peter posted a survey to find out when YOU the viewer would tune in for a live session. So, click the link below and let your voice be heard. Take the survey to pick the best time for live Agile video sessions.


The Iron Law of Bureaucracy versus ICAgile

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

Real Time Reputation Scores On Twitter

When Twitter launched their list feature recently, I immediately wondered if #FollowFriday was going to go the way of the dinosaur. For those out there not using Twitter, you have the power to "follow" people of interest and see what they are saying.  By following people of similar personal or professional interests, you get an idea of what is happening in real time.

As you begin to follow people, you are exposed to more and more who can really offer interesting things to say.

Because I wanted to read about what's new in Tech, I followed Leo Laporte, founder of the TWiT® Netcast Network. Because I wanted to read about entrepreneurs and start-ups, I followed Jason Calacanis, founder of Mahalo.com.  Because I wanted to read about Project Management, I followed Dave Garrett, CEO of Gantthead.com.  Granted, I didn't just go out and follow them at random.  I followed others and patiently waited for Friday to arrive to see who they would recommend to Follow.  Though I enjoy this organic process of discovery, it is not particularly efficient.  Though the introduction of lists has allowed me to see similar people in large numbers, there is no guarantee it is nothing more then a popularity contest.

Who shall I follow and who shall I recommend to follow?  Alas, I am but one person.  Who am I to suggest who you should follow and who you should not? I will yield my recommendation to one I consider superior in the decision making process.  I yield to what James Surowiecki termed the Wisdom of the Crowd and a nice webapp created by The Plan Is.

It appears The Plan Is tracks all tweets tagged with #pmot and uses them to update a list of the most influential project managers on Twitter. Updates are calculated continuously and new results are displayed every 5 minutes. They won't tell you how the scores are calculated, as that would make it too easy to game the system.  It appears ranking is based on the number of followers, volume of tweets being retweeted, and the number of lists appeared on.  I may be wrong.  But, the list appears pretty accurate.  Go on Twitter and look at the hashtag #pmot.  If you say (tweet) something interesting, it gets retweeted.  If people like to read what you're tweeting, you'll get followed.  What I like about this dynamic reputation score is there are NOT people out there tweeting "vote for me, vote for me".  It just seems to work.

So, you're a new Project Manager, Scrum Master, Agile aficionado, or Kanban practitioner on Twitter.  Who do you follow?  Who has the best reputation, from the crowd point of view?  Follow the links below and find out.

Project Managers on Twitter

  1. DaveG253: 2175 points
  2. francisojsaez: 1800 points
  3. projectmgmt: 1685 points
  4. ProjectShrink: 1400 points
  5. Qtask: 1400 points
  6. JohnEstrella: 1135 points
  7. pmstudent: 1100 points
  8. franciscojsaez: 980 points
  9. thesambarnes: 915 points
  10. PM_StrayDogg: 835 points

If you would like to see a list from an Agile perspective, there's a list for that as well.

Note:  The 10 Project Managers in the list above were dynamically generating at the time of this post.