The Agile Mindset

Agile MindsetAs I look back at the last year, I am amazed at how much has changed in my life. I left my position advising the Federal Government for something that aligned closer to what I felt inside my heart and mind. I didn't want to "do" Agile. I wanted to "be" Agile. There is a profound difference.  Doing Agile is what you do externally.  Being Agile is what's on the inside.  Being Agile is defined by your values, guiding principles, and mindset.

Agilists tend to have very different ideas and attitudes in which we approach a situation, especially when the situation is seen as being difficult to alter.  We fall into that group of innovators, technology enthusiasts, early adopters, and visionaries.

A colleague and I just completely an Agile assessment, where we interviewed over 60 people in an organization.  When we told them we were hired to  shepherd them through an Agile transformation, the responses were pretty consistent.  They pretty much all agreed there was a need for a cultural shift within their organization.  They needed to begin leaning toward an Agile mindset.

I'm excited to see the benefits they will realize by doing Agile.  But, I'm even more excited to see what is possible, if they start being Agile.

Image Source: Pictofigo

PMI-ACP Numbers

As we get closer to the announcement of how many people passed the v1.0 version of the PMI-ACP exam, I want to congratulate everyone who participated in the process.  Regardless of how you did, you're an early adopter and should be commended on your efforts.  You helped make the exam better for others.

Last week while we were in Miami, the baton has been passed from the steering committee to the new ACP Support team.  As co-lead of the team, I look forward to future learners taking the v1.1 on Janauary 31 and v1.2 at the end of 2nd quarter.

I'll post other information about the PMI-ACP Support team at a later date.

Data Source: PMI Agile CoP Strategic Planning meeting


My Personal Kanban Birthday gift

I would like to publicly thank everyone who sent me birthday wishes.  Gotta love Facebook, Google+ and all of the other places that broadcast your birthday to the world.  It's actually pretty cool to hear from people I haven't talked to in a while.  Rather than go into details about how I ate durian fruit or how I was convinced my wife hired a belly dancer for our dinner date with friends, I'll focus on the good stuff. Not only did I score several containers of coffee, but I also got a physical copy of Personal Kanban from my parents. I have Jim and Tonianne's Kindle version of Personal Kanban but sometimes when you really like something, you just have to have a physical copy.  I honestly didn't think I was that sentimental.

My son and I also got matching white boards to help us navigate our lives.  So, if you're thinking of a stocking stuffer this year, get that special person a copy of Personal Kanban and some post-its.  They'll be glad you did.

Oh, and if you look in the background of the photo, you'll see my wife has LeanKit Kanban up on her screen.  Ya, we're a weird family.

PMI Agile CoP Strategic Planning Team Wrap-up

Before we went our separate ways, the PMI Agile CoP Strategic Planning team did a retrospective (not depicted in the image enclosed). I had a few key comments. First, as a positive, I felt like I finally understood where the PMI Agile Community of Practice was in its evolution. Second, I honestly think we are going in the right direction. In the negative, my comment was a bit tempered. I thought the time we had was too short. But I understand the need for us to set short timeboxes and then deliver something of value. Without deadlines, we would probably debate things to death.

Right now, I am emotionally exhausted. I arrived mid-day Saturday (12/3) and I am returning home mid-day Tuesday (12/6). We had group discussions, sidebar discussions, and even discussions during and after every meal!

Everyone was passionate about his or her perspectives and I don't think there was a single topic that didn't require lengthy debate, reflection, and decisions. There were times I felt we were going down rat holes, debating the language that we should and would agree on. But, without those passionate conflicts, we wouldn't have explored the possibilities or arrived at better outcomes.

Thank you to PMI (Rory, Priya, and Brenard) for taking care of everything and allowing the team to come together and focus on the important work at hand. The Agile CoP is very young and it was important for us to focus on critical areas to continue growing a community that is self-sustaining, transparent, and supportive.

Thank you to the core team of Ainsley, Bob, Dean, Devin, and Sameer (alphabetical order) for speaking your minds and standing your ground.

A very special thank you goes to Jesse, Dennis, and Brian. Over the course of a few days, you accomplished great things. The community and PMI both owe you a lot.

Outside of our planning group, as our community grows even larger, I ask for patience and participation from both traditional and agile project managers. The Agile CoP leadership want to be as transparent as possible. As goals become more ambitious, the need for volunteers (and future servant-leaders) will grow.

In closing, I want readers to remember, we want the PMI members worldwide to be equipped to lead and thrive in a human-centric and ever changing world by embracing adaptive and empirical proactive practices.

I am left inspired.

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.