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Tuesday, August 8 • 2:00pm - 2:30pm
Bridging Mindsets: Creating the PMI Agile Practice Guide (Mike Griffiths, Johanna Rothman)

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At first glance, the PMI appears a strange partner to work with to create an Agile Practice Guide. Many people see PMI as the source of the plan-driven, big-design-up-front, waterfall-inspired methodology that agile approaches are rebelling against. In truth, the PMI is the source of commonly regarded good practices, which today includes agile approaches.
Since many PMI members were engaged in agile projects and looking for guidance, they turned to the agile community and a partnership with the Agile Alliance was forged to create the new Agile Practice Guide. This experience report describes the recruitment of 7 authors, team formation and development of the new guide since August 2016.

Lessons Learned from Your Experience:
  • Gaining consensus with experts with differing strongly-held opinions is never easy. It is even harder when everyone is an unpaid volunteer who is also geographically dispersed and time-shifted. Luckily we quickly established some team norms and cadences that for the most part worked for everyone.
  • The next challenge was corralling a group of agile evangelists to work to a largely waterfall plan and heavily front-loaded production timetable. After much squirming by both groups, a hybrid approach was developed that allowed for iterative, incremental development of the first draft of the guide. It also largely satisfied the PMI’s production schedule and review gates. The experience report shares what compromises were made and the hybrid solution.
  • The content and writing styles recommended by the agile authors fundamentally differed from the standards guidelines used by the PMI. We wanted to use a direct, personal writing style using language such as “You may want to consider using X…” but this was contrary to the third person directive style favored by the PMI for its standards.
  • This is a reflection of the PMI’s background being in project environments that can be defined upfront and have a focus on process. In contrast, agile approaches assume more uncertainty and focus more on the people aspects. Fortunately, we prevailed here too and would like to share our struggles and solutions for anyone else who faces conforming to traditional standards.


Mike Griffiths

Leading Answers
Mike Griffiths is an agile coach based in Canmore, Canada. He was involved in the creation of DSDM in 1994 and has been using agile methods (Scrum, FDD, XP, and DSDM) for the last 20 years. He served on the board of the Agile Alliance and the Agile Leadership Network (ALN), he wrote the best selling PMI-ACP Exam Preparation book and teaches agile training courses worldwide. He co-founded the PMI Agile Community of Practice and co-authored the... Read More →
avatar for Johanna Rothman

Johanna Rothman

President, Rothman Consulting
Johanna Rothman, known as the "Pragmatic Manager," provides frank advice for your tough problems. She helps leaders and teams see problems and resolve risks and manage their product development. | | Johanna was the Agile 2009 conference chair. She is the current agileconnection.com technical editor. Johanna is the author of several books including: Agile and Lean Program Management: Scaling Collaboration Across the Organization... Read More →

Tuesday August 8, 2017 2:00pm - 2:30pm
Wekiwa 1&2
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