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Johanna Rothman and Mike Griffiths on the Agile Alliance/PMI Agile Practice Guide

| Podcast with Johanna Rothman Follow 0 Followers , Mike Griffiths Follow 0 Followers by Shane Hastie Follow 11 Followers on Oct 03, 2017 |

This is the Engineering Culture Podcast, from the people behind InfoQ.com and the QCon conferences.

In this podcast Shane Hastie, Lead Editor for Culture & Methods, spoke to Johanna Rothman and Mike Grifiths about the joint PMI & Agile Alliance initiative to produce the Agile Practice Guide.

Key Takeaways

  • There is nothing in the PMBOK that says you have to use a waterfall project delivery model
  • If we want to influence the people who hold the hearts and minds of senior management, there is no better way than to collaborate with them
  • The guide reflects the State of the Practice when it was written
  • The prevalence of agile terms in projects, without actually using agile approaches – the veneer of agile without the substance
  • Defining agile as a mindset based on values and principles rather than any set of practices
  • There are many options for undertaking work; the key is to have an agile mindset about which practices are most appropriate in a particular context and be prepared to change if the chosen practices are not helpful
  • 0:43 - Introduction – Johanna
  • 1:10 - Introduction – Mike
  • 2:00 - There is nothing in the PMBOK that says you have to use a waterfall project delivery model
  • 2:15 - The common misuse of the PMI standards and guides as something to “beat people over the head with”, which was never the intent
  • 2:35 - The PMBOK Guide lays things out sequentially because it is a book; it explicitly says that work can be done iteratively
  • 3:20 - Where the idea of the collaboration between the PMI and the Agile Alliance came from
  • 4:10 - The PMI-ACP is the fastest growing credential in the PMI
  • 4:25 - The similarities and differences between sequential project management and agile project management approaches
  • 4:55 - If we want to influence the people who hold the hearts and minds of senior management there is no better way than to collaborate with them
  • 5:15 - Describing the process of producing the practice guide, engaging a group of very experienced people with tight time constraints
  • 6:00 - The need to be aligned with the latest version of the PMBOK Guide
  • 6:17 - Also wanting to be aligned with the BA Practice Guide
  • 7:05 - Using agile techniques to produce the Practice Guide, pairing and iterations
  • 7:47 - The value of video conference capabilities for distributed teams – being able to see each other helped build some of the bonds which were not there because of working in a distributed manner
  • 8:20 - Realizing after two weeks that they were already behind – this is good to know early rather than late
  • 8:35 - Styles of pair-writing and reviewing
  • 9:20 - The importance of achieving consensus
  • 9:35 - Overcoming the fear of writing
  • 10:05 - Advice on writing – just start writing, then go back and fix it later
  • 10:35 - Laying out the guide in a face-to-face meeting
  • 11:15 - Sending it out for subject matter expert review – 3000 comments received
  • 11:50 - Pair reviewing the comments – lots of time and effort processing the comments
  • 13:20 - The value of the review, despite it being painful
  • 14:20 - This work was undertaken by volunteers contributing to the community; no one was paid for their time
  • 14:45 - The guide reflects the State of the Practice when it was written
  • 14:57 - The target audience – project managers, project leaders, PMO members, project team members
  • 15:40 - The reality of “hybrid” approaches and the importance of having clarity in what approach is being taken
  • 16:05 - The prevalence of agile terms in projects, without actually using agile approaches – the veneer of agile without the substance
  • 16:27 - Using the guide to understand if the project actually is using an agile approach, and identifying ways to do better
  • 16:52 - The guide contains suggestions for overcoming common challenges when adopting agile practices
  • 17:12 - Diagnosis tools to identify common issues and ways to potentially overcome them
  • 17:55 - Defining agile as a mindset based on values and principles, rather than any set of practices
  • 18:35 - The guide is not prescriptive – there is no one-size-fits-all approach and there are many tools and techniques which should be considered when exploring options
  • 19:10 - There are many options for undertaking work; the key is to have an agile mindset about which practices are most appropriate in a particular context and be prepared to change if the chosen practices are not helpful
  • 19:35 - Various appendices to the Practice Guide providing tools for selecting approaches and diagnosing challenges
  • 19:50 - The practice guide is approach-agnostic, drawing on ideas from many different approaches
  • 20:05 - Where to get a copy of the guide – via the PMI or the Agile Alliance, free to download for members of either organisation
  • 20:45 - There is an experience report which Mike & Johanna wrote discussing how the practice guide came about, with about 45 lessons learned to share
  • 21:12 - Culture change is the hardest part of agile adoption and it takes time
  • 22:05 - Inviting additional volunteers for the next release of the practice guide

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