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PMI Agile SIG Getting Ready For Launch

Agile SIG Launch The PMI Agile SIG is gathering speed. This Special Interest Group (SIG) is set to be launched later this year and is very timely. While currently the interaction between agile and traditional project management approaches in most organizations may be small.

Agile Trad 1

This intersection is set to expand. The agile community knows that interest and adoption of agile is on the increase. We need only look at the attendance figures for the major agile conferences over the past few years to see how usage and interest is on the increase.

Agile Conference Growth     

Yet, at the same time the PMI is seeing dizzying growth too. Fueled by demands for tighter controls and better governance, along with a seeming insatiable demand for the PMP certification PMI membership has seen strong growth over the past 10 years.

PMI Membership

The PMI Agile SIG will be a group made available to all PMI members who want to learn, contribute, and discuss using agile methods. It will examine the best ways to manage such projects and should be a powerful voice for driving agile related practices into the PMBOK Guide and other PMI standards.

As both agile and PMI adoption increases we will see far more overlap and iteration on projects.

Agile Trad 2

Agile methods are being used increasingly beyond the software domain and rather than dismiss traditional approaches as not applicable I think it is better to work with them and help shape a better set of standards for the future.

I have written on introducing agile into the PMI several times before (here, here, here) and often end up discussing the IP concerns of working with the PMI with people. My take is that I'd rather be on the inside trying to make changes rather than outside taking shots. That's why I present on agile at the PMI Conferences and teach an agile project management course for PMI SeminarsWorld.

So, for those that want to help change the world of project management, the PMI Agile SIG is a good place to start. We are actively looking for members, anyone interested in joining can send an email to [email protected]

Just what the PMI Agile SIG can do will be limited only by the enthusiasm of its members. I do know that there is a PMBOK Extension for the Construction Industry published by the PMI. It is for people in the Construction industry wanting to use PMBOK processes in their unique domain. Rather than the name suggests of just extending the PMBOK it actually says: "if you are in the construction industry, forget these processes from the standard PMBOK and instead replace them with these ones…" Longer term, a PMBOK Extension for the Software Industry that removes static planning and substitutes some agile methods would be very useful.

Team Size, Velocity and Specialization

(Well actually a bunch of hiking stories)
 Astor Lake
Do large teams bog-down, do delays propagate, is specialization harmful or desirable? In today's knowledge-worker environment we process intangible information rather than physical products, and so seeing the impact of good and bad team dynamics can be difficult.

One of the main reasons I moved to Canada from London was to be in the mountains for hiking, mountain biking and skiing. While we can usually hike from May – October; the hiking season for the high peaks is short, just mid-July through early September and so recently I have been doing far more hiking than blogging, but it makes you think about velocity when you are trying to calculate if you will make it back to your car before sundown, or how much of the hike will be in the dark through grizzly bear habitat!

Generally large groups travel slower than small groups. Waiting for everyone to arrive at the trail head and then the inevitable delays for rest breaks, boot adjustments, etc all seem to compound. Not only is the group constrained to the speed of the slowest hiker, but interruptions from anyone tend to impact everyone since there is little to buffer variability when people want to hike together.

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