Project Management

Agile Consulting

Mike Griffiths is an experienced project manager, author and consultant who works for PMI as a subject matter expert. Before joining PMI, Mike consulted and managed innovation and technology projects throughout Europe, North and South America for 30+ years. He was co-lead for the PMBOK Guide—Seventh Edition, lead for the Agile Practice Guide, and contributor to the PMI-ACP and PMP exam content outlines. Outside of PMI, Mike maintains the websites www.LeadingAnswers.com about leading teams and www.PMillustrated.com, which teaches project management for visual learners.

April’s theme at ProjectManagement.com is “consulting,” and in this article I examine the world of agile consulting and coaching. I distinguish consulting as providing advice, solutions and information; whereas coaching is more asking (hopefully insightful) questions and leading clients to find their own answers and grow in capability.

Depending where people are in their careers, their agile adoption and their corporate culture, some people want a consultant, others a coach and sometimes they want a blend. The goal is to add more value than you cost and help organizations be successful by avoiding common pitfalls and accelerating their success.

Getting Started
Personally, I was hesitant to get into agile consulting and coaching. Despite being involved in the creation of DSDM in 1994, the more I read and practiced, the more I discovered every organization and every project is very different. It felt like I had much more to learn before declaring myself an expert for hire. As your knowledge increases, so too does your exposure to all the things currently just beyond your proficiency that you do not know yet and should learn next.

So, the more I learned, the more I discovered there was so much more to learn! However, there comes a point when you realize that you already know enough to be helping people that are less experienced—and that helps …


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"Only those who have been in the frying pan are really qualified to talk about the heat."

- Winston Churchill

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