The Agility of PMI

From the PMI Global Insights Blog
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The Project Management Institute's annual events attract some of the most renowned and esteemed experts in the industry. In this blog, Global Conference, EMEA Congress and experienced event presenters past, present and future from the entire PMI event family share their knowledge on a wide range of issues important to project managers.

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Now that I've had a couple of days at home after the close of PMI Global, I wanted to reflect on the positive things I observed, heard and otherwise inferred about PMI, based on the actions of the organization. Of course, this is my own opinion, but I'm hoping many of you will also agree with me!

Overall I feel that PMI has finally, officially, opened the door on true agility and applying flexible, adaptable project management processes, in our ever-increasing world of ongoing change.

I believe this is a very positive shift, and not only validates the many methodologies that exist, but also allows project managers to be at peace with the methodologies they choose to apply to their unique situations. 

I have to admit that, in previous years, it seemed there was a bit of resistance to change in methodologies by PMI - something I disagreed with. There seemed to be a hold out, to hang on to the remnants of a waterfall-driven approach to projects.

As a change agent, I find this understandable, given the heavy focus of past issues of PMI's PMBOK and standard practices that have given steady direction to many a project manager over the years. In their defence, why change a good thing, right?

But, as I always encourage, change is here, and change is good! It is our only way to continue to succeed in our changing world!

I believe these shifts started a while ago, with the exploration of Agile, and then the introduction of the Agile Certified Practitioner, alongside the other certification options. I would say, however, that the application of Agile methodologies had still been referred to as something practiced primarily in the IT sectors. As if agility is not relevant for everyone - but this, too, I see continuing to shift, as all agile things should.

With the inclusion of some language around agility in the newest PMBOK edition, there seems to be more acceptance that agility is more of a way to work through any type of project - with collaboration, flexibility, and iteration - so that we can simply achieve the best solutions, and deliver those valued benefits each of our customers want and need. With this, I can agree - and it doesn't stop with Agile.

Upon being asked to partake in the Expert series, and with the acceptance of my presentation abstract (focused on Lean approaches), it became even more apparent that PMI is moving to a world of supporting Change in the project management world.

The entire conference was framed around "Difference Makers, Change Makers" - asking all of us how we will forge new paths moving forward. The lineup of presentations included highlights about many different approaches, including various combinations of hybrid agile, lean, and waterfall.

There was also plenty of focus on the softer side of things, including engagement, collaboration, communication, emotional intelligence, and other leadership skills - to help facilitate the creation of positive team environments and applying various strategies successfully.

In all of this, I have a much stronger appreciation for PMI and it's open-mindedness to embrace such change. In its ambitions to be able to both continue to support its membership with change, and to help lead it too.

I look forward to continuing my support for the membership - whether it be through strategizing and implementing ongoing changes, by way of blogging, hosting webinars, or otherwise training and coaching folks who just might get a little lost along the way with all of these shifts.

If you want a little help, you have a way to reach me...simply connect and send me an email!

Change and collaboration are my forte, and in my opinion, the only perspectives to start with.

I urge you to open your minds, and engage with your peers - what is your opinion? And what is theirs? What is the best strategy to deliver the greatest value from the unique project that you've taken on?

And how can you work together to make your project sing? 

Posted by Karen Chovan on: November 02, 2017 11:39 AM | Permalink

Comments (8)

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Change can start at the individual level, real change involve team, group, organisation,.....
Thanks

Very good perspective and thanks for sharing. Darwin's theory on evolution didn't say the strongest will survive, it the ones most able to adapt. And change doesn't mean abandoning everything from the past - there are times an old tool might be the best for the job.

I would submit that it's a combination of being open to new things and understanding that sometimes the old things might be the most appropriate. I guess we're back to critical thinking, creative problem solving, and general expert knowledge are the keys to the future. But those may only matter if you are a continuous learning and a person will to take risks, and fail, retry, fail again, retry, succeed !

Vincent, I absolutely agree - individual mindsets first, then help it progress by showing the benefits to all!

David, I love it - creative problem solving using the knowledge of the collective to figure things out in some iterative fashion. Taking risks, in order to succeed, learn and grow...

I suspect PMBOK and Agile will walk hand in hand for some years to come.

The question is do we change for the sake of change.

Great article, and as Frances Hesselbein said "Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organization is transformed – the culture reflects the realities of people working together every day"

Thank you for the valued information!

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