So, now I’ve spent 2 days with 600 projects managers at a PMI conference. Totally different from the usual crowds I hang out with. Fascinating to hear stories about project management successes and failures in all kinds of industries – from warzone reconstruction projects to eurovision song contest.
I was a bit nervous (OK more than a bit) getting up at the biggest-ever scandinavian gathering of project managers – and illustrating to them how the standard project model really doesn’t fit well for IT product development, and how companies like Spotify actually don’t have PMs and don’t do projects (at least not the type defined by PMI)
I was happily surprised though. Instead of getting attacked for it, scores of PMs came up to me, agreeing with me, sharing similar experiences, and inspired to try agile principles in their own projects and industries.
And biggest positive surprise of all – the final keynote by Dr. Harold Kerzner, major thought leader in PM space who has written over 50 college textbooks on project management! He listed like 30 things that are wrong with traditional project management as tought in PMI textbooks, and where it all is heading in the future. He described it as a fundamental paradigm shift from PM 1.0 to PM 2.0.
According to Dr Kerzner, agile values and methods like Scrum are examples of the future of project management, and I was positively surprised at how well his description of PM 2.0 rhymed with agile values.
So what I saw was convergence – experts and practitioners arriving at the same conclusions, coming from lots of different directions. A magical feeling.
I’ve suspected it before, but talking to all these experts has made it clear to me – agile is a universal thing, way beyond just software.
I’m so glad I took the courage to get out of my comfort zone and meet these people. I wish more agile trainers and coaches would get out of the echo-chamber of agile conferences and see what’s going on in the wider world
(some sample slides from my talk below)