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15 October 2013

What does Agile Project Management mean?

Tonight in Melbourne we ran a discussion about Agile Project Managers with a bunch of Project Managers who are experienced with agile development, and a bunch of agile development people who are interested in project management.  For people who view this that were not at the event I'll describe what happened and a couple of insights I came away with.

Peter Lam, our facilitator broke us into two groups; project managers on one side of the room, everyone else on the other. I joined in the PM team for the discussion.

The next step Peter seeded in 3 parallel questions into each group which we discussed and summarised in 15 minute rounds;

1. Why is PM/Agile (depending on which group) valuable/useful?
2. What is it about Agile/PM that is threatening?
3. What do sponsors care about?


We then broke for pizza (thanks ThoughtWorks) before coming back to one large group and putting the conversations on the whiteboard and shared key points back with the other group, shared responses to criticisms, etc

Peter than facilitated a bit of synthesis to wrap us up - "So what does this all add up to?"

You can check the whiteboard notes from the conversation in the session photos here.


Some key points that resonated with me were that from both perspectives the failures, threats, pain from the other camp were all straw men, and the issues are all about fear and uncertainty... which brings us back to culture and conversations.

Thank you Peter for a great structured conversation, that despite going for 2 hours was engaging all the way through.