Where I Work

Where I Work
http://www.leadingagile.com/

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Scrum Gathering - Day 2

Day 2 at the Scrum Gathering is about Open Space. If you’ve not been to one before, it is a very organic experience. There are very few rules, but one of them is that the attendees propose topics at the start of the day.

Jesse Fewell and I both stood up to propose topics. Jesse held a session for all the folks interested in PMIAgile and I held one that was intended to be a place where anyone who had issues or concerns with PMI attending the Scrum Gathering could come and talk about their issues with it. My hope was to capture the concerns and take them back to PMI.

There was a good turnout in the room and it was a very lively debate about the different ideas/concerns around the topic. These will all be posted to the wiki on the Scrum Alliance site as soon as I get home, but there were a few things that struck me today around the whole PMI and Scrum Alliance topic.

The first thing I noticed was that people keep getting hung up on the language issues and concerns about how to map which process to what in the other. This presents a significant hurdle for a lot of folks. “If I do X in your process what is that represented in my process?” The problem with this is that the real issue is not a semantic one, or a mapping one. The real problem is the fact that there is no focus on intent for the people in this conflict. Both approaches want to solve the project as quickly and efficiently as possible. There are different ways, but sadly, a lot of people are too busy making sure they are firmly planted in one camp or the other to understand that it really just does not matter because it is about doing the work.

Having typed all this, I should confess that I do have one concern coming out of day 2. I have had discussions with a number of folks about the role of a project manager in Scrum, or the role of a Scrum Master in project management. Each has a pure approach and for me, in what I do, I blend them together whenever and however I need to in order to get the work done. I do not feel compelled to take up for one side over the other and I don’t believe either is better than the other. I think it depends entirely on the people doing it. Two concerns here: 1) Most people are too caught up in semantics to worry about the intent to deliver and 2) How much of a threat is my approach to the purists? There are a lot of people worried about how PMI might impact the Agile space. There isn’t really anything in place to prevent something bad from happening beyond the people involved.

Anyway, I had some great conversations today, especially with Tobias Mayer, the folks who attended the Scrum Sessions and Michele Sliger.

One more day. I’m looking forward to getting some interviews tomorrow.

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Pictures will be posted to http://www.flickr.com/photos/pmiittelecom/
Or you can see both on the IT&T SIG website: http://www.pmi-ittelecom.org