PAM Summit 2014 – 7 habits of successful Agile PM and more…

End of June I spent a few days in the most beautiful (after Gdansk of course) city of Poland Cracow. I was invited by a local Project Management Institute (PMI)® branch to attend a project and analysis management event – PAM Summit.
I must admit that I like this kind of events where not only Project Managers, but also other professions meet together. This is an excellent opportunity to boost collaboration between PMs and Business Analysts as in reality we cooperate a lot.
The conference kicked off by Ryszard Kolodziej, PMI Cracow Branch Director and Agnieszka Gasperini, past PMI Poland Chapter President, started at 9:00 a.m. on the 23rd of June and gathered 300 participants in Stara Zajezdnia Kraków by DeSilva – an old tram switching station, renovated and adapted to a huge conferencing complex. 12 speakers, including Pierre E. Neis, Mark Smalley, Agnieszka Gasperini, Paul Turner, Pawel Felinski, Adrian Reed, Ewa Malia, Darryl Booker, Bartosz Grucza, Leigh Moyle and Paul Wilkinson presented on the first day and during the second day a few workshops were delivered, one of them by  Arie van Bennekum. In this post  I’m not planning to cover all of them, just to highlight a few ones.
Sander Hoogendoorn, Principal Technology Officer & Global Agile Thoughtleader at Capgemini (Netherlands) in his keynote opening session: Breaking Bad. Seven successful habits of successful Agile Project Managers explained why project managers are seen as overhead by development teams and what can be done to change this perception.
These 7 habits of successful Agile PM are:
  1. Process will not save you.
  2. We are not manufacturing. We are using the wrong metaphors! For example: How long do you need to build this feature? Software development is a creative process and it is very much non-linear!
  3.  Facilitate not dictate! Self-organisation is hard.
  4. Allow the team to learn. Well, of course software is different, and more complex than anything people have ever before attempted to engineer. But that’s why we have to loosen our structures, not tighten them. That’s why we must learn from any place we can, any way we can?. Gerald Weinberg, 1982.
  5. You are a part of your team. Ask your team how you can contribute.
  6. Trust the metrics. Those who do the work, do the estimate. Track the items, not the ETC’s. With creative work estimates are rarely linear. The world isn’t linear, so we need to learn to live with ambiguity!
  7. Manage the environment. Keep the politics out of the team, but don”’t hide the politics from the team!

Adrian Reed, Principal Consultant at Blackmetric / President at IIBA UK (UK), in second key note speech „Avoiding the dark, dead-ended rabbit holes: The importance of BA and PM collaboration before a project is initiated” stressed that successful projects need a clear direction and a definitive destination. This starts with a solid understanding of the business problem or opportunity that exists.

Some tips:
Project concept summary: WHY? WHAT? HOW?
WHY? Define problem statement.
WHAT? Define roles and goals. Define scope. CSF/KPIs
HOW? Prepare solution options.

Leigh Moyle, CEO at PMgurus, Entrepreneur, in presentation tilted „Getting the monsters out from under the bed – a new look at Risk Management” started from an age old story we are taught from childhood, suspecting there is a bad thing about to happen a wolf, dwarves, giants or some ugly stepsisters causing a drama of one kind or other. And then presented strategies and some of the psychology behind identifying, analysing and effectively dealing with potential negative events in a way that will help you minimise fear and maximise effectiveness in dealing with risks in your projects and in your life.

Understand how big is your monster and the choose the strategy. In the end of the day it might appear much smaller as you thought. More on risk attitude, the chosen response to risk and the psychology behind in one of my previous posts.
Thank you very much Agnieszka Kulczynska, PM of the event, and the whole great PMI Cracow Branch Team for making this happen and inviting me. I really enjoyed it and waiting for next year.

Project Management Institute, PMI are the registered trade marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.


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