Last October I entered the Gaylord National with a little trepidation. The PMI North American Congress was taking place and I found out that several people I admire in the Agile space were going to be attending and speaking. Leading up to the major PMI event, I was hearing a lot of chatter about these “heretics” who were going to be presenting. In Washington DC, the PMP was king and few in the Federal space wanted to hear anything about adaptive planning, continuous elaboration, or focusing on delivering value to the customer. Project Managers were expected to predict the future, define process and then make damn sure you followed it, regardless if anything ever got delivered. So, I was very much surprised as I walked through the Gaylord and noticed poster after poster, display after display. “Are you Agile?”

Crossing The Chasm

Every Agile session I attended, PMI Vice President of Information Technology, Frank Schettini introduced the speaker and told the audience that he leads the team that is responsible for delivering value to PMI’s members, volunteer leaders, certification holders and staff through innovative and reliable technology solutions. He said that he was a strong supporter of the Agile Community and so was PMI.

Though the audience at one of the first Agile sessions was almost hostile towards the presenters, by the time Michele Sliger gave the final session on the final day, there was buzz in the halls of the Gaylord about how “this Agile thing” had taken the conference by storm.

While I was there at the conference, I was privately asked if I would be willing to assist PMI with the creation of an Agile certification. I was very apprehensive, at first. I didn’t want PMI “hijacking” Agile. I was assured that was not the case. I discovered those I respected most in the industry were already hard at work, making sure it was done right.

Agile was about to cross the chasm and PMI was going to make sure we made it to the other side.

But first, introductions were in order.