Conference Archive

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My AgileDC 2011 Session

AgileDC has come and gone but not without sharing memories with old friends and new.  It was great to meet Rory McCorkle of PMI, Howard Sublett of Big Visible, and countless others.  Peter Saddington (of AgileScout) and I even had a chance to hang out, go out for steaks, and have a few drinks.

I have to say, AgileDC was a great event.  It was sold out and I scrambled to get tickets for my PMI-ACP learners.  There is something very cool about conferences.  Everyone there has something in common.  Foolishly, I thought I had to pick between the PMI Congress and the AgileDC event.  Jesse Fewell proved that it can be done.  Since we haven’t had a chance to meet up face-to-face since the PMI NAC 2010, it was great to catch up a little.  As long as the PMI Congress 2012 is not scheduled on the same day as AgileDC next year, I plan to be there.  Now I just need to get my session ready to submit to PMI!

I want to thank everyone who attended my session, When PMI Introduced the Elephant in the Room.  I’ll save details about my session for another blog post. Special thank you to Tonianne DeMaria Barry , co-author of Personal Kanban for attending my session.  Strange how you can “know” so many people from Twitter and never meet them in person.  I guess I just need to get out more.

My session was well received (no fruits or vegetables were thrown) and I received some really positive feedback.  The common note was “Wanted to hear more about the PMI-ACP”.

I even convinced Richard Chang of Excella to wear a muscle suit!  In appreciation to him putting him self out there and being an Agile Leader, I won’t publish the photos of him.  What happened at AgileDC will stay at AgileDC.

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Speaking at AgileDC 2011

I’m happy to announce that I will be speaking at AgileDC 2011.  My session, When PMI Introduced the Elephant in the Room, will be part of the Enterprise Agile track.

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?”

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 of the conference, there was buzz in the halls of the Gaylord about how “this Agile thing” had taken the conference by storm.

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.


I will talk about the current state of Agile and how I see the landscape changing, with the introduction of the new PMI Agile certification.  I will compare and contrast the PMI-ACPsm to the PMP® as well make some predictions for things to come.

Now, don’t come to just hear me talk!  This year, the keynote speakers will be Agile luminaries Ken Schwaber and Sanjiv Augustine.  It should a great conference.  If you’re interested in 15% discount, please contact me directly.

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And so the Party Begins

I’m sitting backstage, enjoying the show.  Ty Kiisel and Raechel Logan are onstage and doing an awesome job.  The Keynote today, at the conference, is actually going to be the Talking Work podcast.  There’s a live band, several hundred people in the audience, and the stage looks like the set of The Tonight Show.  I’m sitting backstage, sipping my water and listening to Donna Fitzgerald speak.  I wonder to myself, what is Ty going to want to talk about?  Before I answer my own question, I notice one of the people backstage approaching me, as he mouths something into his radio. He smiles at me and says, “They’re about ready for you, Derek.  If you would please, got ahead and get into position.”  I remember from the rehearsal the night before that I was to go stand on an X and wait for the lights to come on.   …and so the party begins.

The entire WorkOut 2011: TalkingWork Keynote lasted about 1 hour and 26 minutes.  I modified the embedded YouTube link so that it would advance to just before I came on.  But, I would really recommend you go back to the beginning and watch the whole thing.  Donna had some excellent talking points. I don’t want to say what anyone talked about.  It’s so much better letting them speak for themselves, via the video.  Ty and Raechel were amazing hosts and AtTask blew me away by the level of quality this event had.

So, sit back and enjoy the show.  And could someone please tell me where the hell that green feather went!? (Don’t worry, you’ll find out)
Since this post was written, the Keynote video has been changed to “private”.  It looks like each of the interviews will have their own video on YouTube.

I have a quote by Seth Godin that has recently become my mantra. He wrote

Go, give a speech. Go, start a blog. Go, ship that thing that you’ve been hiding. Begin, begin, begin and then improve. Being a novice is way overrated.

Thank you again to Ty and Raechel for inviting me out to Utah, to enjoy your event and share in the wonderful conversations.

What I’ve heard Ty say rings true.

It doesn’t matter what we do.  It doesn’t matter what industry we’re in or even what our role is.  We all share one thing in common.  And that is we all work.


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Veni Vidi Loquor

Julius Caesar, in recognition of his overwhelming victory against Pharnaces II of Pontus, sent a simple, but powerful message back to Rome and the Senate: “VENI VIDI VICI“, I came, I saw, I conquered.  My message back to Washington DC and my Project Management colleagues: “VENI VIDI LOQUOR”, I came, I saw, I spoke.

It’s now been a solid week since I left for home from the AtTask Work Management Summit (WorkOut2011), in Salt Lake City.  I was asked to come out to Utah and be a speaking guest of the conference.  I basically ran two themes:  [1] Balanced project management through the use of Agile concepts [2] Project Management Zombies.

I had the opportunity to participate on a panel the first day I was there and then was part of the keynote the next.  The keynote was by far the highlight of my trip, sharing the stage with Ty Kiisel and Raechel Logan (The hosts of TalkingWork), Donna Fitzgerald (Research Director at Gartner), and Scott Johnson (Founder and CEO of AtTask).

WorkOut 2011 was nothing short of spectacular.   From the exceptional venue (The Grand American Hotel), to the passionate and approachable people, to the forward thinking product design, I am in awe of what AtTask delivered.

Because I spoke completely unscripted, I’ll have to wait until the YouTube videos comes out (I’ve been told by the Firm Snapp Conner PR, my panel talk and the Keynote will be out soon) to see exactly what I said.  Fortunately, a few people in the audience quoted me in their tweets.

“One of our failings in this day and age is we forget we’re working with people.”

“Inspire more people from the bottom up, empower them to become leaders”

“Remember you’re not managing resources – you’re managing people”

“Don’t judge zombies [on a project] they don’t know what they’re doing”

Thank you, everyone, for the memories! I look forward to seeing you all again.

Photo: Bryant Livingston

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The Day of The Keynote

imageThis morning I had the honor of sharing the keynote stage with Ty Kiisel and Raechel Logan (The hosts of TalkingWork), Donna Fitzgerald (Research Director at Gartner), and Scott Johnson (Founder and CEO of AtTask). From the picture, you can see the size of the crowd that would fill the room a short time later.

This was an amazing experience. It’s one thing to present a topic in a conference session. It is a very unique experience to just have a good time in front of an audience of up to 500.

I really enjoyed talking to people throughout the day, answering questions about agile implementations and having them ask my advice to their challenges.

Though I’ll keep this post short, I will be back to my normal posts, upon my return to the East Coast. This experience has given me the carity I needed to know I am going in the right direction.