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Anti PMI Open Space

Page history last edited by dave@... 11 years, 6 months ago


The session was intended to create an opportunity for anyone participating in Open Space who had issues/concerns/anxiety over the involvement of PMI at the Scrum Gathering to have a chance to voice their concerns. My stated intent was just to capture their concerns so that I could take them back to PMI and make sure they were aware of people’s concerns.


A number of people showed up and the conversation revolved not around anxiety of problems with PMI, but around questions of how to reconcile some of the apparent differences in everything from approach, to role, to semantics.


Key take away observations, points, issues, and questions are captured below in no particular order:


  • Scrum allows for imperfection. The point is to get better. There is a perception that the PMBOK wants you to be perfect the first time.
  • A “Scrum, but …” approach has taken on a negative connotation (during the Gathering), while a “PMBOK, but…” approach is expected and viewed positively.
  • Question raised  -“Is there anything to be learned from PMI (by the Scrum/Agile community?)
  • Do we have to tag things as being of one “church” or the other?
  • Agile is an easy scapegoat (when projects fail). PMI/PMP is also an easy scapegoat (when projects fail).
  • How can a Scrum person ease the transition for a PMP coming over to Agile? (Moderator note: It was discussed that this transition was a very difficult one to make.)
  • How do you determine where a PMP is on the scale of Agile adoption?
  • How do to demonstrate value of adopting an Agile approach to a waterfall person?
  • Good people make good decisions. But, if the PMBOK is a starter guide, PMI does not teach its’ folks to remove the training wheels. It is often about process zealotry. Why does PMI/OPM3 not address this?
  • PMBOK assumes a beginner level
  • Maybe the (generalized) issues with PMI/PMP Certification is the people.
  • PMI is perceived to exist for the growth and spread of PMI. The Scrum Alliance is perceived to exist for the spread of the Scrum practices.
  • PMPs often have a negative view of Agile.
  • Even if PMI embraces Agile, a PMBOK approach may not allow for a pure Agile approach.
  • PMI not doing enough to overtly support an Agile approach
  • “You can’t do waterfall and do Agile”
  • There is no common understanding on either side (PMI/Agile) of what the other actually is
  • People struggle with semantics and mapping between PMBOK and Agile, but there is little focus on the intent of either approach -> to get the work done in the quickest, most efficient manner possible.
  • There is anxiety based on a difference in starting point for where to begin managing and working.
  • The two systems address different problems (or approach them from a different place). They are completely different things that get in the way of each other. Scrum operationalizes the work and pulls it from the project domain.
  • There is a question of whether or not a Scrum team would object to following the PMBOK processes, if so, why?
  • People are hung up on practices to the point that they forget why they are following them in the first place.
  • The (PMBOK) kitchen sink approach draws in people who want to hide behind the process. (There are less places to hide in Scrum because of the transparency)
  • PMP is perceived to be an ego validator.


Attendees who want to be updated via email when notes are posted:








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