Latest News About the PMI Agile (PMI-ACP) Certification

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PMI Agile Certification

Since PMI announced its Agile certification program a couple months back, there has been a ton of activity. Here are some specifics:

  • Chatter – The PMI Agile Community about the certification has featured some good dialog (PMI Members only link) about what it means. The most interesting is a webinar debate between Alistair Cockburn and James Shore on the pros/cons of certification. PMI members can download that webinar for free.
  • Momentum – PMI’s CIO gave at talk at last month’s Scrum Gathering conference in Seattle, where he revealed that more than 6,000 professionals have already registered for the pilot program. That’s more than triple the number of certification holders for PMI’s last 3 certifications COMBINED (PgMP, PMI-RP, PMI-SP). In case it wasn’t obvious already, people want this.
  • Training – Yes, I have built a PMI-Agile curriculum, which is being field-tested right now in India. But there are some other trainers that I am very excited to see also building a curriculum, including Ahmed Sidkey in Egypt, Mike Griffiths in Canada.
  • Resources – With a new landscape, comes experimentation. Some early offerings are starting to show up, from flash cards, to practice exams, and even some pre-published books. AgileScout has been reporting on some of these, so keep a look there as well.

As one of the people who helped shape this program, I’m pretty excited about the buzz. Given that the mission for this program is to increase the awareness and adoption of Agile PM, I’m already seeing an ROI on our efforts.

Use Innovation Games To Collaborate on Anything

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Last week, I attended the most awesomest, super-cool, rock-my-world training class on collaborative problem-solving. Luke Hohmann of the The Innovation Games® Company taught a class of 20 consultants how to use his Innovation Games approach to team facilitation. Not only was the class filled with some already very strong facilitators, but Luke was able to give us some concrete tools to go to the next level.

Seriously? Games at the office?

Luke talks about a sector of the game world called “Serious Games”. These “games” are actually interactive exercises designed to get work done and attack very real-world business problems. For example…

  • To understand what you need to improve, play Speed Boat.
  • To understand what features you need to build into your next product release, play Buy a Feature.
  • To understand new possibilities, play Product Box
  • To understand how & where your product fits into the market, play Spider Web


Seriously? Any Office Problem Can Be Made Into A Game?

The full package of Innovation Games consists of 12 different interactive exercises, which you can read about here. However, that’s not all. What really blew my mind was the possibility to turn any graphic into a collaborative tool. Here’s an example. Let’s say you want to get a sense of what questions we need to answer at each stage of a project. On a large paper printout of the project stages, team members will post a sticky note to the left side of each stage. Then, team members post on the right side of the project stages a set of interactive exercises we can perform to answer those questions. So, if at the portfolio level, we want to know which projects to prioritize, we can play Buy a Feature.


As a management trainer and coach, I already had a number of collaborative exercises in my toolkit. But now, I have over a dozen more to choose from, as well as the foundation to create an infinite number of situation specific games. If you are a trainer, speaker, consultant, or team leader, then I strongly recommend you go sign up for this course (not an affiliate link). It will make you dramatically better at working with knowledge teams.

Scrum Certification for Omaha Project Managers

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After such a great experience at the Infotec conference last week in Omaha, I’ve committed to go back next month to teach a special edition of “Certified ScrumMaster for Project Managers”.

Granted, this will be similar to my other 2-day certification classes in Agile Project Management, where we discuss making the leap from traditional plan-driven PM to using the Scrum method in real-world situations. However, this will be a special session, in that I am co-teaching with Sally Elatta of AgileTransformations.com . Sally has established herself as *the* Agile coach in the midwest by serving big name clients over last 6 years.

If you are a midwest Project Manager, and you’ve been waiting for the right opportunity to get exposed to Agile Project Management, this is that opportunity. You get strong foundational training, the certification, and networking with one of the most important experts in the region.

Here are the details:

  • Class: Certified ScrumMaster for Project Managers
  • Date: May 18-19, 2010
  • Location: Omaha, NE (Venue information provided upon registration)
  • Price: $1,190 for General Admission
                   $1,090 for members of the Heartland or IA PMI Chapters
  • PDUs: 16

Scrum Certification for DC Project Managers

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CSM in Rockville

I’m thrilled to announce that Excella will be hosting its very first public Certified ScrumMaster course in the Washington DC area.

We’ll be hosting the class in Rockville, right on the red line. I’m still negotiating with a couple candiate venues to ensure the best possible experience. Once I’ve picked a winning facility, I’ll post an update here.

Here are the details:

Scrum Certification for South Florida PMs

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To those of you in the sunshine state, I will be teaching a Certified ScrumMaster class next month on behalf of the PMI South Florida Chapter.

I’m particularly excited about this session, because we’ll be tailoring the material specifically for every day project managers who have been trained in PMI circles. So, we’ll be covering Scrum for sure, but we’ll also talk about converting burndowns to EVM, how to work with CMMI, and most especially where the PM fits in an Agile environment. And we’ll be doing it hands-on exercises of real-world business scenarios.

Here are the details:

  • Class: Certified ScrumMaster for Project Managers
  • Date: March 18-19, 2010
  • Location: Westin at Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  • Price: $1,400 for general admission ($1,200 for members of PMI South Florida)
  • PDUs: 16