Scrum Gathering – Orlando Florida – Greg from the PMI

Gregory Balestrero

PLEASE NOTE: this article is based on my own notes from the talk given by Gregory Balestrero.  Any errors or omissions are my own.

Note: Tobias Mayer has written a nice analysis of this talk.

Worry about transformation of industry to become results focused

– fear and uncertainty
– in many countries optimism has turned to fear
– leaders and everyone else!
– many governments struggling because they can’t get assistance from private sector
– move government to understand portfolio management of 800 billion dollars
example article here
– 55% of PMI members are saying projects cut back or terminated
– NYT saying these economic hardships are an opportunity


Sound here is difficult: it’s muddy, and it’s not compressed enough.  I’m having a hard time hearing Gregory speak.


Economic challenges are a great opportunity to manage well

PMI 1/2 million members – double digit growth
Scrum 50k members

PMI undergoing change for a long time
– break down the myths on both sides
– I’m a barrier breaker
– transformation in the development of standards
– joke about PMBoK – Demons
– recognized iterative

“We don’t recognize and brand anything” – literal quote

Credentials are changing
– PGMP (program management)
– Risk and Schedule credentials
– knowledge vs. competency based credentials
– building communities (Specific Interest Groups – vertical communities)
– – 31 discrete bodies of knowledge
– – difficult to navigate
– taken 5 years, reinvigorated governance
– first new community of practice: agile community
– – EDITOR’S NOTE: this is actually pretty cool
– organizational focus – shifting to include helping organizations, not just practicing project managers
– – EDITOR’S NOTE: it took them 40 years to figure out this was needed
– we have legacy
– started by people from a particular background
– here out of respect
– Questions about PMI, Demons, Collaboration


1) Problems with economy – unable to react to changes in demand. This is more about Product management, not Project management.  how can we help Product managers do a better job?

– integration of Product and Project management is important.  Change in demand – telecomm moving towards a six-month lifecycle. E.g. one org going from 8-9 month lifecycle to halve that.  Project mgmt. can help with this.
– laying off people is causing long-term problems
– quarterly earnings is the wrong focus

2) Greg Smith with Thoughtworks.  Open to collaboration between PMI and ScrumAlliance.  Could you encourage PMP’s to seek CSM certifications?

– already happening that people are doing this
– as far as encouraging… figure out the fit – does it make sense to use a particular approach?  Will PMPs or CSM’s be automatically be accepted?
– org won’t necessarily allow the use of these principles
– what will best meet needs of these two
– collaboration on credentials? where is the common ground… share knowledge… then see where credentials

3)  From State Farm, CSM and PMP.  Research that PMI is conducting?  Independently or partnering with ScrumAlliance in risk management or quality management.

– no collaboration at this time
– just recently created a risk management standard and credential
– great deal of research that went into this
– standard on risk is available to members
– this cuts across methods

EDITOR’S NOTE: Gregory seems to be too high up to address many of the questions satisfactorily.  I wish someone would ask a question about the organization of the PMI, rather than the details of Scrum or PMBoK.

4) Mark from Renewtech. Questions about labelling – “project manager” vs. “agile project manager”.

– people can call themselves whatever they want
– credentials from an organization are different
– critical in hiring (body of knowledge, competency)
– “Agile Project Manager” – nice branding but what does it mean?

5) Product Owner, previously PM with PMP.  PM responsibilities divided between PO and SM.

– didn’t answer directly – claimed only personal experience not enough to answer
– “fit”

6) Can agile/scrum events be used as Continuing education units?

– basically, yes… submit forms to request PDUs

Ken Schwaber asked for show of hands for PMPs in the audience.  I’d guess about 1/5 to 1/4 raised their hands.

Honestly, I think this guy probably has a lot of valuable stuff to contribute.  Most executives do.  But I think that this audience did not see the opportunity.

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