And, Now, It’s Your Turn

by Jean Richardson, PMP

I’ve just come from another meeting of a group of folks who are focusing on making the Agile community in Portland more supportive, more welcoming, and broader.  At that meeting, I told those assembled about the great PMI meeting in January led by our keynote speaker and educational session leader, Rod Collins.  I first heard Rod speak in an American Management Association webinar last year where he was introducing the concepts in his book, Wiki Management.  One of the attendees tonight had a copy of the book with him and was telling us how right on that book is in its message.

The interesting thing I noticed about Rod’s keynote last month was that he almost never used the term “agile,” but he used the term “adaptive” consistently.  He used the term “lean” occasionally.  And he talked liked an agilist all evening long.  Another thing I noticed was that the question he challenged the attendees with that night, “How would you build a team without creating a hierarchy” brought out a lot of agile thinking in the audience.  Highly ranked strategies included “create small teams of 5 to 7 people,” “allow the team to change work processes without getting permission,” and “work in short cycles.” 

Last June, Jeff Oltmann and I led a keynote on the topic “A Conversation About Predictive and Adaptive Project Management.”  Among the resources we drew on for that talk was the Agile Alliance’s Guide to Agile Practices.  And, frequently in this column for the last couple of years, I’ve cited the Agile Manifesto and Principles Behind the Agile Manifesto.

So this month, I want to hear from you. For the last three years, the chapter has increasingly created space for a conversation about the practice agile or adaptive methods in the sphere of project management.  Chapter leadership does listen to you, and as you have asked for more information, more presentations and articles have been provided.  This month, now that we have a commenting feature in the newsletter, I’d like to hear from you. 

How are you using agile principles, practices, methods, and frameworks on your projects?  You may or may not reference the links above.  Mostly, I want to hear your stories.  And, like one of my favorite human and fallible pundits, Frasier Crane, I’m listening.


About the Author

Jean Richardson is the Agile Community of Practice Chapter Engagement Representative for the Portland, Oregon chapter of PMI.  She is also an agile coach and project management professional with more than 20 years’ experience with clients in the Portland metro area.  Her initial agile training, the Certified Scrum Master (CSM) credential, was provided by Ken Schwaber, one of the two developers of the Scrum framework.  You can read her blog on leadership, agile, and project management at and link with her at You can correspond with her at

See her newly published InfoQ article We Need No Less Than Pervasive Leadership describing an approach to leading that supports agility.


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