Bridging Mindsets: Creating the Agile Practice Guide

Added to The Alliance

Recently, a team of practitioners with a variety of backgrounds, experiences, beliefs, and cultures has come together to collaborate on an Agile Practice Guide sponsored by Agile Alliance and Project Management Institute for publication in 2017. We are unique in that we represent what are considered very different organizations with dissimilar, even opposing, mindsets tasked with coming together in agreement. We have also learned that we all have the same outcome in mind – to provide both communities with something special. A usable guide that provides practitioners greater understanding of the applications of agility. An understanding as to the components in Agile that enables a shift in projects, programs and organizations to move further along the path of agility where beneficial…

Agile Practice Guide Team Vision: Enabling better results by equipping practitioners to become more agile and integrate additional tools through the application of situational guidelines.

Why is this important?

It’s important because we need to build a bridge between the communities of the two organizations and learn how to support each other. We need to become servant leaders and walk the talk. We, our communities and practitioners, often talk about PMI and Agile Alliance as opposing organizations, like we are political parties with completely opposing views. Like we are engaged in a battle for what is right or wrong in totality. In actuality, neither is completely right or completely wrong in and of itself. We and our communities of practitioners make it so by our words and actions. Both communities have within their DNA the relentless drive to deliver value and quality, to communicate openly and take the high road to resolution. Yet there is tension and a belief that “we are better than them” but who is “we” and who is “them”? And what does “better” mean in this context?

We often discuss Traditional Plan-Driven and Agile methods as if there is nothing that joins them together. As if they are absolutes and there is nothing in-between that may provide a pathway to moving between them. This is incorrect and in actuality there are far more projects, programs and organizations in the middle using a blend of methods. These are a hybrid of Plan-Driven and Agile methods, frameworks, tools and mindsets. Hybrid is a much broader representation of what is truly happening in most businesses rather than what is at either end of the spectrum.

The Agile Practice Guide is a collaborative effort to facilitate a more holistic and inclusive view and we would like to ask you, the members of both communities, to assist us in getting there. We will be blogging on many of the facets of this guide and we’re asking for your thoughtful feedback. Please join us in building a bridge to shared understanding. We believe this Agile Practice Guide will help many of us to accelerate our journey to excellence.


About the Authors

Agile Alliance is a nonprofit organization with global membership, supporting and serving the Agile software community since 2001. We support people who explore and apply Agile values, principles, and practices to make building software solutions more effective, humane, and sustainable. We share our passion to deliver software better every day.

Becky Hartman is an energized and organized professional with more than a decade of combined experience in both Traditional and Agile methodologies with a predominant focus in the Information Technology arena. An articulate, collaborative communicator at all levels of an organization, she possesses a strong ability to internalize and share knowledge critical to successful projects. Becky is a detail-oriented, results-focused, and self-motivated individual with a history of facilitating successful outcomes for both the organization and the project team no matter the methodology.

Mike has been involved in agile methods since 1994 when he helped create the agile approach DSDM (Dynamic Systems Development Method). Mike served on the board of the Agile Alliance and the Agile Project Leadership Network (APLN).

He presents at agile and project management conferences worldwide and writes on agile leadership for a number of publications including Cutter Consortium, and

Johanna Rothman, known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” offers frank advice for your tough problems. She helps leaders and teams do reasonable things that work. Equipped with that knowledge, they can decide how to adapt their product development.

With her trademark practicality and humor, Johanna is the author of 18 books about many aspects of product development. Her most recent books are the Modern Management Made Easy series, From Chaos to Successful Distributed Agile Teams, and Create Your Successful Agile Project. Find the Pragmatic Manager, a monthly email newsletter, and her blogs at and

Jesse Fewell is an author, coach, and trainer who helps senior
leaders from Boston to Beijing transform their organizations to
achieve more innovation, collaboration, and business agility. A
management pioneer, he founded and grew the original Agile
Community of Practice within the Project Management Institute (PMI),
has served on leadership subcommittees for the Scrum Alliance, and
written publications reaching over a half-million readers in eleven
languages. Jesse has taught, keynoted, or coached thousands of
leaders and practitioners across thirteen countries on 5 continents.
His industry contributions earned him a 2013 IEEE Computer Society
Golden Core Award.

No bio currently available.

Steve Matola is a Program Executive at Oracle Corporation, a provider of integrated Cloud Applications and Platform Services. A founding member of the Global Cloud Services PMO, Steve is a leader in delivery methods and management of programs that enable the successful delivery of Global Information Technology project.

Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of Maryland and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute since 2004.

Steve lives in Northern Arizona with his wife, Colette and enjoys hiking, music and playing soccer.

No bio currently available.

This is an Agile Alliance community blog post. Opinions represented are personal and belong solely to the author. They do not represent opinion or policy of Agile Alliance.

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