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Anthony Mersino
Chicago, IL
Agile Transformation Coach who is passionate about helping Teams THRIVE and Organizations TRANSFORM.
Recent Activity
I am looking for one or more outstanding individuals to join my high performance team as a trainer and/or course developer. The individual will be responsible to develop and deliver Agile Training courses and workshops. Must be passionate about learning and helping others to learn and grow. Duties and Responsibilities: Develop a mastery of Agile, Scrum, Kanban and Lean. Leverage firsthand experience of Agile methods to develop appropriate training materials. Tailor delivery of existing courses to the needs of the audience. Connect and engage with training course participants and provide them with a meaningful experience that leaves a lasting impression.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2014 at The Agile PMO
I hope that you haven't taken my absence from writing as a sign of lack of interest. For just over a year now I have been working on an Agile training guide, Agile Project Management for Teams. It is based on a class I have been teaching at Northwestern University that has attracted a lot of interest so hopefully the training guide will also be interesting and helpful. Watch this blog for a launch in September 2014 through Prodevia Learning. Quite on the contrary, I think that the topic of Agile for PMs and PMOs is even more relevant today.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2014 at The Agile PMO
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Two conversations in two days have concerned me in my role of agile coach. In the first, I had a product owner and his assistant expressing frustration at the current pace of development for 3 scrum teams. In the second conversation, an assistant to the product owner, similarly concerned, asked the scrum master for the team to begin to track who on the team was working. In both cases, the product owner for the team lacked trust and wanted to push or motivate the team in some way. Which led to my question, how do you motivate agile teams? Traditional... Continue reading
Posted Nov 5, 2013 at The Agile PMO
I have an exciting project that I am working on and I am looking for 3-4 people to join me to complete the project. Historically I have completed all my writing projects by locking myself in a dungeon (my basement office), and toiling away alone for long hours. Does that sound fun or productive to you? It wasn't! Recently I have found that I am avoiding the dungeon and my writing, in this blog and on my other projects. So I am going to try something different, and that is to work in a team. I want to bring the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 3, 2013 at The Agile PMO
Hi Sharman, I'm happy to share the content, just be sure to attribute it to this blog and me as author. Thanks and good luck! Anthony
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I am excited! Last year I made two predictions about the PMI Agile Certification. In a post in September 2012, I predicted that the PMI-ACP certifications would top 2,000 by the end of 2012. This was when the total number of PMI-ACP holders was only 1,141. Then in my post in October 2012, I predicted that the Agile Certification would surpass PMI's Risk Certification, PMI-RMP. As of January 2013, both of these predictions have come true! Within one year of being introduced, the PMI-ACP has become the third most popular PMI Certification. I'm rarely right about my predictions, so pardon... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2013 at The Agile PMO
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For those of you in the Chicago area, I am excited about an invitation-only event I am hosting on March 21. The topic is, Agile Adoption - What's the Payoff?, and it will feature speakers from Nokia/Navteq and our very own Sally Elatta of Agile Transformation. The purpose is to provide a forum for senior managers who are passionate or interested in Agile to network and learn from each other. We are meeting at Maggiano's downtown and lunch will be included. This is going to be an exciting opportunity to join the discussion on Agile Adoption. Below is a short... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2013 at The Agile PMO
A subscriber to this blog, who I will call Chen (since that is his name), wrote me recently to ask how he could become an Agile PMO Quickly. He wanted to know what resources I could share with him to help in his development process. I thought it was a a great question, and apparently one that I hadn't yet answered effectively in this blog. I initially responded to Chen that one doesn't necessarily "become" an Agile PMO, as much as they become more agile as a PMO. I am not sure we ever arrive, so to speak, and become... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2013 at The Agile PMO
I do a lot of work with organizations who are beginning to pilot or adopt Agile in their teams. Sometimes the PMO is leading the introduction of Agile, and sometimes they aren't. And sometimes there is no PMO. Agile transformations require buy in and support of the individuals and teams who are impacted. Everyone who is involved in the transformation needs to move through a personal change process, and they need to buy in to the concept and to the benefits that the organization expects to get from Agile. When there is a PMO, it seems that everyone who is... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2012 at The Agile PMO
As I noted in a previous post, I have been working on the second edition of Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers. Thankfully, I was able to turn in the manuscript on time today, so that is no longer hanging over my head! The second edition includes a new chapter on Success with Agile Teams. Anyone who has used Agile methods will attest to the fact that leading Agile teams is not the same as leading traditional teams. There are a lot of challenges for those of us who have a lot of experience managing traditional project teams. Agile teams are... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2012 at The Agile PMO
As I noted in my last post, I am working on the second edition of Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers. Thankfully, I was able to send the manuscript on time today, so that is no longer hanging over my head!... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2012 at EQ4PM
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A few weeks ago I posted on the PMI-ACP and noted it was the fastest growing PMI Certification. I just saw the October 2012 update from PMI, which reports as of August 2012, and thought I would share the updated certification numbers here. I still hold to my prediction that the Agile Certified Practioner certification will overtake Risk certification before the end of 2012 to become the 3rd most popular PMI certification. If you are interested in getting the PMI-ACP, I have some courses that I will be teaching in Milwaukee and Chicago later this year. You can get more... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2012 at The Agile PMO
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In my previous post, I noted that some of the speakers at the recent PMI Chicagoland Professional Development Day were bashing Agile. They were derisive and dismissed Agile as 'nothing new'. The speakers may be right that Agile is nothing new, however, they missed the point. The point is NOT about the newness of Agile; the point is whether people are using project management methods that are effective. Most IT projects are not deemed successful, based on the Standish Group Chaos Studies that measure project effectiveness based on traditional project management standards (on time, on budget, and with required functionality).... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2012 at The Agile PMO
I attended the PMI Chicagoland Professional Development Day (PDD) yesterday and observed some subtle Agile Bashing going on. I suspect this behavior is probably happening across most large organizations, as a reaction to the growing popularity of Agile. This is an area where the PMO can step in and provide leadership. Let's start with the PDD. It was well organized with a variety of speakers on a diverse set of topics. Because there were multiple tracks, I only attended a fraction of the possible tracks. What I observed some of the speakers doing which was a subtle form of Agile... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2012 at The Agile PMO
On most Monday mornings over the last 5 months, you would have found me on a 6am United flight heading from Chicago to Washington DC. For the last two months, I was jarred out of my early Monday morning nap by the pre-flight safety video featuring United CEO and President Jeff Smisek. I have nothing against Jeff, but whenever he claimed that bigger was more Agile, it struck me as patently false. Since when is bigger more Agile? Every week my reaction to Jeff's words were swift and violent. I would go from half asleep to wide awake, and I... Continue reading
Posted Sep 22, 2012 at The Agile PMO
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The numbers are out and it looks like the Agile Certification, or PMI-ACP, is the fastest growing PMI certification. As of July 2012, there were 1,141 individuals holding the credential. This includes about 500 individuals who were part of the pilot program for the certificate and received their certification at the end of 2011. (I received my own certification in January and posted about it on this blog.) I think that there will be over 2,000 Agile Certified Practioners by the end of 2012. That would put the annual growth rate at nearly 300%, making it the fastest growing PMI... Continue reading
Posted Sep 14, 2012 at The Agile PMO
I am working on the second edition of my emotional intelligence book and one of the things I am excited about is adding a whole new chapter on how emotional intelligence (EQ) is applied in Agile teams. This includes all... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2012 at EQ4PM
I am working on the second edition of my emotional intelligence book and one of the things I am excited about is adding a whole new chapter on how emotional intelligence (EQ) is applied in Agile teams. This includes all those soft skills that Agile team leaders, scrum masters, project managers and other stakeholders need. This is going to be a combination of the two things I am very passionate about so I am excited to dig in. Also, with the growth of Agile methods in organizations, I think the second edition would be incomplete if it did not address... Continue reading
Posted Sep 9, 2012 at The Agile PMO
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Anyone who has been around projects long enough has had the experience of a troubled, or at least challenged project. As a problem project guy, I've been through my fair share of challenged projects. In the last few years since becoming an Agile enthusiast, I've been using Agile to recover troubled projects. Mostly it works. (Hint: it doesn't work if you violate the Agile Principles and Values). This is the third in the series on applying Agile to recover troubled projects. The Problem Project This particular project was actually a program of 5 projects that was underway for 7 months... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2012 at The Agile PMO
Last week I posted about a successful application of Agile to a troubled project. It was the first time I had attempted this, and it worked beautifully to get the project back on track. From the time we applied Agile, we had transparency and predictability. Following that successful recovery, I began to apply Agile to nearly every project I led. I joined an SAP implementation team as the PMO lead in the Spring of 2009. In my enthusiasm, I proposed some of the scrum ceremonies like iterations, burndowns and backlogs. The SAP methodology people came down hard on me, and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 18, 2012 at The Agile PMO
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I am delivering a presentation in October for the PMI Milwaukee Chapter titled Applying Agile and Lean to Everyday Projects. One type of everyday project that I think is important is the really messed up project. My experience has shown that troubled projects can significantly benefit from Agile Adoption. This is the first of 3 posts on using Agile methods to recover failing projects. In this post, I will take a look at the first project that I introduced to Agile back in 2008. My second post will look at a case where Agile did not help a troubled project... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2012 at The Agile PMO
Agile enthusiasts know that one of the 12 Agile Principles relates to a consistent practice of pausing and reflecting. "At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly. " Though not exactly a retrospective, I did have the opportunity to take a well-earned break last week. I slowed down my pace and was completely off the grid for 4 full days. It was AWESOME! I came back to work yesterday and felt like I actually liked people again! I am telling you all this to say I didn't post last... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2012 at The Agile PMO
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I nearly called this post, "So where do I book my time for this meeting?" because that is the type of question that frustrates me most, especially during early team formation. This post on team formation is the third installment in my series of posts on Agile culture change. Most project managers have learned about Tuckman's stages of team development: forming, storming, norming and performing. The idea is that new teams naturally move through the first 3 stages before they are able to start performing well as a team. The challenge is, how do we get teams to the performing... Continue reading
Posted Jul 27, 2012 at The Agile PMO
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Last week I posted on how Agile drives Culture Change at the team and individual level. This post looks at how Agile drives culture change at the organization level. Change still occurs at the team and individual level, but the impact is on the distribution of power and control at the organization level. Many organizations find themselves in a power struggle between two groups of people who both feel that they are smarter than the other. Yes I am talking about IT and the business customers that they service. As an outside consultant who is typically brought in to recover... Continue reading
Posted Jul 20, 2012 at The Agile PMO
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I'm fascinated with the idea that Agile is a mindset and culture change rather than simply a process or tool change. I saw this clearly at a recent client engagement, where I was engaged to co-lead the Agile enterprise tranformation. This particular IT organization had previously experimented with Agile development though they were relatively immature in their adoption. Moreover, the culture of the organization did not actually support an Agile mindset or approach. The organization was very top down, command and control oriented with a very strong and non-Agile PMO (Program Management Office). The organization also had a reward system... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2012 at The Agile PMO