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Mike Cottmeyer on Tour

Mike Cottmeyer Chief Executive Officer
Reading: Mike Cottmeyer on Tour

This is the time of year in the agile community, where if you have made the decision to work the speaking circuit, your life spins out of control for a few months.

It started this year with the Agile 2009 conference in Chicago and is going to wrap up mid-November with the Agile Development Practices conference in Orlando. Between now and Orlando, I am heading to Boston to speak at VersionOne’s Agilepalooza. This will be my second Agilepalooza and these are really excellent events. After Boston I am heading to Malmo, Sweden for Oredev 2009. This is my first year speaking at an Oredev conference, and my first trip to Sweden, so I am pretty excited. My wife gets to come along for that one so it will almost be like a little vacation! After I get back from Sweden I turn right back around and go to Orlando for Agile Development Practice to reprise my Agile PMP talk.

My goal this year was to reuse as much content as possible so I wouldn’t have to be building so many new decks. Last year everything I did was brand new and I thought I was going to die! Anyway… I’ve gotten a lot of mileage on the Agile PMP deck and even managed to create a little new content along the way. By the way… if you are ever interested in having me come out and speak… let me know… we might be able to work something out. Here are the abstracts for all of my upcoming talks as well as my updated bio.

Agile Adoption and Scaling – Agilepalooza Boston and Oredev 2009

Agile methodologies are helping teams deliver software faster and with much higher quality than ever before. Given the success of agile at the team level, many managers are exploring the possibility of implementing these methodologies across the entire product delivery organization. These managers launch their adoption efforts only to uncover many common myths, misperceptions, and obstacles that derail their efforts before they really get started.

Organizations fail to become agile because they don’t understand what makes agile teams work. Breaking past traditional organizational constraints, even the constraints imposed by some of the better known agile methodologies, will free managers to create situationally specific strategies that support the formation of teams and enable them to deliver both reliably and consistently back to the business. Agile teams become the building blocks of agile organizations.

This talk will explore a roadmap for agile adoption that begins with teams and demonstrates how teams work together to deliver more complex projects and portfolios. Mike will expand the team concept to include capabilities and show how capabilities can be organized to optimize value across the enterprise value stream. At each step of the adoption process, Mike will demonstrate how to choose the policies, practices, and metrics that create learning and drive sustainable organizational change.

Agile Adoption past the Team – Oredev 2009

Discussions of agile often assume that there is a single team, assigned to a single product, with a single dedicated customer guiding all the product decisions. In reality, many organizations are building complex products that require the efforts of more than one development team. When teams have to coordinate to deliver a highly integrated product, the product owner’s job often becomes too big for a single person.

Not all the interesting scalability problems are reserved for the enterprise. Product Owners have challenges when trying to coordinate the deliverables for only four or five dependent development teams. Quite a few organizations are expanding the role of Product Owner to include Product Owner Teams and Product Owner Teams with Architects. These teams work in partnership with the Product Owner to maintain the product backlog and drive integrated decision making.

This talk explores a 3 month coaching engagement where the customer needed to coordinate requirements and design across five highly dependent development teams. Mike will show how the teams went from zero to hyper-productivity in a matter of sprints by implementing solid engineering practices and deploying a Product Owner team to coordinate deliverables across the entire product delivery organization.

The Agile PMP: Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks – PMI IT&T SIG webinar, Agilepalooza Boston, Agile Development Practices, and the Agile Edmonton User Group

Agile methods emphasize trust, empowerment, and collaboration—moving us away from command and control project management to harness the passion, creativity, and enthusiasm of the team. In established organizations, success with agile practices hinges on how well traditional project managers adopt new ways of thinking about project structure and control. Building on the principles of the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®), Mike explores how PMPs with experience in traditional development can adapt their styles and practices to become effective agile project leaders. Mike tackles the hidden assumptions behind the PMBOK and explores agile approaches for managing time, cost, and scope. Taking an in-depth look at PMI Processes and Knowledge areas, he also explores ways to adapt them to agile projects. Project managers, business analysts, and other stakeholders will leave with a new way of thinking about project management practices within the agile context and new tools for delivering value in the face of uncertainty.


Mike Cottmeyer is the Vice-President and General Manager of Pillar Technology Southeast. Pillar Technology is the leading provider of agile transformation services helping companies develop the technical practices and leadership competencies required for sustainable organizational change.

Prior to joining Pillar, Mike was an agile consultant, coach, and evangelist for VersionOne. Before VersionOne, Mike was a senior project manager for CheckFree Corporation where he led a portfolio of projects for their online banking and bill payment business unit. Mike has 20 years of experience leading IT initiatives using a combination of traditional, agile, and lean project management best practices.

Mike is a certified PMP Project Manager and a certified ScrumMaster. He co-created the DSDM Agile Project Leader certification and holds Foundation, Practitioner, and Examiner level certificates. Mike is an honorary member of the DSDM Consortium, a founder of the Lean Software and Systems Consortium, and helping lead the AgilePMI Community of Practice.

Mike speaks internationally on the topic of Agile Project Management and writes for several blogs including and and occasionally for . Mike co-authored the paper “Rethinking the Agile Enterprise” for the Cutter Consortium and is co-authoring a book on Agile transformations for Addison-Wesley.

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