PMI EMEA Conference 2018 – Summary

I’ve just come back from the PMI EMEA Conference in Berlin, Germany where I was presenting the topic: Transitioning from a Project Manager to Scrum Master.

I was also asked by PMI to bring the conference to those who couldn’t attend via social media so I was blogging and tweeting throughout the event. Here’s a summary of the posts that I’ve written already:

Being able to bring the conference to those who could not attend really made me approach the conference differently and with a different sense of perspective. I was more focused on trying to get the ‘feel’ of not just the sessions but also the breaks and networking sessions. One of the best parts of the PMI conferences is that you are able to network with all levels of an organisation and all types of Project Managers in a friendly, relaxed environment.


My talk was held on Tuesday afternoon and the premise of the presentation was to provide an overview of the things that Project Managers go through when they are transitioning to becoming a Scrum Master. The talk went really well and I’ve received a lot of great feedback and made sure that I made time for the large number of questions that I received both during the presentation and afterwards. I’ve also been requested by the participants to do a follow up of the presentation giving more practical advice on the different stages of transition. I’ll be trying to organise this and will communicate this if I can arrange it.

Photo courtesy of Priya Patra

The most interesting aspect of the presentation for me was understanding just how widespread the issues experienced in agile are in the projects running today. Throughout the presentation, I asked for a show of hands at regular intervals to understand if others had experienced this and there were a surprising amount of nods of heads to a lot of the items. There are a lot of ‘commonalities’ that exist and it doesn’t seem to matter which industry, which company, which phase you’re in; the issues experienced have a few key characteristics:

  • Support from the organisation
    • Whether this is training, coaching, supportive management
  • Lack of Agile mentality
  • Insufficient training
Courtesy of Rosaria

Through the session, I discussed what you can do to resolve each of the issues discussed and what each item means in reality for Scrum Masters today. After the presentation, I spent time not only answering questions that people had but also talking through some of the issues that people have. This is one of my favourite parts of any talk and in this talk, it was especially good because we all spoke together and others shared their experiences and ideas.

What’s next?

I’m doing a lot of follow up with people that have asked questions and advice and I’ll be trying to organise the follow-up session in the upcoming weeks/month if I can.

If you’ve got questions about the conference or about the transition to Scrum Master in general, please feel free to contact me!


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