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Waterfall Vs Scrum

Scrum Master Certification

 

I’m regularly asked if Scrum is better than Waterfall or Waterfall better than Scrum.

 

Waterfall advocates that we do a significant amount of design upfront. But to say that all design is done upfront is crazy and simply never happened in any traditional project that I was involved it.

 

Scrum advocated that we should not over designing as the customers/user doesn’t really know what they want and spending time investigating would be wasted. Let’s just build it and as we build check with the customer to see if it’s what they want.  Importantly Scrum is not a series of mini waterfalls where we design for a few days and then build then test the next few days. We should do the design, build and hopefully test at the same time. Removing the upfront design effort and merging it with the build. Chances are it will take the same amount of effort to design and buit but it will be what the customer wants – better quality. And we have maximised the amount of work not-done by not delivering what the customer did not need.

 

But what about the longer term planning, a lot of the longer term planning goes out the window. But Scrum does not account for the fact that there is still some longer term planning required. For example it may take the supplier 3 months to provide the interface design, or that the training days have to be organised at least 2 months in advance. You are going to have to implement some traditional planning to get this right. Agilest might call this release planning, traditionalists might call it program management. I think they are more or less the same thing – both aim to link organisational strategy to tactics.

 

Both traditional project management and agile-scrum are trying to tackle the “getting it done” part of the business. This is the tactics for change. However they approach it in a different way, Traditional Project Management suggests that we can deliver on the tactics by planning, setting the rules and measuring progress. The other option is, agile-scrum and the tactics are achieved by sharing the goals and empowering the team to just getting it done – now.

So what will working better, empowering the team or measuring the activity? You decide based on the complexity of the task and the engagement levels of staff.

Althris provide training in Scrum Master, Certified Product Owner, Agile and Iterative Project Management Methods.

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To PMO or not to PMO

PMO
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Emotional Intelligence for Project Managers

emotional intelligence Project Status Report

Five Results from Emotional Upgrade

 

The people side of project management (or any management role) is the hard bit. We have to effect action and change while being conscious that we cant make people do things. We got to get them to take action for their own reasons.

Being emotionally aware can really help us understand both ourselves and therefore understand what makes others tick.

So what is emotional intelligence: Emotional Intelligence can be defined as an understanding one’s own feelings, the feelings of others, and managing the emotions to enhance growth and living. The major domains of emotional intelligence are knowing your emotions, understanding these emotions, motivating yourself, recognizing the emotions of others, and establishing a strong balanced relationship with them.

So get yourself an Emotional upgrade.  First with self-awareness (the understanding of ones strengths, limits and confidence). This evolves into social emotions (sensing others emotions), helping to develop these emotions and on the long run building lasting bonds with people.

Five results of emotional upgrade include:

  1. Self- confidence: After having read and studied your own personal emotions, you are confident that you can bring them under subjection at every time, this inflicts a level of self-control and a sound sense of self-worth and capabilities.
  2. Adaptability and influence: This means you’re sensitive and flexible enough to maneuver into people’s emotions, feelings and at times their decisions thereby resulting into a striking level of positive commitment in their activities and regulars. You have studied them enough to relate with them at their highs and lows.
  3. Relationship management: Conflict management, being a change catalyst, building bonds, teamwork, and collaboration with others is achievable when there is a conscious review of ones emotions.
  4. Social competence: This expansion of awareness and empathy of the environment increases communication and the ability to persuade, and develop opportunities to strengthen the growth of others.
  5. Leadership: Here, your team is willing to allow you lead and are willing to work with you to meet set goals because you inspire them to achieve the collective vision.

Emotional intelligence may have gone off your radar but I suggest you give it another looks.

Sign-up to request 25 steps to improving your emotional intelligence .

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PMP ready – Exam requirements

PMP Certification – To Be or Not to Be?

Project Management Professional (PMP) is the most important industry-recognised certification. It is one of the flagship certifications offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the leading not-for-profit professional membership association. PMP is recognised globally as a gold standard in project management. The PMP certification can provide a significant advantage when it comes to salary and earning potential. Well over 700,000 certified PMPs around the globe stand as testimony to its benefits!

Gaining and maintaining PMP certification goes with its own process, starting with the first goal of passing the PMP exam. There are certain prerequisites as to eligibility for taking the exam. The PMP Handbook by the PMI outlines the eligibility criteria. The first step is to see whether you meet the following prerequisites:

  • A secondary-level degree (high-school diploma, associate’s degree, or the global equivalent);
  • 7,500 hours spent leading and directing projects;
  • 35 hours of project management education.

or

  • A 4-year degree;
  • 4,500 hours spent leading and directing projects;
  • 35 hours of project management education.

Explanation of educational qualifications

  • A high-school diploma or associate’s degree or global equivalent means education partaken for 3 years or less after school leaving.
  • A 4-year degree means any graduate degree such as Engineering or Technology, of 4 years’ or more duration, which is partaken after 10+2 school years.
  • You will need to show 36 hours of PMP related Project Management Training from a training organisation such as Althris Training Dublin

Explanation of experience requirements

  • For diploma holders, the project management experience required is 7,500 hours. This is roughly 60 months or 5 years’ experience.
  • For degree holders, the project experience required is 4,500 hours. This is roughly 36 months or 3 years’ experience.
PMP training Dublin

You get a real certificate with embossed stamp

Explanation of “Leading and Directing Projects”

This means that you should briefly state any job/experience that you have done in the field of planning, execution and control. It is not necessary that you should have experience in all of the project processes.

Explanation of Non-Overlapping Experience

  • Let us assume that you have managed two projects in the year 2016. Project A ran from January 2016 to May 2016 (5 months). Project B ran from March 2016 to February 2017 (12 months). This should not be taken as 17 months’ experience as there is an overlap of 3 months. Experience will be taken as 14 months only.
  • Experience reported should have been accrued within the last 8 consecutive years prior to your application submission. If you are applying in 2017, you can report experience between 2009 and 2016.

The PMP exam has a price of US$405 for PMI members, and $555 for non-members. PMI membership is not mandatory for you to take the exam. However, it makes sense to become a PMI member, at a fee of $139, as you get an exam fee reduction of $150! Additional benefits can also be enjoyed with PMI membership. 35 hours of project management education needs to be undertaken through a Registered Educational Partner (REP) that imparts the training and grants the necessary certificate towards fulfilment. Its cost can be ascertained from the education partner.

The next part of this article is “PMP – Applying for and Scheduling the Exam”

/ Althris

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Programmes are about Strategy,

Programme Management

I’m currently working with a multinational organisation to build out the strategy to empower the business to take advantage of new regulations coming in as a result of de-regulation in Europe (Hmmm). We are working on a Programme to implement the strategy to deal with these changes in our marketplace.

 

For me Programmes are not just a collection of related projects it’s significantly more than that, programmes are about strategy and projects are about tactics.  Programme management is overseeing the implementation of a set of related projects and activities in order to deliver outcomes and benefits related to the organisations strategic objectives.

 

Programmes deal with outcomes and projects deal with outputs (From MSP®). We do use Programme Management to coordinate related projects but that’s down the road and its not the primary reason to kick off a programme. The programme starts by taking the business strategy, targets, initiatives and policies and defining the vision, scope and priority of the outputs that will deliver the outcome.

How do we approach this.

Develop the Vision, this is the postcard from the future of state of the business. It is used as the focus for the programme and like any vision it should be compelling and clear. Failure to get a good visions statement weaken the programme, therefore time should be spent in developing it. Re-design the vision in the middle of the programme may cause confusion.

 

From a Vision we can tease out a target operating model for the future, the practices and process that will be need to be in place to deliver the vision.  The target operating model is the blueprint of the future and the programme manager has the responsibility to ensure that the blueprint is delivered.

 

The POTI model is useful in developing out the blueprint, for each element of the blueprint used it to analyse the processed, organisation change, technology and information required for the future

 

  Detail
Vision Statement We want to enter new emerging market ABC
                P Processes, Business Models of operations and functions including operating costs and performance levels
                O Organizational structure, staffing levels, roles, skills required, organizational culture, supply chain and style
                T Technology, buildings, IT Systems and tools, equipment, machinery and accommodation
                I Information and data required for future operations

 

From defining these process, organisational changes, technology and Information the projects to deliver them become apparent.

The above is simplified method bases on MSP®. More details on the methodology is available with templates examples. Drop me a line to chat through it.

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The Real Truth about Getting Disengaged Sponsors Involved Again

When interest levels of the project sponsors drop, it’s bad news for everyone. Bad for the business that has invested resources. Bad for the project manager and team who find themselves without an essential source of support. And bad for the end-user who may then get a product or service that doesn’t meet requirements or simply dosn’t get done.

Perhaps the wrong sponsor was chosen by the business and they were never interested in the first place. In any event is is critical to have and maintain project sponsor engagement, there is no formal methodology for doing so. Some project mangers are afraid to manage upward or don’t quite know how. Teamwork between the project sponsor and project manager is the way to create really effective projects.

Here’s a few suggestions

  • Common sense – Make sure you think your tactics through
  • Understand your sponsors perspective, agenda and how it does or dosn’t align with the project goals
  • Seek to understand why disengagement has set in, workload, disapproval of change, people issues
  • Communicate – as a project manager you are a senior staff member and tackling the head-on may be the way, Let the sponsor know you need the support

If you still cant get a re-engagement don’t undermine the sponsor but perhaps seek out other stakeholders that can provide the necessary support in the organisation. This can be often be done with the permission and support of the main sponsor. Particularly if the disengagement has happened as a result of workload.

If you are still stuck and the project effectiveness is being undermined you will need to go all the way to the top.