A New Tool for Passing the PMI-ACP® Exam

PMI-ACP® ExamImagine this. You’ve been working on agile projects for years and decide one day that the PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® credential would be just the thing to perk up your resume.

A bit of googling and asking around tells you that Mike Griffiths’ book PMI-ACP® Exam Prep is the best study guide for the exam.

In fact, it’s endorsed by no less an expert than “Agile Manifesto” coauthor Alistair Cockburn, who says, “I hope that everyone reads it, not just to pass the PMI-ACP® exam, but to learn agile development safely and effectively.” Continue reading

Posted in Agile, Alistair Cockburn, Mike Griffiths, PMI Agile Certified Practicioner (PMI-ACP)®, PMI-ACP®, Training & Development | Leave a comment

DevOps may get BAs Requirements Management Tools!

BAs  love Requirements Management Tools!

I love requirements management tools and wish all business analysts had access to them. Requirements management tools allow you to create requirements in a structured, organized fashion, consistent with other projects which leads to better stakeholder communication, better analysis and better products.  More importantly, being able to reuse requirements increases productivity significantly. Unfortunately few analysts have access to these tools. They are expensive, fairly complex to learn, and don’t always easily integrate with other tools used in an organization. But that may be changing! DevOps is gaining acceptance and requires software development technology including requirements management tools which are integrated with other application life cycle management (ALM) tools because requirements are a critical part of the DevOps process. Continue reading

Posted in Analysis, decision tables, DevOps, models, nonfunctional, nonfunctional, Requirement types, Requirements, Requirements Management Tools, Reusability, traceability | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

PMI’s Agile Future: A Presentation by Mike Griffiths

PMI® EMEA Congress2017 marks an important year for embracing agile approaches by the Project Management Institute. What is in store for PMI’s Agile Future?

I will be presenting about “PMI’s Agile Future,” in Rome, May 1-3 at the 2017 PMI® EMEA Congress. 2017 marks an important year for embracing agile approaches by the Project Management Institute. A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) — Sixth Edition, is set to be released in Q3 will have agile accommodation guidance for each of its Knowledge Areas and an Agile Appendix. I wrote these sections with Jesse Fewell and hope they enable practitioners to see how techniques can be tailored for agile environments. Continue reading

Posted in adaptive, Agile, Agile Alliance, Agile Practice Guide, BA Practice Guide, BA Standard, complexity, Cyndi Dionisio, Gantt charts, Jesse Fewell, Joy Beatty, Lifecycles, Mike Griffiths, PERT, phase-gates, PMI EMEA, PMI® Global Congress, Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide)-Sixth Edition, The PMI Guide to Business Analysis, uncertainty, Waterfall | Leave a comment

Agile Suitability Filters

Determine if your organization and project teams are ready for agile

How do you determine the suitability of agile approaches for particular project types or organizations? Different industries (construction, automotive), cultures (supportive, non-supportive) and special project considerations (highly regulated environments, etc.) are all factors in determining these approaches.

Agile Suitability is a large topic but critical for the successful use of agile approaches. In this blog post, I will outline categorization of work, working with agile outside of IT, and culture barriers, while providing basic ideas of how to determine the suitability of agile approaches for each. Continue reading

Posted in adopting, Agile, agile suitability filters, Approaches, lean and agile principles, lean thinking, suitability | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Agile in Highly Regulated Environments

Can you use agile in highly regulated environments? This was one of the many great questions that came up at the recent Agile DNA Webinar. This post explores some of the recommendations to consider when introducing agile within highly regulated environments. First, lets understand the potential issues. Agile approaches, were designed for small, co-located teams who can easily validate product increments via demos and discussions. Continue reading

Posted in Agile, conformance requirements, Government Projects, iterative and incremental development, traceability | Leave a comment

Ask the Why Question – It Really Works!

facilitate requirementsI was recently asked by one of our customers to facilitate a requirements elicitation session on a change to an existing system. The software functionality is fairly simple so the group scheduled an hour session and just wanted an experienced facilitator to help lead the discussion. The session was already scheduled when I was asked to participate so I didn’t have much time to prepare but I did talk with a few of the stakeholders to get some background before the session. One of the business people wrote up a current state description which was very helpful in outlining the discussion. As I did some last minute preparations the night before and discussed the session with a colleague we realized that the customer had not really articulated why they had initiated this project. Continue reading

Posted in Business Analysis, Elicitation, Facilitate, Facilitation, Requirements | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Agile Approaches in agile projects

This post is a follow-up to my Agile DNA webinar I hosted a little over a month ago. This was my first webinar for RMC and we had a great interest with over 2,000 people registering for the event interested in Agile approaches in agile projects. The recording is now available, see below for details on how to access it. The webinar was entitled “Agile DNA, the People and Process Elements of Successful Agile Projects” and the DNA theme came from the twin strands of People and Process guidance that run through all agile approaches in agile projects and make agile uniquely what it is. Continue reading

Posted in Agile, agile manifesto, Approaches, People and Process, Roles within organizations, Team Collaboration, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Agile Requirements – The Dance of the Details

The most difficult part of discovering and analyzing requirements on agile teams is determining how much detail is needed and when we should discuss the details. Early advocates of agile approaches, like SCRUM, emphasized a high level product vision at the beginning of development and then quick, lightweight user stories to support the vision detailed before each sprint. They suggested that we don’t need to get into any details until sprint planning. But as more and more teams are attempting to use agile approaches, the challenges of this requirements approach are exposed. Continue reading

Posted in Agile, Business Analyst, Requirements, Training & Development | Leave a comment

5 Reasons to Care about Project Communication

Project CommunicationProject managers spend 90 percent of their time on communication related activities; yet communication is reported to be the No. 1 problem on projects.

Consider the following example: While planning one of my projects, my core project team assessed our sponsor, “William”, to have high influence but low interest in our project. William would routinely arrive late to meetings, be distracted by his phone, and leave early saying he had more important meetings to attend. When he was present, his gloomy attitude affected the rest of the team. They did not want to speak up in front of him fearing that they may have to face his disdain. Continue reading

Posted in Communications Management, Leadership, Project Management, Roles within organizations, Team Collaboration, Training & Development | 1 Comment

Go Ahead, Give In to the Top Ten Lists

Top TenI love the end of the year articles about the top ten movies of the year, or top ten books, and also  the New Year predictions like “12 trends to watch in 2017”.  Every year during the holidays, I find myself reading these top ten lists and predictions but this year I began thinking about why they are enjoyable, and whether or not they are a good use of my time. As the leader of a book club, the top ten books of the year lists are a great source of ideas for my group so my time reviewing them is useful. But what about from a work and career perspective; should I be spending time reading about the top ten training trends from 2016?

Continue reading

Posted in Leadership, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment