Archive for August, 2009

5

Meeting PMP Eligibility Requirements

Process Group Activities GraphWhen I was completing my PMP application, back in 2006, I recall reading the eligibility requirements and asking myself where I had the greatest gaps in my project management experience.  PMI did a good job of listing the process groups and activity “buckets” in which I could associate my time.  To visualize my strengths and weaknesses, I identified each activity provided by PMI as a process group subcategory and then associated project hours within a spreadsheet.  Though PMI had a requirement that I document experience in each of the process groups,  I had a personal requirement that I improve where my skills were lacking.

This post isn’t about my strengths or weaknesses, though you could assume by the graph that it would be Initiating and Closing.  It is about my identifying my experience gaps and helping you identify yours (in the eyes of PMI).  If you’re a PMP or an aspiring PMP, take a look at the attached.

Step 1: Review the Process Group Activities PDF.  It will define the subcategories.

Process Group Activities PDF

Step 2: Associate subcategory hours on a project basis.  The formulas are already in the worksheet.  All you need to do is add your hours to the Project Data sheet.

MS ExcelActivity Breakdown By Process Group

Step 3: Review the Graph on the tab titled “Graph”.  If you don’t identify your strengths and weaknesses from the data sheet, you will certainly see them in the graph.

Best Regards,

Derek

0

How To Know When A Meeting Has Ended

I just read are very intriguing post by Ken Clyne on the Agile Blog, located at RallyDev.com. The post was about how problems can arise when people don’t realize a meeting is over.  Ken offered one way to avoid the never-ending meeting is by having a clear signal that the meeting has ended.

I could not agree more. Don’t you just hate it when a meeting has ended, not everyone knows, and people just start to filter out of the area?  I’ve found myself looking at the meeting host and actually ask if we were done.  That is not a way to conduct a meeting.

Though I believe this applies to all meetings, the daily stand-up (daily scrum) really needs to have a clear beginning and end.  Though some may not agree with me, I like to use a visual aid like a big alarm clock.  Everyone sees the clock ticking away and know a very loud alarm is going to go off at an agreed upon time.  You see people get anxious if others are rambling on and the time is ticking away.  Think back to your youth.  Remember how you knew you were late for class because you heard that starting bell?  Remember how you knew you were dismissed from class because you heard that same bell? Let those years of conditioning motivate the team.  Though I like the visual queue, you should still say something to the team to close the meeting.

Unlike your school days and hearing your assignment is due Monday, I know I’ve closed meetings with So let it be written, so let it be done, Make it so and May the force be with you.

Link to the original post

Image: Pictofigo

0

Shared Items in Google Reader

Yesterday, I listened to This Week in Google 3 (TWIG) on the way home from the office.  They talked about a TechCrunch article detailing new features of Google Reader.  Though I don’t believe I’ve discovered my one-stop-shop to find or disseminate information I digest and enjoy on a daily basis, I feel Google Reader is heading in a good direction.  The hard part is just incorporating it into my current routine.  As soon as I arrive at the office, I check email, voicemail, and then it’s off to Google Reader and Twitter.  I do all of this before  8AM.  It’s not that I intentionally make this a habit.  It just is.

Google ReaderSo, in the spirit of early adoption, I’m going to attempt to use one of the new social features of Google Reader.  It is the sharing of items from Google Reader in my Google Profile and distribute to social sites like Facebook, Twitter…  My first share is
Visualizing the Flow: Polar-State Based Personal Kanban with Habit Trackers via Evolving Web by Jim Benson on 8/1/09.  You can find it at google.com/reader/shared/derek.huether

What is my new habit?  Share at least one item I read in Google Reader to my Google Profile and Twitter on a daily basis.  Enjoy!

13

My Personal Kanban Story

A little over a month ago, Agile Zen started following me on Twitter.  They are creators of a very clean web-based kanban solution.  Around the same time, I connected with Jim Benson.  Jim is a collaborative management consultant.  He is the CEO of Modus Cooperandi, a consultancy which combines Lean, Agile Management and Social Media principles to develop sustainable teams.

Personal Kanban

Though I’ve used information radiators like kanbans in the past, I’ve been working in a non-Agile PMO for the last six months and it’s all very foreign to them.  Thanks to reading the works of David Anderson, Jim Benson, and AgileZen, I’m back in the game.  I’m using AgileZen on a daily basis for everything from business deliverables, to an entrepreneurial project, to my wife’s honey-do list.

My actual task completion velocity has noticeably increased in the last month.  I attribute that to AgileZen having a very easy to use product, Jim musing on a daily basis on the topic, and most importantly limiting what I’m working or focused on.

You can read one of Jim’s recent postings [here]
You can check out AgileZen [here]

I wish I could thank all of the kanban supporters out there that I follow on a daily basis.  These 3 really have to be mentioned.  If you’re interested in Kanban, look them up.

0

Free Project Charter Template

Project Charter Template How many times have you started working on a project and don’t even have formal authorization for that project to exist?  A project charter is a document issued by the project initiator or sponsor that formally authorizes the existence of the project, and provides the project manager with the authority to apply organizational resources to project activities.  Using this template will put all the cards on the table.  Knowing answers to key areas before you begin will save you time and money.

This document includes areas for project overview, authority and milestones, organization, and points of contact.

On your current project, do you know the project oversight authority?  Do you know your critical success factors? Have you documented all of your project roles and responsibilities?  If you used this template, you would increase your chances for success by documenting the basics up front.

MS Word[Click here to download the free Project Charter Template]