TWiST Archive

3

Live (Agile) Video Sessions

If there is one place I like to get my information, it’s from the experts.  For technology news and information, I tune into This Week in Tech (Leo Leporte and crew) or Tech News Today (Tom Merritt and crew) over at (TWiT.tv) When I can’t watch them live, I watch the webcasts later.  When I want to do the same for start-up news and information, I tune in to This Week in Startups (Jason Calacanis and crew).

What I see missing from my daily or weekly consumption of media is the topic of Agile.  Sure, I watch webinars, but these are mostly slide deck presentations.  What I see missing is a regularly scheduled “program” that serves the Agile community and more.  Well, it looks like the need is about to be met.  Peter Saddington over at AgileScout is about to launch  AgileScout “Live”.

Though going back and watching interviews with industry experts, pundits, and aficionados is pretty awesome, watching it live takes it to a whole new level.  While watching a live session, you can also participate in a live chat, which allows you to interact with like minded people in ways you don’t get from old-school media.

So, the big question is when? Peter posted a survey to find out when YOU the viewer would tune in for a live session. So, click the link below and let your voice be heard.
Take the survey to pick the best time for live Agile video sessions.


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6

Know who you are and what you represent

Who am I?The other day I met Scott Simko, who I “knew” through This Week In Startups and Thomas Kiblin, CEO and Founder of Virtacore.  I met them as the founder of HueCubed, a web startup company offering a flashcard engine that we plan to scale like Weblogs, Inc. or Stackoverflow. (Create a niche product and then scale it in other vertical markets)  Our flagship product, PMPrep Flashcards, was released in March and I wanted to meet the people who are hosting our product(s).

Up to this point, I have introduced myself as Derek Huether, Project Management Professional® and adviser.  But these people don’t know me as that.  They were meeting me as Derek Huether, entrepreneur and founder of a web startup.  As a result, I stumbled when it was time to introduce myself.  Don’t make this mistake!

If you wear multiple hats in your organization, you may need to know who you are to different stakeholders.  Is your specialty in Waterfall, Agile, or Kanban?  Take a moment and imagine you are being introduced to someone.  What are you going to say?  This is part personal branding and part stakeholder management.  What I needed was a solid 30 second elevator pitch.  What’s the takeaway from this post? Know who you are and what you represent.  It may be different, based on the company you keep.

0

New Show Announced on ThisWeekIn Network #TWiCCourtesy

You heard it here first, the ThisWeekIn Network is announcing its latest show titled This Week in Common Courtesy.  In this week’s episode, Derek Huether expounds upon the topic of common courtesy.

Guest 1:

Our first guest is none other than TWiVC host, Mark Suster. Mark had quite a bit to say about the right way to cancel a meeting.  I certainly agree with his frustrations.

Thank you Mark for the short but to-the-point reply.

Guest 2:

After a (Generation Y) Mahalo employee gave his resignation notice via email, CEO of Mahalo and TWiST Host Jason Calacanis, calmly explained the value employees provide, just by showing up for work.  He went on to provide valuable insights to help some Generation Y understand their place in the world and what they deserve.

After this very instructional message, you’d think members of Generation Y would have had the common courtesy of listening.  A few days later, I reported an average performance rating for a (GenY) subordinate.  She then argued with me about not giving her a perfect 10.  When push comes to shove, I’m the one doing the assessment.  Have the common courtesy of respecting that and ask how to excel in your position, not just show up.  Jason’s supporting comment to me was:

Jason, though she is no longer with our organization, I will make sure she gets her trophy.

That’s all the time we have for this week.

I would like to thank @PowerVPS We’re powered by the cloud

& @Jason We are entertained!

Don’t forget to thank our sponsors and use the hashtag #TWiCCoutesy

8

What happens when you walk your own critical path

Last night we deployed HueCubed v1.0 to Production.  A year ago, I had an idea for a product that would inexpensively help people study for the PMP® Exam and other certifications or tests.  The result?  HueCubed.

HueCubed is a web application which will display randomized flash cards.  Upon reviewing the question, you simply click on the Flip button.  The card flips and displays the answer.  You then have several buttons you can click.  If you click on skip, incorrect, or correct, the system will log your selection.  You can then, at any time, click on Check Progress.  If you click on Flip, the card flips to the other side.  If you click Back, you will navigate to the previous card.

So let’s say you want to see your progress and click Check Progress.  Your choices will be broken down by categories of study.  Think of them as mini decks of cards.  There is one big deck (All) and then you have it broken down into 23 categories.  At any time, you can click one of the squares and it will return you to that card for review.  e.g. if there were 28 cards in a deck and you click on 14, you can go directly to card 14 of 28. (see image)

Anyway, I can go on an on about this product.  The idea came to me after I was asked over and over again to recommend products to help people study for the PMP® Exam.  Sure, the products are out there.  But, each one had something I didn’t like or thought could be improved upon.  I wanted something Simple, Powerful, and Cost-Effective.  So, I created HueCubed.

The last year has been hard.  I went through 3 development teams before I got a winner.  I’m not demanding or anything.  It’s just hard to find the right team sometimes.  I spent countless hours eating my own dogfood.  I created UI wireframes, I created fnctional designs.  I created a WBS.  I used a Kanban to manage my work.  We iterated and iterated.

HueCubed v1.0 was my critical path.  All of the required deliverables are there.  It will be a solid platform to build upon.  I hope I didn’t drive me wife too crazy with the idea of this first product.  I still have a group of offerings I want to provide.

In closing, I want to quote 2 great people who inspired me to do what I did.

Jason Calacanis said “Starting is easy; Finishing is hard.”

Seth Godin wrote “Pick a budget. Pick a ship date. Honor both. Don’t ignore either. No slippage, no overruns.”

I had an idea on March 22, 2009, that seemed simple enough to finish.  How hard could it be?  The answer was “very”.

I had a budget and stuck with it.  I gave myself 1 year to get it done or move on with my life.

I bootstrapped the effort and got it delivered.

HueCubed v1.0 went live at 11:28PM last night.
Yep, March 22, 2010.



0

The Critical Path Week Ending February 28

January 28 through February 5Due to working crazy off hours in preparation for my v1.0 launch, I not only forgot to do a week in review on the 20th, I also missed meeting my writing commitment on the 24th and 25th.  Whatever the excuses, I was feeling a little burned out.  I have to remember this is a marathon and not a sprint.  Writing a daily blog takes a lot of discipline.  Though I have so much to say, it can escape me if I don’t get the idea captured quickly.  Wow, it’s hard to believe it’s almost March.  At least there should be viewer posts about snow removal.

2/26/2010

Putting Things In Perspective

I had mild chest and shoulder pains this morning. I am in the ER waiting to see the doctor. I’ll let you know the outcome and my status shortly…

2/23/2010

Satisfying Needed Scope Versus Wants

There are many templates and means to ensure your project meets the requirements.  But I can’t stress enough how important it is to ensure you’re working to satisfy the requirements (or scope) first…

2/22/2010

The Hateful Cycle of Apathy Hits a Nerve

Have you ever stuck your neck out and get no support?  Did the trust among that team start to break down? I’ve seen it happen first hand and Geoff Crane wrote an awesome post over at Papercut Edge about it…

2/21/2010

How To Prevent Your Project From Hemorrhaging

This post is in response to a post written by Jennifer Bedell on the PMStudent blog about goldplating. Goldplating is very common in application development and can be very expensive…

2/20/2010

How Owners Managers and Leaders Differ

I was asked a very interesting question today, requiring me to stop and think. How do I believe being an entrepreneur and a business owner differ? It’s a very good question because…

2/19/2010

What You Need Is Some Kaizen

While sitting in a governance meeting the other day, I heard how (before I joined the team) a vendor brought in some high paid six sigma black belts to…

2/18/2010

How to Thank a Managed Camel

I was informed I am the winner of the very first Freedom of Speech February (FOSF) giveaway from How to Manage a Camel.  My comments last week on a blog post by Gary Holmes earned me a free copy of the Method123 Project Management Methodology (MPMM™) Professional from their partners at Method123…

2/17/2010

Creeping Ever So Closer To Closure

As my startup project is creeping ever so closer to its closure and the actual launch of the product happens, I’m feverishly completing activities late into the night.  It’s not easy working crazy hours to get this done.  My family goes to bed, I drink a pot of coffee, and get to work…

2/16/2010

Interesting PMI Perspective On Claiming PDUs

…Based on the telephone conversation I had, if you’ve worked as a PM for at least 6 months, you can claim 5 PDUs.  Otherwise, if you are able to say you spend more than 1,500 hours per calendar year in that roll, you also qualify to claim the 5 PDUs…

2/15/2010

Getting Exactly What You Want

I just wrapped up a week long logo design project at 99Designs, with an intellectual property transfer agreement.  Flash back to August 2009, when I was watching Episode 13 of This Week in Startups